Fractional ablative lasers
Which skin conditions can be treated with ablative lasers and what types of lasers are used?
Ablative lasers such as the carbon dioxide laser were a major advance in dermatology providing new treatment options for scars, sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles. Ablative lasers remove the surface layer of the skin allowing the natural healing process of the skin to regenerate the skin. I use the Lumenis Ultrapulse (available either at OneWelbeck or 152 Harley Street). I will use the laser in full ablative mode for conditions such as keloid scars, rhinophyma or for removal of harmless skin growths however generally for superficial resurfacing and acne scarring I will use in fractional mode.
Fractional mode has faster recovery and significantly lower risks of scarring and pigmentary change. The Lumenis Ultrapulse permits precise control of fractional energy delivery. Fractional ablative lasers have revolutionized the treatment of become an integral part of dermatological treatments, offering impressive results for scarring, fine lines and rejuvenation.
Non-ablative lasers are an alternative treatment that carries less risk and downtime, however may be less effective.
Indications for Fractional Ablative Laser Treatment
Fractional ablative lasers are primarily used to treat skin conditions that require resurfacing or collagen stimulation. Some common indications for this treatment include:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Acne scars
- Surgical or traumatic scars
- Sun damage, age spots and actinic keratoses
- Skin texture irregularities
- Enlarged pores
- Skin tightening and rejuvenation
What to Expect During Treatment
- Pre-treatment preparation: Your skin will be cleansed, and a topical anaesthetic may be applied to minimize discomfort during the procedure.
- Laser treatment: Dr Lynch will use the fractional laser device to deliver controlled pulses of energy to the targeted areas. This creates microscopic columns of thermal injury in the skin, stimulating collagen production and promoting skin resurfacing.
- Post-treatment care: We will apply a soothing ointment to your skin and provide you with specific aftercare instructions to optimize healing and results.
- Recovery period: The healing process typically takes 1-2 weeks, during which your skin may appear red, swollen, or crusty. It's essential to follow aftercare instructions, such as avoiding sun exposure and using gentle skincare products, to minimize the risk of complications.
Benefits of Fractional Ablative Laser Treatment
- Collagen stimulation: The treatment promotes collagen production, which can help improve skin elasticity, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and tighten the skin.
- Skin resurfacing: Fractional ablative laser treatment effectively removes damaged outer layers of the skin, revealing a smoother and more youthful complexion.
- Precision: Fractional ablative lasers minimize damage to surrounding skin reducing the risk of scarring.
- Long-lasting results: Fractional ablative laser treatment often provides long-lasting improvement in the appearance of scars and skin rejuvenation.
Risks and Side Effects
- Pain or discomfort: Some patients may experience mild pain or discomfort during the treatment, which can be managed with topical or injected anaesthetic. Pain can persist for a number of days.
- Redness and swelling: Immediately following the treatment, the surface of the skin will appear red, swollen and inflamed. Some bleeding and crusting may occur.
- Pigment changes: Fractional ablative laser treatments may cause temporary or permanent changes in skin pigmentation, particularly in individuals with darker skin tones. Hypopigmentation (lightening) or hyperpigmentation (darkening) can occur in some cases.
- Infection: Although rare, there is a risk of bacterial or viral infection after the treatment particularly if aftercare instructions are not followed.
- Scarring: In rare cases, scarring may occur as a result of the treatment.
Consent Form Fractional Ablative Laser
Questions about fractional ablative laser treatments
What is ablative fractional laser treatment?
How does ablative fractional laser treatment work?
Is ablative fractional laser treatment painful?
How many treatments are needed for optimal results?
What should I expect during the recovery period?
Are there any risks or side effects associated with ablative fractional laser treatment?
How long do the results of ablative fractional laser treatment last?
Is ablative fractional laser treatment suitable for all skin types?
Can ablative fractional laser treatment be combined with other treatments?
How much does ablative fractional laser treatment cost?