Laser resurfacing is the most effective way to treat scars and particularly acne scars. This is also a fantastic treatment for severe signs of ageing.
CO2 is a carbon dioxide laser that has been used for more than 25 years in the aesthetic industry. It is a powerful and incredibly effective non-surgical treatment. CO2 lasers are aimed at eradicating lines and wrinkles and improving the appearance of facial blemishes, from sun damage to acne scarring. During a CO2 laser resurfacing treatment, short pulses of light energy are directed beneath the skin’s surface to stimulate collagen production, at the same time as the top layer of skin cells are removed to reveal new undamaged skin beneath.
Does laser resurfacing hurt?
Patients have said laser resurfacing feels hot on their faces but can be easily tolerated with topical anaesthetics that are applied to the treatment area an hour prior to the procedure. Occasionally, large areas may be injected with local anaesthetic which will completely numb the area.
How does the treatment work?
The CO2 laser emits a powerful beam of light, which heats water within the skin. This means that the treated skin literally vaporises. The laser can also be used to sculpt the skin, helping to blend out scars and removing protruding skin growths. The carbon dioxide (CO2) laser is the most powerful laser method for improving the structure of the skin. This laser has been used to significantly improve the appearance of the skin and provide a youthful look.
How many treatments are required?
The number of treatments required depends on the condition being treated. The consultant will give an estimate of how many treatments are required at your consultation. On average three treatments will be required for scarring and wrinkles. Less treatment may be required for more superficial conditions including uneven skin tone and large pores.
What conditions can CO2 treat?
What areas of the body can be treated?
CO2 can be used on most areas of the body. The most frequent areas include:
What are the post-treatment instructions?
The consultant will provide clear instructions for after treatment care. The skin has gone under a treatment process, so it is important to keep the skin hydrated, preferably with Vaseline throughout the days following until dryness decreases. Allowing the skin to dry out will slow down the healing process. Cold compresses are also used to help reduce any swelling and sunburn-feeling you may experience. Complete sun avoidance is essential for the first few days and a high SPF should be worn every day for the weeks to follow.
How long does it take to recover?
CO2 laser resurfacing causes dramatic tightening of the skin and for those that undergo one treatment, only one week of downtime is necessary. For those that undergo multiple treatments in order to treat severe wrinkles or scarring, recovery may take up to 2 weeks. Skin will stay pink/red for several weeks post treatment but is coverable with makeup.
Are there any side effects?
Side effects are rare, and with a skilled physician they are very unlikely. Scarring, bacterial infection, changes in skin pigmentation and burns are the rare cases, however the precision of the laser provides the physician with enough control to avoid this from happening.