If you're looking for a way to achieve smoother, younger-looking skin, you may want to consider carbon dioxide laser resurfacing.
This cosmetic procedure involves the removal of the top layer of your skin as well as stimulating the production of collagen from deep within, resulting in the formation of new skin cells and improvement of your skin's texture and tightness.
What is Carbon Dioxide Laser Resurfacing?
Laser resurfacing is a minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure that rejuvenates your skin by the use of lasers. A common type of laser resurfacing used by board-certified plastic surgeons is carbon dioxide laser resurfacing or CO2 laser resurfacing.
Lasers in this cosmetic technique are used to improve the surface of your skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, enlarged oil glands, scarring, and more. The treatment works by removing skin one layer at a time resulting in the formation of new skin cells, as well as stimulating collagen production and innate regenerative techniques by your body.
What are the Benefits of Carbon Dioxide Laser Resurfacing?
CO2 laser resurfacing is a popular cosmetic procedure because it's minimally invasive and is an ideal treatment for people looking to start their anti-aging journey.
Working by heating the collagen in the skin, CO2 laser resurfacing causes the collagen to shrink and the skin to tighten, resulting in a smoother, more youthful appearance. This procedure can be used on your face, neck, and hands to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, and several other skin conditions.
If you have any of the following conditions, you may be a good candidate for carbon dioxide laser resurfacing:
- Sun damage
- Enlarged oil glands
What are the Different Types of Laser Resurfacing?
Laser resurfacing can be of two main types:
- Ablative Lasers
Ablative lasers remove your epidermis, or skin's outer layer, and stimulate the production of collagen in the deeper dermis layer. Your plastic surgeon may recommend an ablative laser therapy if you have scarring, actinic keratosis, or seborrheic keratosis.
- Non-ablative Lasers
A milder option, especially for patients with redness and hyperpigmentation, non-ablative lasers also work to increase the production of collagen while keeping your epidermis layer intact. Non-ablative lasers are bests for fine lines, mild hyperpigmentation, and mild changes to the texture of your skin.
Is a CO2 Laser Resurfacing Treatment Right for You?
Laser resurfacing is a popular cosmetic procedure that can improve the appearance of the skin. However, it can be expensive and requires downtime for recovery.
Scheduling an appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon can help—they are experts in the field and can help decide if CO2 laser resurfacing is the right cosmetic treatment for your current health and overall anti-aging goals.
What to Expect During a CO2 Laser Resurfacing Procedure
An outpatient procedure, laser resurfacing treatments can be done in the comfort of your doctor's office. They'll start by numbing the areas to be treated; for more extensive procedures, you may require general anesthesia. Most CO2 laser resurfacing treatments take 45 minutes; however, a full-face treatment can take up to two hours.
The results can be both immediate and long-lasting when you have a facial treatment such as laser resurfacing. Depending on the type of laser resurfacing, the depth of penetration, and the aggressiveness of the treatment, results can last for months or years.
While the number of sessions required for optimal results varies from patient to patient, you'll typically need three to six sessions of laser resurfacing to have a noticeable appearance on your skin.
CO2 Laser Resurfacing is Safe When Performed by a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
While this is a minimally-invasive procedure with minimal downtime, some patients may experience side effects associated with the treatment. This can include:
- Skin discoloration
- Damage to the surrounding tissue
Before undergoing the treatment, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits of CO2 laser resurfacing with a qualified medical professional such as a board-certified plastic surgeon.