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What is Fractional Skin Resurfacing?

Thanks to recent television coverage of “non-surgical face-lifts” our phones have been ringing none-stop with patients asking about new “fractional” laser skin resurfacing technologies! Here are some frequently asked questions.

What is Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing is a revolution in ablative skin resurfacing technologies. The advanced Pixel Erbium laser removes thousands of tiny dots of skin each time. It allows the skin of the face, neck or hands to benefit from all of the advantages of traditional Ablative Laser Resurfacing such as collagen remodelling, skin tightening and skin texture smoothing without the pain, downtime or infection risk of older technologies.

Why can't I resurface everything all at once?

Total resurfacing (getting rid of all the skin surface) using carbon dioxide laser is still the gold standard for wrinkle reduction and skin rejuvenation. However, total resurfacing carries the risk of infection (up to 10% in the post-operative period), scarring, pigmentation changes and prolonged skin redness (around 3-6 months). Most patients today simply cannot afford the downtime.

How does Fractional Laser Resurfacing work?

My preferred system is the Pixel, which Pixelated 2940nm wavelength Erbium:YAG Laser. The laser creates thousands of tiny dots that penetrate the skin. This produces thousands of micro-injury sites without disturbing the surrounding tissue. These micro-injured areas start the process of healing as collagen remodels, skin tightens and the skin texture improves – giving the patient “new skin”. Over a course of treatments the effect on the skin can be as dramatic as traditional Laser Resurfacing techniques, without the downtime.

What precautions do I need to take before treatment?

Sunscreen should be used for at least 2 weeks prior to treatment. Active skincare ingredients such alpha-hydroxy acids, strong scrubs/exfoliation, tretinoin, or vitamin A derivatives should also be ceased at least 2 weeks prior to treatment.


What does treatment involve?

Usually treatment takes around 30 – 45 minutes for full face and neck. Your skin will be cleansed and prepared with microdermabrasion. Using the advanced Pixel system there is no need for anaesthesia and the treatment is very comfortable.

What should I look for when I book a treatment? 

It's very important to check that the laser system used by your practitioner is FDA-approved. Laser Skin Resurfacing technologies are more invasive than other light based technologies and should only be conducted by fully qualified Doctors. Make sure that your doctor spends time to answer all your questions and the staff is supportive and helpful when you need them too.

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