What is laser resurfacing?
Well, let’s start off by understanding more about Laser Resurfacing.
Laser resurfacing is a popular cosmetic procedure in Singapore that uses a laser to improve the appearance of your skin and create a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance. While it is a popular procedure known by many, there are several potential downsides that one should take into consideration before undertaking the procedure.
The History of Skin Resurfacing
So how was skin resurfacing done before lasers?
The principle behind this procedure is removing the outer layers of the skin to allow a new, younger layer to regenerate. This was done with chemical peels, where a lotion is applied to the skin to cause peeling. The depth depends on the type and concentration of the peeling agent used.
Another method was known as dermabrasion. The easiest way to describe this is “sandpapering” the face. The patient is left with a bleeding wound that needs dressings and a recovery period of several weeks. These methods work very well for White people (Skin types I – II). The ideal time is to do it is in winter, to avoid the sun.
Unfortunately, both of these methods cause a horrible complication, especially for Asians – post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If you realize, Asians are prone to this problem – pimples leaving a dark pigmented spot on our skin for many months; But Caucasians do not face this issue.
Modern laser resurfacing treatments
There are “non-ablative” and “ablative” laser treatments.
Non-Ablative Laser Treatments
For laser skin rejuvenation, the popular procedure in Singapore is “non-ablative” laser treatments, where the skin is not broken. The most commonly used laser is the Nd:Yag. It emits a color of light that targets blood vessels, pigmentation (melanin) and black tattoos.
The principle is that the laser light will penetrate the skin surface without damaging it but cause thermal damage to deeper structures. This will “stimulate collagen growth”, which actually contains the same collagen in scar tissue.
Is Non-ablative the perfect solution for Asians then?
This is no panacea for Asian people because there is little visible improvement and creates a need, and therefore a market, for multiple treatments. Since you need to return for more, you will be offered a discount if you sign for a course of treatments instead of paying for each session.
Why not do it very frequently over multiple sessions?
There was once a chain in Singapore that offered this scheme and, in several cases, it left multiple spots of permanent hypopigmentation.
The ablative lasers are very good for treating acne scars but the laser needs to penetrate deeply enough to cause an effect. One innovation to achieve this without removing an entire layer of skin is the fractionated laser, which removes microscopic columns of skin.
Is Fractional re-surfacing “non-ablative”?
It still ablates the surface layers and can still cause hyperpigmentation but the rate of occurence is much less than the traditional methods. There will be some “burn marks” for about 5 days before these scabs fall off. There is therefore, “downtime” which you must expect.
Cons of Laser Resurfacing Treatments
A properly done laser resurfacing is painful. An anaesthetic cream is applied for 30 minutes before the procedure and the skin needs to be cooled during the procedure. Following the procedure, there is a recovery period.
Our experience doing laser resurfacing in Chinese people is good. However, we always do a test patch for anyone with a darker skin type. We have Indians that have responded well to the test patch and came back for the full treatment. In some cases, we also experience some who found that the test patch became hyperpigmented.
Why are some fractional re-surfacing treatments so fast & require no anaesthesia?
Generally, it takes about an hour to complete one procedure for each patient. This essentially means that the turnover rate for each treatment is low.
One way to shorten the duration and reduce complications is to do the laser treatment over multiple sessions and minimize the lasering on the face every session. However, while minimal treatment indicates minimal risk, this also leads to minimal results. In this case, there isn’t much purpose in pursuing this treatment.
Well. The answer is simple: the laser has a good reputation on the internet, and it attracts customers, but most of the patients would not be receiving the full treatment procedure. To improve the result from the minimal
laser treatment, the beautician adds a peeling agent to the lotions she uses to clean the face before / after treatment.
If you’re considering laser resurfacing in Singapore, make sure to do your research and choose a reputable practitioner with experience in the field. While laser treatment does have some risks, it can be an effective way to improve the appearance of your skin and boost your confidence!
At SIM ENT & Facial Surgery, we’re a practice with extensive experience in performing ENT and Facial Surgery Procedures in Singapore. We are dedicated in guiding every single one of our patients in making an informed decision to achieve your most desired outcome. Schedule a consultation today and let us help you attain your aesthetical goals!