Photorejuvenation refers to the procedure of using light photons (laser light) to rejuvenate areas of skin, but does not injure the skin surface. In contrast, laser resurfacing procedures do injure the outer skin surface and thus have a longer recovery period requiring time off. At Hillview we use the Fotona XP-MAX Nd:YAG laser for photorejuvenation.
Photorejuvenation is used to treat sun damaged skin, fine wrinkles to even-out skin discolouration, texture, pigmentation, broken capillaries, facial rosacea or redness, poikiloderma of Civatte (red neck/chest). Also as an adjunct to other rejuvenation procedures such as laser resurfacing, medical needling, microdermabrasion, long term resorbable filler and Isolagen therapies.
How does it work?
Laser light penetrates deep into the skin (the dermis) where the heat stimulates new collagen and collagen remodelling. Further, small blood vessels and pigmentation also absorb the laser light leading to the clearance or fading of red capillaries and pigmentation.The skin surface (the epidermis) is protected from injury by the cooling air generated from a separate piece of equipment and delivered directly into the laserhand piece.
Why is the recovery time so short?
Generally, redness and swelling lasts from few hours to few days. The air delivered to the laser handpiece cools the skin as the treatment proceeds thus protecting the outer skin (the epidermis) but allowing heating of the dermis. This reduces the risk of skin blistering or crusting afterwards. Further, the treatments are designed to use lower energies, again, to minimise the skin reaction but in return it means that several treatments will be necessary as the effects are cumulative.
When will I see results?
As the response to the laser treatment will vary for each individual. It is difficult to accurately predict individual responses before starting laser treatment. In most people we will see improvement in the removal of larger veins and freckles within 2 weeks of having the first treatment. The deeper background redness and discoloration will take 2-3 treatments to see significant improvement. This is because the treatments have a cumulative effect and thus it is important to repeat the treatment at the recommended intervals. The total number of treatments to achieve the desired results will be between 2-6 sessions. If the desired results are not achieved, more specialised laser treatments may be recommended.
How often are the treatments?
The treatment sessions are spaced 3-6 weeks apart.
Are there any risks?
Some individuals may see redness and swelling of the treated area lasting longer than expected. In all cases where this has occurred it has settled within 2 weeks. Scattered brown crusts may occur, particularly after treating darker pigmentation areas. These will peel off by the end of the second week. A poor or slow response to the treatment may require a greater number of treatments than initially assessed, or may indicate the need to change to more specialised laser treatments.
Is it a painful treatment?
Overall, patients find the treatment relatively painless describing an occasional sting or sharp pin pricking sensation. Where an individual finds the treatment too uncomfortable, a local anaesthetic cream may be used to numb the area.
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