All of us every day exposed to different forms of skin damage such as sunburns, acne scars, dull skin and the uneven skin coloration, liver spots.
In addition to the unacceptable appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that usually appears by aging due to the natural body’s response that is called “Aging process”.
Which may also cause reduction to your collagen layer present in your neck, face and chest!
The presence of all kinds of those imperfections usually increases by time as we age and then you will be affected psychologically by those imperfections.
Luckily, there are many platforms that present different products that can deal with your imperfections such as cosmetics products but it is considered as a temporary solution.
However, other products and procedures can provide you a permanent solution that usually eliminates all your imperfections and gives you the look of being 20 years old.
Aside from the platforms that present temporary solution; here in this article, we are going to provide you a guide for a certain procedure that is widely used by many people for dealing with those imperfections!
What are the available procedures on the market?
The most common and frequently used procedures nowadays implicate “Laser” …but how and what kind of applications and cases that use a laser?
First, you have to know that laser works through creating intense beams of visible light, ultraviolet, infrared light; when the laser light is absorbed by your skin it is converted into heat resulting in removing the targeted and affected tissue.
Don’t worry you will not get burned because your dermatologist usually examines your skin then decide the laser’s degree that suit your skin and its condition.
Laser can treat many skin conditions such as sun-damaged skin, treating and dealing with the fine lines and wrinkles, it can remove the birthmarks, warts, unwanted body hair and the acne scars.
Moreover, when it comes to laser applications and skin you will always hear the terminology “Laser skin resurfacing” that is consists of many forms with different functions.
It may also be termed by “Laser Skin Rejuvenation” this is due to its effectiveness in dealing with antiaging, in addition to another informative term called “Laser Peel” as it mainly targets the damaged skin and peel it away.
Here is a full guide for the frequently used applications in Laser skin resurfacing…Keep scrolling down.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser resurfacing is a cosmetic procedure that uses the laser beam and its effectiveness in a certain way we just mentioned before in order to treat different skin conditions such as scars, stretchmarks, facial lines and wrinkles, tighten eyelid and repair skin discoloration.
The procedure is safe, effective, dramatic and long lasting; however, you must be aware of the laser skin resurfacing types and the advantages & downsides for each type.
Examples of work done with laser resurfacing:
Laser resurfacing falls into two categories as follow
|Ablative Laser||Non-ablative Laser|
|It is said to be a wounding laser because it usually requires the removal of thin layers from the skin “Affected Skin”.||It is said to be a non-wounding laser because it usually works only by the “Stimulation of collagen” and this could be done as the laser heat up the fibroblasts and then stimulate them to form collagen.|
|Ablative laser found in two familiar forms which are:|
1. Co2 Laser Resurfacing
2. Ebrium Laser
|Non-ablative laser found in two forms which are:|
1. Pulsed-Dye Laser
2. Alexandrite Laser
3. Nd:Yag Laser
|It usually requires one phase of treatment||It usually requires multiple treatment|
|You may also find laser applications such as “Fraxel Laser” that is available inform of ablative and non-ablative form|
| How about the effectiveness of each?|
When it comes to the effectiveness; we must admit that although the “Non-ablative laser” requires less recovery time and it is considered as less invasive however the ablative laser is much more effective than non-ablative laser and that is why the ablative laser us widely used among many countries especially the Co2 Laser Resurfacing form.
Co2 Laser skin resurfacing…your key to the perfection look
The CO2 laser skin resurfacing is a cosmetic application that works by removing layers of the skin tissue that we usually call it “affected skin”; therefore, it helps eliminate age spots, wrinkles, fine lines, uneven skin coloration…etc.
The Journal of Cosmetic & Laser Therapy stated “Laser resurfacing for rejuvenation first became available in the 1980s with the use of the ablative carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) lasers. These CO 2 lasers target water as their chromophore and deliver wavelengths of 10 600 nm. They ablate the epidermis along with some of the dermis which results in improved tone and texture upon re-epithelialization. The ablative CO 2 laser was considered the gold standard for many years providing the greatest clinical improvements.”
As we said before, co2 laser resurfacing considered as ablative type that means you could achieve what you seek easily with only one treatment instead of multiple treatments that is performed in the non-ablative laser types.
Moreover, co2 laser resurfacing considered as an “In-office procedure” that only requires pre and post simple medications and done by the aid of local or tumescent anesthetic.
How Co2 Laser skin resurfacing works?
Generally, CO2 laser is a carbon dioxide laser that is similar to other procedures such as chemical peels; however, co2 laser uses vaporization instead of chemicals.
“The CO2 laser takes the CO2 laser beam and fractionates, or pixelates that beam into thousands of tiny little shafts of light. These tiny shafts of light penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. The skin then repairs those tiny shafts by pushing out the old sun damaged skin and replacing it with new skin. The “collateral” heat damage also helps to shrink existing collagen”
Your dermatologist will first check your skin type and condition then before applying the laser beam;
He/she will adjust the quantity of energy transmitted and absorbed by your skin’s surface, in addition, she/he will control the depth of penetration in order to avoid any kind of skin burns.
