These days, laser resurfacing is commonly done in Singapore but despite its widespread use, it still feels a little intimidating. Shining hundreds of tiny beams all over the skin has the potential to leave scabs and wounds. And no one is thrilled about that. Truth is, a lot of questions arise when patients are faced with such a treatment. They want to know basic stuff like how it works and what risks and benefits it packs. Without further ado, here are all the things to beware of if you are about to undergo fractional CO2 laser in Singapore.
What is the Difference between Fractionated and Unfractionated Laser?
The way the former type works is by treating a portion of the problematic area. The latter does not have the ability to focus on a small section of the treatment surface. Instead of distributing the laser beams equally, it directs them all over the place. This means that while treating the damaged cells, it also affects the healthy ones. Thus, people who get an unfractionated laser session take longer to recover.
Here is an example to better illustrate this. Let’s say we were to apply laser treatment to the pixels in a TV image. A fractionated one would act on certain segments of the area in a spatially-precise manner, leaving some pixels intact. In comparison, a non-fractionated would target the whole surface. Nothing would be spared.
For this reason, more and more companies are now manufacturing it fractional CO2 laser machines.
What Does a Fractional CO2 Laser in Singapore Do?
When used by a skilled aesthetic physician like Dr Edwin Lim from Edwin Lim Clinic, Fractional CO2 lasers excel at improving the texture of the skin by removing the effects of sun damage, wrinkles, acne and scars, as well as blotchiness. It can also be used on the neckline, arms, chest, and legs. However, it has to be operated by a qualified technician to work its magic without doing any harm. When applied in the right amounts, with sessions spaced adequately apart, it has the potential to wipe away years of your face. The best thing is that it works on almost all skin types.
What It Doesn’t Do
The pixilated laser does not treat dilated blood vessels, redness or discolouration. In some cases, it can add more pinkness to the complexion, making the condition appear worse.
What Type of Anaesthesia Is Used?
Different clinics have different practices. But since the CO2 laser “digs” deep into the layers of the skin, doctors offer both topical and local anaesthesia for maximum comfort. The former involves applying the cream directly on the skin to numb it while the latter is similar to what you experience at the dentist. If you are allowed to select the type of anaesthesia, you can also have IV sedation in place of the aforementioned methods.
How Many Treatments Are Required?
It depends on the condition of your skin and a few other factors. Most of the time a single treatment will achieve satisfactory results, but it is your doctor who can advise on the best course of action. If older versions of the laser are used, multiple rounds will be necessary.
Is the Treatment Painful?
During the procedure, most people experience discomfort which typically goes by the description of “pricking in the treatment area”. And once it’s over, they report their skin feels like it has gotten a mild sunburn. Thanks to the numbing cream, they don’t have to deal with excruciating pain or anything severe. The feeling usually goes away within two hours of completion of the manipulation.
What Is the Average Downtime?
The recovery lasts anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks depending on the anaesthesia and treatment intensity. Initial healing is seven days. This is the timeframe it takes for the red skin to peel off and give you your normal look back. Hence, you will feel like going out and resuming your routine.
What Results to Expect from the Treatment
There will be some immediate improvement in the skin following a fractional CO2 laser procedure. But the end result will begin to reveal gradually over the next six months. Throughout this time, the damaged cells will repair themselves and collagen production will spur, filling in some wrinkles and fine lines. After 26 weeks, that growth will come to an end and this is when you can expect to see the full outcome. From this moment on, it is highly unlikely that your complexion will have any more improvement.
How much does Fractional CO2 Laser treatment cost?
The cost of a fractional CO2 laser session in Singapore can vary from doctor to doctor. In most places, it will span between $400 and $700. Considering that there may be more than one round, it can get pretty expensive over time.
Your face will be extremely sensitive to ultraviolet light after the treatment, so you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect it. That includes applying ample amounts of sunscreen prior to going outdoors and using accessories (hats, glasses, etc.).
You should resist the temptation to peel your skin. When the time comes, it will flake off on its own. Ensure you stick with a gentle moisturiser and cleanser for your daily routine and don’t use any harsh products for a week.
Can You Have the Treatment at Home?
There are some DIY devices on the market that will spare your wallet, no initial training required. However, they generally work at low energy and density, using 1435 nm wavelength. Therefore, the results you will get with them won’t even begin to compare with what you can obtain at the doctor’s office. Besides, although the intensity is lower, there is still the risk of making a mess on your face that no device is capable of fixing afterwards.