The increasing demand from patients to attain more youthful skin has driven the field of facial rejuvenation. Ablative technologies and laser technology are amongst of the most effective modalities. Laser resurfacing is a safe and effective treatment. Newer technologies have allowed improved safety. It involves the principle of selective photothermolysis and minimal damage to the surrounding tissues. The authors discuss the various lasers, but the CO2 laser is still the gold standard. Erbium: YAG lasers cause a more superficial wound and with the reduced thermal damage produce inferior skin tightening. The Er:YSGG laser is still being used and conclusive studies are awaited. The authors also discuss nitrogen plasma resurfacing, this is mainly effective against mild rhytids and has limited efficacy in more severe signs of ageing. There is a full discussion of the indications and patient selections. Most importantly, the authors, while stressing the safety margin, discuss the complications and their avoidance. The authors have reviewed the popular modalities in laser resurfacing and stress careful patient selection and choice of treatments. A good selection of full colour photographs shows their results. The avoidance of complications is discussed.

Ablative skin resurfacing.
Agarwal N, Smith G, Heffelfinger R.

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Sunil K Bhatia

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Shrewsbury, UK.

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