Do you imagine looking yourself in the mirror and envy the model you just saw on the internet? You have been working for that perfect skin but quarantine just ruined it all for you. Do not worry. We have a perfect solution for you. CO2 Skin Laser Resurfacing.
This treatment removes wrinkles, acne scars, fine lines, aging spots, etc. However, you will have to protect your skin after the treatment from excessive sun exposure.
What is Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Your dermatologist will perform a Laser Skin Resurfacing procedure which will help you improve the skin texture and appearance.
Moreover, this is a cosmetic procedure, your dermatologist will perform in the office.
There are two types of laser skin resurfacing:
- Ablative skin laser treatment
- Non-ablative skin laser treatments
Ablative lasers include carbon dioxide or Erbium. If you want to remove scars, warts, and deep wrinkles, your dermatologist will recommend CO2 laser treatment while if you want to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles along with superficial skin concerns, they will recommend you getting an Erbium laser treatment.
These two types of skin laser treatments are Ablative skin laser treatments.
Non-Ablative skin laser treatments, however, do not remove the layers of your skin. These treatments include pulsed light, pulsed dye lasers, and Fractional Laser. These treat skin concerns like rosacea, spider veins, and acne-related skin concerns.
learn more about Skin Disorders here.
CO2 Skin Laser Resurfacing
It involves your dermatologist using carbon dioxide CO2 and a skin surface removing laser to remove scars, warts, and deep wrinkles.
This cosmetic procedure uses very short pulsed light energy or continuous light beams that deliver in a scanning pattern to remove thin layers of skin with minimal heat damage.
Uses of CO2 Skin Laser Resurfacing
CO2 skin laser resurfacing is typically used to treat skin-related issues like wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, uneven skin tone and texture, eczema, sun-damaged skin, and mild to moderate acne scars.
It also treats large skin pores and deep hyperpigmentation.
Some other issues it treats are seborrheic keratosis, sebaceous gland hyperplasia, small syringomas, etc.
How to Prepare for The Procedure?
Before you decide to get the CO2 laser skin resurfacing treatment, consult your physician or dermatologist and discuss with them whether you are a good candidate for the treatment and potential risks.
Before they carry out the procedure, they will ask you for medical history and the medical conditions that you might have suffered in the past or you are currently suffering from.
They will also ask you if you had any skin treatment in the past. They will inspect your skin and the area of treatment.
This will help them determine what changes can be made and how your physical features might affect your results.
If you have a history of infection like herpes, your doctor will prescribe you antiviral medications before and after the treatment.
You need to avoid sun exposure at least two months before the treatment and after the treatment.
If you are a smoker, try to avoid it at least two weeks before the treatment as it will aid in healing your body quickly.
During the cosmetic procedure, your dermatologist will numb the area of treatment. They can also sedate you if the target area for skin resurfacing treatment is your whole face.
Your doctor may treat individual wrinkles around your eyes, mouth, or forehead or treat your entire face.
If your doctor is treating just a part of your face, it will take about 30 to 45 minutes while a full face treatment can take up to 2 hours.
Our skin consists of three layers.
The CO2 skin laser resurfacing works on your epidermis and dermis.
Your doctor will direct an intense beam of light energy on your skin which destroys the outer layer i.e. of the skin.
At the same time, it heats the underlying layer of your skin, i.e. epidermis which stimulates collagen production.
This results in better skin tone and texture over time.
If you are going for non-wounding laser or non-ablative laser treatment you may need to schedule a series of appointments over the course of weeks or months.
You can learn more about Skin Treatments in Dubai here.
After the Procedure
After your treatment, your skin will feel raw, swollen, and itchy. Your doctor will apply an ointment over your skin.
They might cover the treated area with an airtight and watertight dressing. They may also prescribe you pain medication and a cold compress.
Protect your skin from excessive sun exposure as it can cause damage to the results of the procedure.
It takes one or two weeks for the new skin to appear. During this time, do not use products that may irritate your skin, such as cosmetics and sunscreens.
In some cases, people can develop cold sores from cosmetic procedures. In such as case, consult your doctor.
Avoid certain situations that might cause an infection like swimming.
