you need to know about your skin in
order to make the informed choices if
you are considering cosmetic re-surfacing
of your skin:
It is important to realise several
- Your skin consists of two layers:
the outer epidermis and the inner
dermis and below the skin lies subcutaneous
fat and soft tissues.
- As cells move from the deeper epidermis
outwards they die and slough off.
Epidermal cells contain keratin (preventing
moisture both from entering and escaping).
Other cells in the skin make a pigment
called melanin, which is your only
natural protection against sun damage.
- The dermis is a thicker and contains
structural and elastic proteins as
well as glands; hair follicles; nerve
endings and blood vessels.
- The subcutaneous layer or hypodermis,
which is mostly fat, act as a cushion
to protect and insulate you thermally.
- Many factors combine to age your
- Cumulative sun exposure is a major
determinant of how your skin ages
' damaging both the epidermis
- Smoking damages and ages the skin
prematurely by damaging the small
blood vessels in the dermis and damaging
the collagen protein and elastic fibres
- Your genetic make up is a major
determinant of how you appear to age,
with some of us luckier than others!
- Poor nutrition will prematurely
age your skin, as will excessive alcohol
- Drugs and medications that you take
will also have an effect on your skin
Broadly speaking this is radical exfoliation
and involves removing the outer layers
of the epidermis and in so doing, stimulating
re-growth and re-modelling in both the
dermis and the epidermis.
In modern cosmetic practice, this can
be effected either with a laser or chemical
treatments applied to the skin: in both
cases your skin is being burned in a
controlled way to remove the outer layers,
whilst leaving enough in the deeper
epidermal layers to re-populate. In
trained hands, this is generally a safe
treatment, but even in the best hands
complications occur, and at those times,
an distinct advantage of being treated
by an accredited Consultant Plastic
Surgeon, is that you are being treated
by someone who has been trained for
many years to manage people with thermal
and chemical burns to the skin.
This involves using a carbon dioxide
laser to remove the outer layers of
your skin. This a is a good way to remove
superficial wrinkles on the cheeks and
around the mouth.
It is not suitable if you have taken
Accutane™ in the past 12 - 18
months or are prone to adverse scar
formation (keloid scarring). Nor is
it suitable if you have an active skin
infection on the area to be treated.
If you have had oral herpes, but do
not have an outbreak when you are being
treated, I will cover the treatment
period with a course of Acyclovir ™
The best candidates for laser resurfacing
have fair, healthy, non-oily skin and
have fine wrinkles around the lips,
eyes and cheeks. Patients with darker
skins have an increased risk of pigmentation
changes after laser resurfacing.
This is a weak acid which when
used in different concentrations can
be used to rejuvenate facial wrinkles
(cheeks, eyes, lips) and to flatten
and de-accentuate, and often remove,
the eyelid xanthelasma ' the yellow-white
plaques deposited in the skin around
the eyes of people who have raised serum
This peel is the most effective
skin treatment available outside the
operating theatre and can achieve dramatic
results. It can dramatically improve
the appearance of acne scaring, fine
wrinkles, uneven pigmentation and sun
damage to leave your skin healthy and