Have you ever wondered what A-list actors do to maintain flawless skin on huge movie screens? Many of them see me to get laser resurfacing treatments – like the fractionated CO2 laser – during hiatuses in their filming schedules. Carbon dioxide (CO2) laser resurfacing is the gold standard treatment for skin rejuvenation. As the first laser designed for skin resurfacing, it’s been popular since the 1980’s for the rejuvenation of aging and damaged skin. This laser resurfaces the skin to accomplish the following:
*build collagen and elastin in the dermis
*tighten the skin
*reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
*improve skin tone and texture
*minimize the appearance of acne scarring.
It can also be used to minimize the appearance of burn scars, post-operative scars and treat benign skin growths like warts and birthmarks, as well as some skin cancers!
The fractionated CO2 laser uses pulsed light energy that is delivered in a scanning pattern to remove thin layers of skin with minimal heat damage. The laser removes surface cells of the epidermis, making way for fresh, clear new skin. At the same time, it penetrates the skin’s deeper dermis layer to stimulate new collagen production, which firms and smooths skin over time.
Laser resurfacing to the face typically takes 45 minutes to 1 hour, not including pre-treatment prep. Depending upon the device used and the settings chosen, patients typically experience a “social downtime” of 7-10 days. . . You feel fantastic afterwards with NO pain, but, you wouldn’t want to be going to any formal events for a week while your skin is healing.
Preparing your skin before and after CO2 laser resurfacing is just as crucial as having a highly-trained dermatologist perform your procedure. Before the procedure, my patients use prescription-strength topical products from SkinMD to stabilize their pigment cells and ensure the best post-procedure results. Immediate post-treatment care involves a white vinegar/water soak for the first 5-7 days. After this initial healing period (several days) my patients use a non-greasy lotion several times a day, which further hastens the healing process. I let my patients know when they are able to return to their pre-treatment skin care regimen.
In conjunction with fractionated CO2 laser resurfacing to the face, neck, and upper chest I often perform a chemical peel immediately prior to the laser treatment. This combination treatment yields an even better result for a uniformly rejuvenated outcome of flawless skin.
Remember to always choose an experienced, board-certified dermatologist to perform your laser skin surgery. Only a highly skilled laser dermatologist can give you the excellent cosmetic outcome that you deserve. I look forward to seeing you in my clinic soon!