One of the most common procedures in skincare clinics and beauty salons is skin resurfacing. Skin resurfacing is replacing the old, damaged skin cells with new ones. It is also used to treat wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and other skin problems.
At the moment, the most-used technique is controlled trauma to the skin that pushes the body to heal the damaged skin cells by replacing them with new, healthy cells. In the meantime, the body also makes more collagen, elastin, and other skin elements.
Based on this concept, the basis of skin resurfacing is performing micro-traumas on the skin and inducing the body to dissolve old, damaged skin cells with healthy new cells. The three most common techniques are burning the skin surface with acid, poking the skin with needles, and burning the skin with laser beams.
Acid peeling is widely used as a skin resurfacing technique. Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) is the most commonly used acid in skincare salons. Stronger acid is used in more professional dermatology clinics under supervision. Acid literally burns the skin and removes superficial layers of the skin. This process is called exfoliation. Burning the skin with acid is considered trauma to the body and, like any other trauma to the body, stimulates and starts the healing process.
Micro-needling and derma-roller are essentially the same with different skin penetration depths. In this technique, the devices make hundreds or thousands of holes inside the skin by poking fine needles. The difference between micro-needling and derma-roller is the depth of the hole. Micro-needling uses electrical devices and penetrates much deeper into the skin. The deeper the holes inside the skin, the more damage and the more new skin cells will replace the old. Needling skin resurfacing, like acid resurfacing, is based on damaging the skin cells and pushing the body to make new cells to replace the damaged ones.
Laser skin resurfacing is another popular but more expensive technique that, by hurting the skin, stimulates and initiates the skin healing process. The common name for laser skin resurfacing is “fractional laser.” In this technique, hundreds of laser beams hit the skin and literally burn it. To heal this trauma, the skin replaces the old, damaged cells with new, healthy cells. The technician can adjust the depth of the laser penetration and stimulate deeper skin layers.
Skin resurfacing is based on damaging the skin cells and forcing the body to dissolve the old, damaged cells and replace them with new cells. In the meantime, not only are damaged skin cells replaced, but also the body makes more collagen, elastin, and other valuable skin elements.
There is another smart technique that, instead of damaging the normal skin cells, pushes and inserts fragmented peptides (a type of protein) inside the skin. By detecting damaged protein, the skin healing system activates and increases the turnover in replacing the old skin cells with new ones.
To achieve a good result, skin resurfacing needs to occur in more than one session, on average 4 to 10 sessions. If the treatment process doesn’t work correctly, you may experience post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. One of the reactions of the skin to trauma is inflammation. When there is inflammation, the skin is vulnerable to the hazardous effects of UV and sunlight damage. To protect the body, the skin makes more melanin (pigments). These new pigments undergo a condition called hyperpigmentation, and it is something that we seriously try to avoid. Treating hyperpigmentation is hard and may take a very long time. For the same reason, if there is existing inflammation from acne, scars, and peeling, you must postpone the skin resurfacing treatment until the inflammation is completely subsided. To prevent hyperpigmentation, before each session of skin resurfacing, you must make sure there is no inflammation of any form.