Facial resurfacing, a growing trend

Ingy Deif, Thursday 29 Nov 2012

Increasing numbers of Egyptians are indulging in facial resurfacing in an attempt to look younger. But is it for everyone?

photo: Reuters resurfacing

The laser beam took the world by storm when it was introduced in 1958. Since then it has been put to many uses. For example, it is used by dermatologist for cosmetic procedures, one of which is facial resurfacing.

Dr Hossam Abu-Elatta, lecturer in plastic surgery at Ain Shams University, says the laser is used for skin-peeling procedures which remove the outer, damaged layer of skin to reveal a smoother, younger look, and thus reduce the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, and some superficial scars, usually on the face.

Dr Abu-Elatta explains that the surgeon uses a carbon dioxide laser beam of precisely focused light to vaporise the skin surface and reveal the undamaged layer beneath.

"The effect of laser resurfacing is profound and remarkable, and the number of procedures is increasing year on year as people become aware of various cosmetic options," says Dr Mona Soliman, professor of dermatology and laser therapy at Cairo University's National Institute of Laser Science.

"The process has been revolutionary in the field of dermatology, especially with the introduction of the new fractional laser that minimises any side effects and is safer," Dr Soliman says.

The instruments and techniques used fifteen or twenty years ago completely removed the epidermis, Dr Soliman says. This could cause some irritation and side effects, but for the last ten years surgeons and specialists have used what is called fractional beam.

"Rather than removing the whole epidermal surface, the fractional beam focuses on specific areas and leaves the rest of the skin to help in the healing process. Also, this technique is very good for the colour tone of the average Egyptian," she says.

So is it safe and permanent?

"Well, nothing is permanent, but the effect lasts for a very long time and is remarkable. It removes fine wrinkles thus shedding years from the face in addition to eliminating acne scars and sun damage and generally giving the skin a fresh new start. Nevertheless, the duration and effect depends on the absence of malpractice, which is the main cause of side effects in this procedure," says Soliman.

"We highly recommend that a person chooses a reputable practitioner when it comes to resurfacing to ensure maximum efficiency and absolute safety. Also, it is very important to undergo tests by the doctor, to keep away from the sun for around a week after the procedure and to use a good sunscreen product afterwards. It is also important to use the lotions prescribed to promote the healing process."  


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