Fractional laser resurfacing (FLR)
What is FLR?
- This is a treatment which uses a light beam to drill minute holes into the skin. Healthy skin then grows back into the holes so that the new skin is smoother.
- The heat from the laser beam also stimulates the skin to produce new collagen so the skin is also more elastic and looks tighter and younger.
What is it used for?
- FLR can reduce or eliminate wrinkles and scars (including acne scars)
- FLR can reduce or eliminate sun-damaged skin (pigmented areas, uneven skin colour)
- FLR can also remove a variety of skin lesions such as nodules, warts, xanthelasmata, etc.
Is it painful?
- A local anaesthetic (EMLA cream) is usually applied to the area to be treated at least 30 minutes before (i.e. patient has to be at estetika 30 minutes before procedure).
- Ice cooling used during and after the procedure will minimise discomfort.
How long does each session last? How many treatments are necessary?
- A treatment may last up to 30 minutes depending on the area and nature of the problem to be treated.
- Significant improvement in wrinkles and scars is seen even after the first session, but for the maximum effect around 4 treatments are recommended, at 3 to 4 week intervals.
- Since the skin continues remodelling itself after the treatment, improvement is continuous even months after the last treatment.
What are the side-effects and possible complications?
- Some burning sensation may be felt for a few hours after. This is minimised with ice cooling and gels post treatment.
- Swelling (2 to 3 days), crusting (3 to 4 days) and redness (up to 1 week) are expected as part of the healing process.
- Rarely the skin becomes hypo- or hyper-pigmented. Using a sunblock and avoiding sun during the treatment programme will minimise this risk.
- Reactivation of cold sore is possible. The patient will be asked about previous attacks in the consultation so prevention can be given.
- Infections and scars are rare complications which can be avoided with proper precautions.
Who cannot use FLR?
- Use of acne treatments called RETINOIDS in the past 6 months.
- Surgery to the face (e.g. face lifts) in the last 6 months.
- Skin peeling in the last 10 days.
- Certain skin diseases.