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The Art of Laser Skin Resurfacing

Surveys conducted by the British Skin Foundation show the proportion of the UK population who suffer from acne to be in the region of 30%, with an overwhelming 95% of the afflicted claiming a direct impact on their day to day lives. Understandably, those numbers jump even higher amongst adolescents, where closer to the vast majority will, at some point, suffer from unwanted acne.

Acne scarring is only one of many reasons clients might seek out a specialist laser clinic for skin resurfacing, rejuvenation and traumatic or surgical scar removal. Whether or not you’re prone to undesirable acne scarring, not one of us is immune to the ravages of time or exempt from injury, invincible though we may sometimes feel.

Whether you’re blighted by acne scarring, suffering from sun exposure damage, fearful of fine lines, wrinkles or loose and lax skin, or tired of those troublesome traumatic or surgical scars and patches of roughness, laser skin resurfacing is the ideal and irresistible path to regaining your skins natural more youthful appearance.

Why is a specialist needed?

When it comes to aesthetics, as with any branch of medicine, any course of treatment has to be a suitable fit for your individual condition. We are all unique, with different needs which have to be carefully assessed first.

When it comes to scarring, there are numerous classifications and complexity which utterly rule out any notions of a ‘one size fits all’ solution. These classifications are typically based on colour and texture, so, as you can imagine, this creates a broad spectrum of possibilities and challenges which require a specific, carefully considered approach.

Several advanced laser systems and considerable skill from the physician are required to ensure optimal results when treating the wide range of scar types. Different laser wavelengths are required to treat red scars (PIE) brown scars (PIH), boxcar and rolling scars, atrophic or tethered scars and ice pick or hypertrophic scarring. The choice of which laser technology to use is taxing to the most experienced laser operator.

To further complicate matters, it is rare for any one client to present with only one specific type of scar, hence a combination approach is usually required.

This is why we will always highly recommend a consultation with a medical doctor before making extensive inroads into treatment options. At Cambridge Laser Clinic, we offer free doctor consultations with no obligations to proceed to treatment whatsoever.

Contact us if you need someone to discuss your case, talk you through the options and find the best route for you.

How does the treatment work?

Resurfacing lasers work by targeting water within the skin and removing with precision either part or all of the skins surface to reveal the more youthful skin beneath.

As the epidermis regenerates, new cells develop without the memory of the scar or wrinkle that was previously present.

Non ablative lasers such as the Fraxel Restore (1550nm) or Fraxel Dual

(1550nm + 1927nm) work by a pure thermal (heat) effect, they do not remove the upper layers of the skin. These thermal lasers provide inferior results to true ablative lasers such as the Erbium YAG 2940nm or CO2 10,600nm.

Ablative lasers remove the top layers of the skin and provide superior results. At Cambridge Laser Clinic we offer both the MCL 31 Dermablate Erbium YAG 2940nm manufactured by Asclepion and the CO2 10,600nm CO2RE laser produced by Candela.

Traditional lasers remove the entire surface of the skin leaving a raw wound beneath – we prefer this technology for epidermal work such as removing the shoulders of deep scars or severe wrinkles.

Fractional lasers create a matrix of microscopic drill holes each the size of a human hair. They remove only part of the skin surface leaving undamaged areas between the holes that can promote rapid wound healing and reduce side effects. This mode is our preferred choice for working within the deeper dermis of the skin. We utilise Erbium YAG 2940nm laser and CO2 10,600nm lasers in both traditional and fractional resurfacing modes – both lasers and methods have their strengths and weaknesses.

What to expect

Firstly, as we’ve mentioned, you’ll need a consultation with one of our skin specialists so that your case can be discussed, assessed and a suitable treatment plan developed for your needs.

While these treatments are not limited to any part of the body, it’s worth noting that these techniques work best on facial skin.

Treatments themselves are typically performed in a series of 1 to 4 sessions at monthly intervals, depending on the lasers used and severity of the condition.

During your procedure, mild discomforts from the heat build-up of the lasers are combated with refrigerated cold air which we direct gently over the epidermis, or using local anaesthetics.

While downtime is minimised as much as possible, it is advisable for more advanced procedures to choose a window of up to a week post procedure to ensure a comfortable recovery. For lighter procedures, a long weekend may suffice.

Light procedures often result in redness and mild swelling for 2-4 days followed by gentle peeling. More aggressive treatments usually result in severe redness and swelling for 2-3 days, bronzing of the skin at day 2-5 and shedding of the skin at day 4-7.

By following detailed aftercare advice offered post treatment by your medical doctor at Cambridge Laser Clinic, these temporary after effects should mostly fade in less than a week of post treatment care.


Due to the wide range of possibilities when dealing with scarring, exact pricing will need to be discussed at your consultation. We can, however, offer a pricing model based on lasers used per session.

Area to be treated

Price per Session

Half area

(Using Er Yag 2940nm laser – ideal for superficial/medium depth skin resurfacing and those with darker skin tones)


One area

(Using Er Yag 2940nm laser – ideal for superficial/medium depth skin resurfacing and those with darker skin tones)


Half area

(Using CO2 10,600nm laser – ideal for medium depth and deep skin resurfacing, and those with lighter skin tones or more severe imperfections)


One area

(Using CO2 10,600nm laser – ideal for medium depth and deep skin resurfacing, and those with lighter skin tones or more severe imperfections)


We perform test patches at a cost of £50.

Further Reading

We have aimed to provide you with as many of the key facts you need to know when considering these innovative procedures as is possible, however, we appreciate the hunger many clients feel for more knowledge

Those interested in learning more on laser skin resurfacing or scarring will find a wealth of information across our website, and anyone seeking more depth or discussion can reach out to our team via our contact page. We’re always happy to help.