CO2 Laser Resurfacing Defined:
The CO2 is of course carbon dioxide. The lasers that use this gas are not really new, but have been used in times past for treating various skin conditions. It is only recently that this procedure has gained such a wide acceptance. What these lasers do, is to make use of very short bursts (ultra-pulsed) of light energy. These bursts serve to vaporize skin layers on the skin’s surface. Because this light is controlled and focused, this technique is extremely precise, and skin removal can be done with such precision that there is only minimal damage. The use of this technique has been done successfully in the treating of a wide variety of well-known skin conditions, like warts, wrinkles, acne, birthmarks, and scars. You can get a face lift, in office, that is non invasive, and all with remarkable results.
CO2 Laser Resurfacing & Treating Acne Scars:
Acne scarring occurs whenever skin follicles are inflamed because of bacterial infection. A broad range of treatments are available for treating this, from oral and topical medication to various therapies. The CO2 laser resurfacing treatment is among the latest technologies to emerge. It can be used to address irregularities on the skin such as wrinkles, blemishes, and acne scars.
What Patients Can Expect From This Technology:
A numbing agent is used when treating acne scars with this technology. This will help to minimize the pain. It is generally given as a local anesthesia and applied directly onto the area or areas being treated. With some patients there this may also be mixed with an orally administered sedative, or one administered intravenously. Patients undergoing full facial treatments might require a general anesthesia.
Full facial or partial resurfacing are both available options. It depends on what a patient needs. Full facial treatments usually take around one to two hours, and partial treatments are usually around thirty minutes to one hour. The CO2 laser treatments will many times be done as an out-patient procedure, which means a patient can expect to be going home right after their treatment.
Once the procedure is over, a dressing is applied for protection. This will remain over the treated area for around 24 hours. Patients are given full instructions on keeping the area clean. Because the skin’s outer layer is exposed over the next few days of post-treatment time, it’s recommended that they stay indoors in order to prevent having the area exposed to pollutants, sunlight, and irritants that could cause infection. Full recovery time is usually around 1 to 2 weeks.
This treatment is designed for removing the skin’s upper layers and create a surface that is smoother and more even. The skin is stimulated by the procedure in a manner that makes it more conducive to collagen production. This helps it to build a structure that is more stable. As the new skin is being produced throughout the healing time, a fresher tone and appearance is to be expected within several weeks of the procedure.
CO2 laser resurfacing has been viewed as being a safe treatment when handled by a licensed and skilled professional. There can be at times, however, a few side effects like:
Swelling – This treatment can sometimes result in a certain degree of swelling. Patients need to be aware that some downtime may be involved. It can, however, be treated with steroids.
Acne Breakouts – Right after being treated, there are some patients who experience acne breakouts. As the skin heals, these outbreaks usually heal up. If not, there are medicated solutions for the problem.
Hyper-pigmentation (hypo-pigmentation) – this can happen on the areas that were treated. The methods of resolving Hyper-pigmentation are bleaching solutions. However, Hypo-pigmentation could require some additional trips to see your dermatologist.
Infection – Bacterial infections may occur if treated areas are not kept clean or get contaminated. Patients will generally experience pain and swelling in these cases, but anti-biotics will usually clear it up.