When lasers first appeared on the market in the field of dermatology the results they delivered were helpful to the skin but involved significant downtime, as compared to today where lunch-time procedures are commonplace. Thanks to the advances in laser technology, it has become one of the most valuable tools in the field. There are lasers that treat almost any condition, it is just a matter of finding the laser treatment that is right for you. The CO2 laser is one of the oldest laser technologies. It is useful for a multitude of procedures because water absorbs its light frequency very well, making it useful on almost all body tissues. This laser offers amazing skin resurfacing results and has been compared to chemical peels and dermabrasion – the main difference being that the CO2 laser removes skin layers by vaporization. This laser can be used in different ways, focused for cutting skin without bleeding, defocused for superficially removing your skin, and ultra-pulsed for resurfacing facial skin.
The most common application used in dermatology is the ultra-pulsed method, where quick pulses are delivered to resurface the skin treating wrinkles, blotchiness, age spots, and even scars. This treatment works the best for patients who have moderate to deep wrinkles, moderate sun damage, or acne scarring. One thing to remember is that because the CO2 laser can go deeper, there is more downtime required than other treatments. For lighter treatments, three to five days of downtime will be required, and for deeper treatments seven to 10 days is necessary.
Your doctor can help you determine the treatment areas that will see results for your skin. Factors such as skin thickness and texture will determine whether laser resurfacing is a good treatment method for your skin. Some patients see a tightening effect after treatment, and most patients report a restored glow and plumpness to their overall complexion. If you have moderate to severe wrinkles, sun damage, or acne scarring and are seeking smoother skin, call Kwan Dermatology to schedule a consultation where one of our skin experts can determine if the CO2 laser is optimal for your skin goals.