Skin Rejuvenation and Resurfacing

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Skin rejuvenation and resurfacing treatments are designed to improve the texture, clarity and overall appearance of your skin. These procedures can improve the effects of skin damage, such as wrinkles, blotches or scarring. Skin rejuvenation can be achieved in a number of ways, ranging from laser, light and other energy-based treatments to chemical peels and other non-ablative methods. The result is a smoother, clearer and more youthful appearance to your skin.

Skin rejuvenation may be able to treat:

  • Static wrinkles, which are wrinkles that are visible at all times and do not change in appearance with facial movements
  • Pigmentation of the skin, including freckles, sun spots, melasma, or other darkened patches of skin resulting mainly from sun exposure
  • Scars that may appear as the result of acne or injury to the skin. Scars may be rolling (a wavy appearance to the skin), pitted, discoloured, or have raised borders
  • Vascular conditions, such as having blood vessels that are visible on the surface of the skin, vascular lesions that appear as tiny blood filled blisters or even a constant flush of facial redness
  • Loss of skin tone caused by weakening of the supportive skin structure (collagen and elastin fibres) that results in a loss of skin firmness, or the development of cellulite

Skin rejuvenation is a highly individualised procedure and may not be suitable for everyone. Always talk to your Specialist Plastic Surgeon before making a decision. Your surgeon will assess your condition and general health, and plan the treatment that is best suited to you.

Before you decide on undergoing skin rejuvenation, there are some important issues to keep in mind:

  • It is not always possible to predict the outcome of skin rejuvenation. Responses can vary
  • Skin rejuvenation cannot halt the ageing process or the effects of ageing
  • Skin rejuvenation cannot result in “perfect skin”
  • Deep wrinkles may appear less obvious after skin rejuvenation, but they may not disappear. Sometimes, improvements are minimal or unnoticeable
  • Acne scars can be difficult to treat and may require several treatments

Skin rejuvenation may not be a good option for patients with:

  • Certain skin types
  • Certain skin colours
  • Skin that scar easily, such as the tendency to form thick, hypertrophic or keloid scars
  • An active infection

Skin rejuvenation may be a good option for you if:

  • You are physically healthy
  • You have realistic expectations of what skin rejuvenation can accomplish
  • You are a non-smoker or have stopped smoking

Skin rejuvenation can be performed with the use of topical anaesthetic cream, a local anaesthetic, a local anaesthetic with conscious sedation or a general anaesthetic. The choice of anaesthetic will depend on the size of the area to be treated.

Modern anaesthesia is safe and effective, but does have some risks. Ask your Specialist Plastic Surgeon and anaesthetist for more information. Your surgeon and/or anaesthetist will ask you about all the medications you are taking or have taken, and any allergies you may have. Make sure you have an up to date list before the procedure takes place.

Skin rejuvenation is generally safe but does have the potential for risks and complications to occur.
Some risks and complications associated with skin rejuvenation may include but are not limited to:

  • Infection resulting in scarring
  • Patients with a history of herpes (cold sores), acne, allergies or infections in the treatment area may experience an out-break of their condition on the resurfaced area
  • Treatment around the eyes may inflame the membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids and cause conjunctivitis
  • The formation of keloid and hypertrophic scars which are raised, red and thickened scars
  • Changes to skin pigmentation
  • Redness
  • Dark pigmentation may occur when the newly treated skin is exposed to the sun
  • Pain or itchiness
  • Pimples and whiteheads
  • Skin sensitivity to allergens
  • Worsening acne
  • Depression and trouble sleeping in the first week
  • Further treatment may be necessary to correct complications

Skin rejuvenation is usually performed as a day case in an accredited day surgery. If you are combining skin rejuvenation with another procedure, a short hospital stay may be required.

Before undergoing the procedure, it is important that you:

  • Be as fit as possible to help the recovery process
  • Stop smoking
  • Do not wear makeup, mascara, contact lenses or hairspray on the day of treatment

Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will recommend a skin care program to condition your skin a few weeks prior to undergoing treatment. Follow these instructions carefully.

If you are suffering from cold sores, you may be required to take anti-viral medicines prior to treatment. You may also be advised to stop taking certain medicines.

Prepare a “recovery area” in your home. This may include pillows, ice packs, a thermometer and a telephone within easy reach. Make sure you arrange for a relative or friend to drive you to and from the hospital or clinic. Someone should also stay with you for at least 24 hours after you return home.

Your surgeon should give detailed instructions to prepare for the procedure. Follow them carefully.

Arrange for a relative or friend to drive you home after the procedure. Someone should also stay with you for at least the first day after the operation and preferably for a few days.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, notify your Specialist Plastic Surgeon immediately:

  • Temperature higher than 38°C or chills
  • Persistent bleeding around the treated area
  • Increasing pain or redness in the treated area

After undergoing skin rejuvenation, you may experience some pain and discomfort. This is normal. Usually paracetamol or aspirin is effective in treating the pain. Your surgeon will prescribe pain killers if required.

Dressings may be applied to the treatment area to reduce swelling, pain and redness. Your surgeon may also give you an ointment or Vaseline to apply to the skin to help it heal. Use only the creams recommended by your surgeon.

Depending on the extent of your procedure, you may need to take a few weeks off work to rest. Avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, swimming and strenuous sports until advised by your surgeon.

Make sure you protect your skin from the sun, including the regular use of sunscreen when outdoors.

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on post-procedural care. Be sure to follow them carefully.

Depending on the extent of your procedure, further treatment may be necessary to achieve the optimal result or to correct minor irregularities.

Cost is always a consideration in elective procedures. Prices for individual procedures can vary widely between Specialist Plastic Surgeons. Some factors that may influence the cost include the surgeon’s experience, the type of procedure used and the geographic location of the office.
Costs associated with the procedure may include:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Hospital or surgical facility costs
  • Anaesthesia fees
  • Prescriptions for medication
  • Medical tests

Your surgeon should welcome any questions you may have regarding fees.

Dynamic wrinkles:
Expression lines that may appear as folds when the skin is not moving, and deepen with facial movements or expressions

General anaesthesia:
Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness

Intravenous sedation:
Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to achieve relaxation

Local anaesthesia:
A drug injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain

Freckles, sun spots, melasma, or other darkened patches of skin result mainly from sun exposure

As the result of acne or injury to the skin, scars may be rolling (a wavy appearance to the skin), pitted, discoloured, or have raised borders

Static wrinkles:
Wrinkles that are visible at all times

Visit the Plastic Surgery Glossary for more medical terms.

This website is intended to provide you with general information only. This information is not a substitute for advice from your Specialist Plastic Surgeon and does not contain all the known facts about this procedure or every possible side effect of surgery. It is important that you speak to your surgeon before deciding to undergo surgery. If you are not sure about the benefits, risks and limitations of treatment, or anything else relating to your procedure, ask your surgeon to explain. Patient information provided as part of this website is evidence-based, and sourced from a range of reputable information providers including the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Better Health Channel and Mi-tec medical publishing.

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