CO2 Laser Resurfacing Photo Gallery
Carbon Dioxide lasers are used to reduce wrinkles on the face. CO2 resurfacing removes thin layers of skin at a time while stimulating skin tightening and collagen growth. The process removes the superficial layers of skin without damaging the surrounding and underlying skin. Sometimes the Erbium laser is used for a combination treatment.
This is a very high risk treatment and should only be performed by a doctor with much experience.
Benefits & Advantages
- CO2 resurfacing stimulates new collagen
- Skin will tighten over several months after treatment
- Dramatically reduces acne scaring and wrinkles
- Usually only need one treatment
How CO2 Laser Resurfacing Works
The laser uses high energy, amplified light waves which vaporize the top layer of skin instantly(vaporization) with no bleeding and minimal trauma to the surrounding skin. The laser is computer controlled and extremely accurate.
In most CO2 resurfacing treatments, a doctor will administer intravenous sedation. They may also use an injection of a strong painkiller and inject a local anesthetic solution. If being treated around the eyes, metal shields will be inserted. After your CO2 treatment you will have cold compresses the Aquaphor will be applied. When the sedation wears off you will need a driver. To improve your result have a botox treatment two weeks prior. Botox will relax the muscles of the upper face and promote better healing and a smoother result.
Healing time varies depending on depth of treatment. Expect redness crusting / oozing and swelling for the first 5-10days. Swelling can be reduced by sleeping with your head elevated. Apply Aquaphor to keep skin moist and aid in healing. Deeper treatments take longer to heal. Make-up can be applied 10-14 days after to cover redness.
Possible Side Effects
Carbon Dioxide laser can cause permanent or temporary pigmentary changes (lightening or darkening), scarring, and infection. In rare circumstances when resurfacing is done on the eye-lids, the skin can become tight and have difficulty closing the eyes(ectropion).
Prolonged redness lasting several months and sometimes splotchy red up to a year. Herpes or cold-sores can be activated if your prone to them around the mouth (take anti-viral meds if prescribed-- i.e. Valtrex 2-days before treatment). Acne or milia can occur. Inadequate results--no guarantee can be given.
Permanent whitening can happen if small area is treated--around the mouth. or just eyes.
As with any medical procedure, discuss any concerns or questions with your doctor.
Average cost for face $6000 in Victoria, British Columbia.
Alternative Treatment lower risks/costs the new version of a CO2 resurfacing without the downtime: Fraxel Re:Pair