Your skin might few feel red or pink after the cosmetic procedure for several months. But once it starts to heal, you will notice visible changes in the quality of your skin.
You will notice an improvement in the texture and appearance of your skin. Avoid sun exposure and use the prescribed sunscreen for at least a year to avoid hyperpigmentation.
It is important that you use moisturizer. You can use products like Retin A or glycolic acid products after 6 weeks of the procedure.
Who is not a Candidate for CO2 Skin Laser Resurfacing?
CO2 Skin laser resurfacing is not recommended if you:
- If you face active bacterial, viral, or fungal infections
- Your immune system is not strong enough to heal the wounds
- You use isotretinoin within six months or before
- Suffer from collagen vascular disease, HIV, or systemic infections
Possible Risks and Side Effects
With every skin treatment, there are some possible risks and side effects but they subside with time.
Some of these are as follows:
Milia: These are small white bumps or cysts that may appear during the healing. You can gently remove them by using a cleanser with a washcloth or you may consult your dermatologist for removing these bumps.
Acne Flares: These occur after laser resurfacing and usually resolve on their own. You can consult your dermatologist for acne prescription medications to get rid of them.
Hyper-pigmentation: You may suffer from hyper-pigmentation or hypo-pigmentation after the treatment.
You can get these marks with a bleaching cream to ease the fading. Somewhat, hypo-pigmentation is difficult to treat, therefore consult your doctor.
Cold Sores: You might develop cold sores around your mouth after the procedure.
Bacterial Infections: You can take antibiotics before the surgery and after the surgery. Continue taking it for at least 7 to 10 days post-procedure.
Swelling: Most often, swelling occurs after the laser treatment, which subsides with time. Your doctor may prescribe you intramuscular steroids as well to lessen the swelling.
Scarring: Although rare, it may occur in laser-treated areas.
Cold Compress: To reduce swelling your doctor might recommend you using an extra pillow and a cold compress. This is particularly helpful in the first 24 to 48 hours.
Smoking: It is highly recommended that you quit smoking because of its harmful effects on the healing process.
By following the pre-care and post-care instructions of your doctor, you may reduce the risks and complications.
If you are taking medications for acne, it may cause scarring on your face as a side effect.
Before the procedure takes place, talk to your doctor about any medical conditions you have as well as the medications you take.
This can affect post-laser treatment recovery by increasing your bleeding risks.
Are the results permanent?
Ablative lasers correct your skin concerns in one treatment according to a study.
The extent of initial concern of treatment base on the individual results and they vary. Once you are done with the treatment, the results may last for several years.
However, the results are not permanent. You may need to repeat the procedure at some point to treat the skin-related issues.
Select your Dermatologist
This procedure is delicate in nature; therefore, it is important to work with a dermatologist who has vast experience in this field.
Ask your dermatologist about their experience, portfolio, skin concerns, and sessions you might need for the skin-related problem.
It is important that you select a dermatologist who is board certified which ensures that they have extensive training and practice in the field.
Is this treatment painful?
Your doctor will perform this treatment with anesthesia; therefore, you feel minimal discomfort during the procedure.
Topical anesthesia is common if you’re getting this treatment for the whole face.
Your doctor will apply a numbing cream directly on your skin or sometimes, with an injection.
Other types of anesthesia are performed in individual situations and for certain skin conditions that need deeper penetrations of the laser.
These forms of anesthesia are:
- Regional nerve block
- Intravenous (IV) sedation
- Laryngeal mask airway
- Combined techniques
After the procedure, the discomfort and pain are minimal and are often treated with oral pain killers.
How effective is this procedure?
The result of this treatment varies from good to excellent depending on the indication for which you’re doctor will perform the procedure.
Sun damage improves mostly with this treatment; however, wrinkles improve from 60% to 80% in some cases.
Most patients are usually satisfied with this treatment. The surgery results in minimal recovery time and there are lesser complications after the procedure.
Skin laser resurfacing treatments produce great results. However, you need to take certain precautionary measures after the procedure.
After the treatment, you will have the perfect skin, texture, and tone you have wanted for so long but remember, you need to take care of this skin. Moisturize your skin, gently cleanse it and apply sunscreen to avoid damage to your skin.