If you are suffering from severe acne scarring or you want a non-surgical way to reduce signs of aging, you can consider CO2 laser resurfacing treatments. Many people turn to laser skin resurfacing after milder treatments have not given them the smooth skin they want. At Adoro Medical Spa, we offer several different non surgical facelift options to give you more youthful skin. CO2 laser resurfacing is one of our options and it can be effective in many different situations.
What Is CO2 Laser Resurfacing?
A CO2 (or carbon dioxide) laser is a device that emits energy at a specific wavelength to damage the skin in a precise way. It removes the top layer of skin while also heating and stimulating the underlying skin. After the device damages the skin, the body begins a natural healing process during which more collagen and elastin are produced. During the healing process, the skin can naturally fill in wrinkles and heal scarring, leaving smoother, softer, and healthier skin.
What Can CO2 Lasers Treat?
Laser skin resurfacing for acne scars is one use for CO2 lasers. Some acne scars are deep in the skin and unresponsive to other types of treatments. Laser skin resurfacing can be effective for some types of acne scarring while other types may respond best to a combination of different treatments.
Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Laser skin resurfacing can have an effect on wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet, and laugh lines. Some results may be able to be seen right away and the skin’s production of collagen over the following weeks and months can result in continued improvement.
Skin can have an uneven texture due to changes in pigmentation, rough skin, sun spots, and loss of elasticity. Frequent exposure to sunlight without protection can exacerbate these effects. Laser skin treatments can help to smooth and even out your skin.
As the skin ages, it can become looser and lose its elasticity. Laser treatments can be used to firm up the skin under the eyes for a more youthful and vibrant appearance.
What Is the Difference Between Fully Ablative and Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing?
For many years the gold standard of laser skin resurfacing was fully ablative CO2 laser resurfacing. During this treatment, the entirety of the outer layer of the skin is removed. We still use this method today since it can be effective at treating more extreme cases of acne scarring or other problems. However, this treatment does come with a longer recovery time which is why fractional CO2 laser resurfacing was developed.
During fractional CO2 laser resurfacing, the laser technology is targeted to a grid of dots on the skin. In between these dots, the skin is left untreated. This leads to a shorter downtime, although more than one treatment may be needed to achieve the desired results. We use both types of laser skin resurfacing treatments since they can each be used in different applications.
How to Prepare for Your Laser Skin Resurfacing Treatment
Some preparation is needed before you come in for your laser skin resurfacing appointment. We will need to get your medical history to make sure you are a good candidate for the treatment. If you get cold sores frequently, we may prescribe an antiviral for you to take for a week or more after your treatment. We also recommend avoiding blood-thinning or retinol products for 14 days before your appointment. We will recommend a skin-care regimen for the weeks prior to your treatment.
What to Expect During Your CO2 Laser Resurfacing Appointment
The length of your treatment will vary based on how much of your skin is being treated. Most procedures take between an hour and two hours to complete. Depending on your CO2 laser resurfacing treatment, you may receive a local anesthetic or general anesthesia. We will treat your skin in sections, targeting all of the areas that we discussed in your consultation. Then you will receive instructions on how to care for your treated skin as it heals.
What Is the Recovery Process of CO2 Laser Resurfacing?
Recovery time will be different depending on whether you are getting fully ablative or fractional laser skin resurfacing treatment. For fully ablative treatments, you can expect the initial healing process to take two weeks. After this, you may notice some pinkness or redness on your skin which can last for 2-3 months.
Healing time for fractional treatments is usually between 5 and 7 days. During this time you may notice redness, swelling, tenderness, flaking, itching, and skin that feels dry. You can gently ice your skin and elevate your head with several pillows while sleeping. You can also apply a moisturizer such as Vaseline or Aquaphor to your skin while it heals. Once your skin heals, make sure to protect it with sunscreen any time you go outside.
Once the full effects are seen and your skin is healed, you can consider an additional treatment or you can layer other treatments such as improved skin care regimens or dermal fillers to achieve the look that you want. It is always helpful to maintain realistic expectations about what each treatment can target and achieve.
Laser Skin Resurfacing in Severna Park, MD
At Adoro Medical Spa, we offer laser skin resurfacing for acne scars, wrinkles, sun damage, freckles, and more. We serve Severna Park, Annapolis, Millersville, Pasadena, Arnold, and the Eastern Shore. If you are interested in a non surgical facelift that can make your skin glow and look younger, call us for a consultation.