He/she may also prescribe some antibiotic medications before and after the procedure to avoid any kind of infections.
You have to inform your dermatologist if:
- You get cold sores or fever blisters around your mouth
- You are currently use any kind of medications or supplements that may have an effect on your clotting process
- You should also stop smoking before and after for a better and faster healing process
The CO2 laser system found in many different forms as follow:
- Ultra pulsed form
It is considered as the newest version that removes thin layers of skin with a minimum heat usage
- Focused form
Used for cutting the skin without bleeding
- Defocused form
Superficially removes the skin
The effectiveness of any kind of cosmetic procedure cannot be compared to the efficacy of CO2 laser skin resurfacing procedure.
What benefits can I expect?
Results that are expected from CO2 laser resurfacing are very clear; it will:
Decrease the sun-damaged areas
Reduce the fine lines, wrinkles
Eliminate the acne scars
Correct the uneven skin coloration, and many other mentioned imperfections.
When I will see the results?
You will see an immediate result! However, more results will be clearly seen after 3-6 months and this period maybe decreased and you will feel how much your skin is improving if you just follow your dermatologist consultation and instructions such minimizing the exposure to sun’s harmful radiation.
You have also to bear in mind that the significance of the results is mainly depend on:
- History of smoking
- Aftercare routine
- Person’s age
How I will look like? And how I will feel after the treatment?
During the first couple of days after the treatment procedure; you may feel as if your skin got burned by the sun, therefore, it is recommended to use ice packs for 5-15 minutes per hour for the first 8 hours after finishing CO 2 laser resurfacing procedure.
Moreover, you may also deal with swelling especially if you treat some of your facial parts such as mouth and eyes.
You will also notice that your skin color has been changed and turned into pink for the first 3-6 weeks and it may be kept peeling for the first week only.
However, after the mentioned periods you will feel comfortable especially if you follow the aftercare routine and your dermatologist’s instructions.
When I can come back to my work and life normally?
You have to take some rest for 2-3 days in order to avoid any kind of exposure to the sun’s radiation and follow your doctor’s instructions. However, other deeper treatments will require more off-days that may range from 7-10 days.
Don’t worry your doctor will inform you with “how long you must stay at home” after finishing the procedure, based on your case.
Who should not undergo Co2 Laser skin resurfacing procedure?
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Patients with skin type 4-6 Fitzpatrick
- People who use medications that increase photosensitivity or those who receive chemotherapy treatment
- Patients with a healing difficulty and bleeding problems
- People who use Accutane throughout the last year
Make sure to inform your doctor with your history and provide him/her all the information needed to decide whether you are allowed to undergo Co2 Laser skin resurfacing or not.
What are the side effects of Co2 Laser skin resurfacing procedure?
- The main side effect is the downtime, let us discuss it in details; the healing process mainly depends on the treated area and its deepens, therefore, the healing process usually takes from 1 week to 2 weeks and it is usually associated with redness and bleeding may occur.
- Some patients reported that the procedure is a little bit painful due to the measures discussed before, but don’t worry most of the dermatologists use full facial anesthesia in order to decrease the feel of pain.
- Hypo or hyperpigmentation; the treated area may heal with increased or decreased pigmentation, however, this pigmentation usually fades by time and there is no need to worry about this side effect it won’t be permanent.
- Swelling may appear as we mentioned before but it will resolve within one week, however, crusting is rare
- Dryness and peeling always occur that is why you have to use moisturizers frequently.
- It was also noted that some patients suffer from wound infection and it is important to treat it well in order to avoid any kind of scars.
- Eye exposure; your eyes may exposed to the harmful radiation of laser radiation so it is important to wear the protective eyewear and to keep your eyes closed.
- Skin redness; you experience a red skin color that may last for the first 3-6 weeks specially if you have a dilated vessels, but generally no need to worry about it the redness will gradually decreases by time.
- Scarring; Although the percentage of getting scars is very low but we still have small percentage that says you may got scars so it is important to follow the post-operative medications and instructions and if your skin develop any kind of scars you should contact your dermatologist immediately.
You will have high risk of getting scars;
- If you have recently had radiotherapy in the same area
- If you’re prone to keloid scars
- If you have recently taken an acne medicine called isotretinoin.
What is the total cost of co2 laser skin resurfacing?
The cost usually depends on
- The country you are living in “New York or Hong Kong is very expensive compared to other countries”
- The size of affected area
- The office you will proceed the treatment in “ It is recommended to do it in a well-known laser office”
Generally, the co2 laser skin resurfacing treatment cost will range between $1,500-3,000 USD
Last but not the least;
“It is important to choose a well-known dermatologist with experience in lasers in order to avoid any kind of those side effects.”