CO2 Laser Resurfacing

CO2 Laser Resurfacing, At A Glance

  • Best ResultsOne session
  • Treatment Recovery4-14 days
  • Procedure Time30-60 + minutes
  • Skin SpecialistDavin Lim. Dermatology nurse.
  • Duration of Results10+ years
  • AnaestheticSedation, blocks, numbing
  • Back to Work4-10+ days
  • Cost$$- $$$+

CO2 Laser Resurfacing

Ablative CO2 laser resurfacing is the ultimate in skin rejuvenation as it can markedly improve skin quality issues such as deep wrinkles, sun damage, blemishes & scars. This can reset your skin’s age & appearance by up to 20 years. It is important not to overlook volume replacement as this will balance the improvement in skin texture & tone.

What can ablative CO2 laser resurfacing do for my skin?

CO2 laser resurfacing, along with deep chemical peels occupy the top of the ladder when it comes to skin rejuvenation. Essentially laser resurfacing ‘resets’ your skin’s age, often up to two decades. Laser rejuvenation can-

  • Markedly decrease wrinkles,
    this includes super deep wrinkles around the eyes, mouth & cheeks. It is the best treatment for ‘smoker’s lines.’
  • Markedly improves skin texture & quality.
    This means it removes dull & aged skin & resets your cells to produce fresh skin & collagen. Additionally, CO2 lasers will remove stubborn pigmentation & sun spots, including precancerous cells.
  • Removes blemishes & scars,
    including surgical scars, traumatic scars, & acne scars. Resurfacing remodels collagen & scar tissue, replacing old scars with new collagen, elastin & hyaluronic acid.
  • Reduces pore sizing,
    especially on the nose. Deep resurfacing can treat enlarged pores as well as tissue such as rhinophyma.

Who is the ideal candidate for fully ablative CO2 laser resurfacing?

You should approach resurfacing with a plan in mind, namely, to give your skin a second chance. CO2 resurfacing is best applied to improve skin quality. This means textural changes such as sun damage, pigmentation & severe wrinkles. The ideal patient should have-

  • Moderate to severe wrinkles, pigment, blemishes, scars. For mild textural changes this treatment may be an ‘overkill’. There are far less invasive treatments and lasers that can address these concerns.
  • Fair skin patients, namely skin types 1.2 & 2+. If you have darker skin, the use of fractional lasers may be more appropriate. Less risks of skin colour changes.
  • Have a lot of downtime. Depending on the density & depth, downtime varies from 4 day to 14 days.
  • Committed to looking after your skin. Think of this as a big procedure, a once in a lifetime procedure. If you are keen to look after your skin post procedure, one resurfacing treatment will last you a very, very long time.

How long is the recovery following CO2 laser resurfacing?

Recovery is directly related to the depth and density of CO2 laser resurfacing. As a guide-

  • Light resurfacing: 2-4 day recovery. Redness for 48-72 hours.
  • Medium resurfacing: 3-6 day recovery. Redness for around one week.
  • Heavy resurfacing: 6 to 14 day recovery. Redness for 4-12 weeks. For heavy resurfacing I normally use a healing ‘vascular laser’ at weeks 4-8 to markedly reduce redness.

Can the neck & decolletage be treated at the same time with CO2 laser resurfacing?

Yes, however you should be aware that these areas will generally require 2-4 sessions to approximate the outcomes you will get from facial rejuvenation. This is because this area has less pilosebaceous units, namely hair follicles. This means it takes much longer for the skin to heal up & the risks of scarring exponentially increases with increasing depths. On this basis, I normally treat the neck area with fractional CO2 lasers. Typical downtime for the chest and neck area is around 7-14 days. 

If you have splotchy red and brown pigment, you may benefit from other lasers such as 1927 Thulium- Fraxel or LaseMD. Red pigment is treated with vascular lasers or IPL-BBL. 

If you have deep lines & wrinkles along the neck, my favoured treatment is with collagen stimulating Ca OH Apatite in a bespoke concentration. Occasionally I use monofilament threads including MINT or Minimally Invasive Non-Surgical Threads.

Davin’s viewpoint; ablative laser resurfacing CO2

I still perform CO2 resurfacing at least twice a day, for the past 15 years. Why? Because the demographics in Queensland lends itself to this procedure. Our geographical location in Brisbane, the Gold & Sunshine Coast means a whole heap of cumulative UV radiation over many decades. For ultra deep laser resurfacing my choice is the Ultrapulse or Sciton Erbium laser. The downside is that downtime is significant, however the after results are predictably spectacular.

How I approach skin rejuvenation is to balance the improvement in skin texture or quality, tone or tightness, & volume. In the absolute majority of cases a more finesse approach to skin rejuvenation is the balance of improving skin quality as well as volume.

It is important to choose the right specialist based upon their perception of what ‘ideal rejuvenation is’. This means how they employ surgical, laser, energy devices & most importantly dermal fillers & volume replacement in the context of facial rejuvenation. Remember, balance is the key for the best & most natural results.

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