Incorporate extra fruit and veggies for a diet rich in antioxidants that fight off wrinkle-causing free radicals.
CO2 (carbon dioxide) Laser Skin Resurfacing
CO2 (carbon dioxide) Laser Skin Resurfacing treatments are non-invasive, cosmetic procedures that utilize laser light beam technology for the reduction or elimination of deep, pronounced lines and wrinkles. The strength of a CO2 Laser Treatment's design allows for a layer-by-layer removal of problematic tissue located in deeper skin regions. If administered in a skin resurfacing treatment, the CO2 Laser can effectively correct uneven pigmentation, sun damage, precancerous spots and benign lesions also imbedded in deeper areas of tissue. The CO2 Laser Treatment is a more aggressive approach to skin resurfacing than an Erbium or N-Lite laser treatment. Although downtime after treatment is more extensive, the results are generally more dramatic with a CO2 Laser.
DESCRIPTION OF TREATMENT
A CO2 Laser treatment is designed to remove the deeper layers of damaged skin in order to stimulate collagen regeneration of healthy skin underneath. During the treatment itself, a medical device is maneuvered over the area of skin to deliver scattered and short bursts of laser energy beams. This type of laser application allows a more aggressive CO2 laser to be utilized at higher rates for more dramatic results. The distressed skin is ablated, or vaporized one layer at a time to reveal a fresh skin layer underneath.
A partial-face CO2 Laser treatment can last 15-45 minutes, and a full-face treatment can last up to 2 hours. Most patients report substantial heating sensations, and a local anesthetic is usually administered to relieve potential discomfort.
The first 2 weeks after a CO2 Laser Resurfacing treatment include a significant amount of redness and swelling. Ice pack applications are extremely helpful during this period of recovery for the first 24-72 hours. Providers will recommend specific anti-bacterial ointments and moisturizers to keep the skin moist and free from infection. It is strongly advised to avoid extreme sun exposure for a period of 4-6 weeks after treatment. Although a CO2 Laser can provide more thorough results than an Erbium or Fractional Laser, it does require a more extensive recovery time.
Final results are generally seen over a period of 1-4 months after redness fades.
Common side effects associated with CO2 Laser treatments include immediate, significant redness and swelling over the treated area. Milia, or small white bumps, may also appear in the areas treated at this time, and can be alleviated with a mild cleanser. Moderate pain is to be expected, and the physician will most likely prescribe pain relievers for post-procedural downtime. Some scabbing generally occurs within a week of the CO2 Laser Treatment, otherwise known as the "bronzing" period. At this time, protective dressings may be applied to the skin. All transient symptoms depend on the intensity of the CO2 Laser and the individual, but most of these effects fade within a period of 2-3 weeks. Note that moderate redness over the entire area treated may take a period of 1-3 months to fully dissipate.
It is strongly recommended to avoid sun exposure for a period of 2-3 weeks after a CO2 Laser Treatment. The use of a high-grade SPF can protect the newly laser-resurfaced skin. Moisturizer application is also recommended after, and during the healing stages.
Patients with darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation, or a darkening of the skin. A bleaching agent may be used to lesson this effect throughout the healing process. In any laser or skin resurfacing treatment, the risk of infection is apparent. These bacterial infections can be prevented with antibiotics before, and after treatment. Although rare, scarring may occur in the laser treated area. Those who are prone to scarring after injury are advised to discuss further treatment options to reduce the risk of cosmetic damage to the face.
Cosmetic CO2 Laser treatments are FDA approved for correctional skin resurfacing. It is important to research the experience and references of all providers when choosing a CO2 Laser treatment to alleviate the occurrence of complication or infection.
CO2 Laser treatments can vary in price depending on the type of treatment the patient receives. Full-face CO2 Laser treatments may cost $3,500-$5,000. Partial, or single area CO2 Laser treatments can cost $2,000-$3,000. In general, the costs of many laser treatments are greatly affected by the provider, and the condition of the area, or areas treated.