How does non-ablative fractional laser treatment work?
The erbium glass-fibre laser system produces an array of microscopic light beams that selectively target and heat the problem or damaged area in the skin. It can be precisely controlled to create a series of tiny, pixel-sized or ‘fractional’ perforations in the skin within the treatment zone.
The laser effectively rebuilds or replaces ‘columns’ of skin tissue and leaves the surrounding tissue intact.
As a non-ablative laser it uses a wavelength that heats up the water in the tissue but does not cause it to evaporate (ablate).
The result is smoother, clearer and more youthful-looking skin.
What happens during the treatment?
Before we start the treatment programme, in the first session we will perform a skin test on the treatment area, to make sure your skin is suitable for the procedure.
During the procedure, we apply the laser hand-piece to your skin, passing it across the treatment area several times in different directions to make sure the whole area is covered evenly.
Because the rays of the fractional laser heat your skin, we can apply a topical anaesthetic cream to the treatment area if you need it.
However, the ClearSkin Er:Glass has an integrated contact cooling system, to further minimise discomfort.
Side effects and downtime
As this laser treatment does not cause tissue evaporation or ablation, it avoids the side effects and downtime associated with other (especially ablative) laser procedures.
The fractional method of delivering the laser energy leaves the surrounding tissue intact. This helps speed up healing and recovery, and reduces the likelihood of side effects or downtime.
However, you may have some mild redness or swelling in the treated area, which can last for a few hours but can be covered with makeup if needed.
Treatment schedule and results
For acne, acne scarring and other skin conditions, we recommend a series of 4 to 6 treatments sessions.
Treatments should be spaced 2 to 3 weeks apart, and every 6 months during the maintenance period.
We are not able to provide this treatment for you if you have:
- tanned skin (active tan) from sun exposure or tanning bed use in the previous 30 days
- any inflammatory skin condition (such as eczema or active herpes simplex) at the treatment site,
- skin cancer or any other cancer (including being on cancer drug therapy),
- a history of keloid scarring,
If you are pregnant, you will need to wait until menstruation returns and you are no longer breast feeding.