Is laser peeling effective?

Botox, hyaluronic fillers, chemical peels, laser treatments: they promise to rejuvenate you for years, but are they really the modern elixir of youth? You can judge for yourself…


Patricia O’Bryan, 58, lives in Bigin Hill, Kent, runs an organic grocery store. She is married to Vincent, who owns a construction company. They have 3 grown children and 7 grandchildren. Patricia said:

Patricia Obrien

Before the procedure

"I've reached an age where I always think I don't look my best.""I dress youthfully and am a cheerful person, but like many women I reached an age where I felt I didn't look my best. What bothered me the most was the dark pigmentation around my eyes and on my cheeks.My skin wasn't as tight anymore and the under eye area was cracked. This was all due to sun damage - I had never done any sunbathing, but like most fair skinned British women, I burned very easily and am now paying the price.Desperate to find a solution to the problem, I often read articles about laser treatments and how they work. I came across an article on laser fractional peels written in 2005 about using the light from laser systems to make microscopic pinholes in the skin. This stimulates collagen production, making the skin firmer and flatter. I found this technology to be much less invasive compared to other treatments. I did a laser fractional peel, which works at both a deeper and superficial level to remove pigmentation."

Patricia Obrien 1

After 1 day

"It was a relatively painful procedure, and when I looked in the mirror, I looked like I had a sunburn.""First they put a deep layer of anesthetic cream on me for about 45 minutes until my skin went numb. The laser peel took about 20 minutes.It was relatively painful, I would compare it to multiple hot sniffs. There was an additional machine that emitted a very cold blast of air and made the treatment less painful.When I looked in the mirror after the treatment, I was burning all over - I looked like I had a severe sunburn. The train ride home was horrible - I was so worried.I was warned by the doctor to sleep sitting up with 3 pillows to reduce the swelling, but overall the first night I could barely sleep.My whole face was sore and swollen and my eyes were like slits. The next day my face felt like sandpaper and sore.When I applied a thick layer of moisturizer it directly sank into my dried out face. I didn't feel good at all and just wanted to hide. I couldn't imagine going to my granddaughter's birthday party in three days."

Patricia Obrien 2

In a week

"I developed a cold sore as a result of the trauma to my skin from the laser peel, but I looked much better.""I developed a small cold sore on the top of my lower lip, but apart from that I looked much better. Most of the redness was gone by the time my birthday rolled around and I was able to go.Anyway, my skin still felt rough and very dry, which I had been warned was a normal temporary reaction after fraxel.My skin started to peel in very small pieces, very subtle, not too obvious."

Patricia Obrien 3

In a month

"My face looked firmer and smoother and both my husband and daughter agreed that I looked much better.""I was already convinced that the treatment was having a very good effect and worthwhile when three weeks after it, one of the regulars who hadn't come in for a while said, 'There's been a change in you. You look great!"My husband and daughter said I looked much better. I could see from the pre-treatment photos that my pigmentation had improved, especially in the cheek area.I still didn't realize how awful the brown spots on my face were and how old they made me look. They had actually aged me even more than the wrinkles.My face looked much firmer and smoother, my pores had shrunk - and that was just the first few days after the procedure. I was told it would continue to improve over the next 2 to 5 months.This procedure was not the cheapest, but I definitely plan to repeat it. It made me believe that I could take my age into my own hands and influence it. I think I have rejuvenated myself by 4-5 years."

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