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Some advice on skin resurfacing

One of the methods used to improve wrinkles, scars and irregularities of contour and texture is simply to remove the upper layers of the skin so that with healing, a smoother healthier looking skin will resurface. This method, known as skin resurfacing, can be done in a variety of ways:-

  • Chemical peels
  • Dermabrasion
  • Laser resurfacing (laser peeling)

Some procedures such as superficial chemical peels are simple and complications are rare, others are more extensive and may involve some risks and/or higher cost. It is therefore, important to ask yourself two questions:-

  • The first is whether you need any treatment in the first place
  • The second is are you a suitable candidate for that particular procedure
The checklist below addresses some of these questions. Finally, always bear in mind that the objective of treatment is improvement and not perfection so be realistic with your expectations or you may end up disappointed.

Some questions to ask yourself

Questions to as yourself   Yes (tick) Reasons or basis for the questions 
Right reasons for choosing treatment?    Have treatment because you want to, not to please someone else. 
The defect is obvious to others?    Your defect must be real and not imagined. However minor, it should still be visible to others, especially the doctor. 
Realistic expectations?    The objective is improvement not perfection.
Treatment can only improve your appearance, not help you gain friends or achieve advance goals 
Understand the procedure and anaesthetic requirements?    You must understand what the procedure involves, what form of anaesthesia will be used and what preparations are required. This will help allay anxiety. 
Understand fully the after-care requirements?    Some procedures require special after-care such as daily change of dressings, et cetera 
Understand the risks involved?   

Complications are generally, rare under the hands of an experience physician. Nonetheless, you must understand what the possible risks are so that you can make a decision whether to have treatment or not.

I am willing to make necessary changes to my lifestyle?    It will be a pity if after undergoing, for example, expensive procedures to reverse some of the signs of photoageing for you to continue outdoor sporting activities without taking any precautions a against the sun.
I am comfortable with the doctor?    You must feel comfortable with the doctor in terms of his skill, his attitude and his honesty 
I have no medical problems that will complicate treatment or its outcome?   

You must be in reasonable health as this has an influence on the choice of treatment, your rate of recovery and the risk of complications.

I have no psychological or psychiatric problems?    If you have psychological or psychiatric problems, you should get these attended to before seeking treatment..
Skin heals normally?   Your skin’s healing ability is important so that it does not leave unsightly or lumpy scars (keloids) after surgery 
Cost is within budget?    Prices vary from doctor to doctor and insurance companies generally do not cover the costs of cosmetic procedures. 
I have considered other alternatives?     Decide after you have considered other, more conservative options.

The answers to these questions should be yes or you should reconsider your decision or seek further medical advice.

For more information about the indivudual procedure, follow the links below:

Chemical peels | Dermabrasion | Laser resurfacing