Press Reset on Your Skin with CO2 Laser Resurfacing
- Posted on: Dec 15 2018
Laser skin resurfacing has been a popular and effective method of treating scars, stretch marks, and wrinkles. Since the initial development of ablative CO2 laser resurfacing, several other laser and light treatments have been established to provoke anti-aging responses without the same downtime needed after a more aggressive technique. Ablative and nonablative resurfacing treatments have unique advantages and disadvantages. The primary downside to ablative CO2 laser resurfacing has been the more extensive recovery period. Here, we want to discuss the finer points of this rejuvenating technique to help you understand why it is a massive reset for your skin.
How Ablative Resurfacing Works
The term ablative means that the laser treatment conducted will vaporize the superficial layers of the skin. Going beneath the uppermost surface, this technique causes a more dramatic remodeling of underlying collagen fibers. It is highly efficient at tackling lines, wrinkles, scars, and even mild to moderate laxity.
Ablative skin resurfacing is customizable due to adjustable settings that dictate the intensity of the laser on the face or other areas of the body. However, because more surface area is removed compared to fractional and non-ablative laser treatments, an ablative resurfacing procedure is routinely performed with a generous amount of topical numbing cream. After treatment, patients can expect up to three weeks of recovery time during which strict guidelines need to be followed.
After CO2 Skin Resurfacing
Immediately after laser skin resurfacing, a bandage is applied over the skin. This will remain untouched for up to 48 hours. After the bandage is removed, patients’ skin appears red and will likely be swollen. Minor bruising may also occur. For those who are prone to dermatologic inflammation, breakouts, fever blisters, or cold sores may develop as the body works to heal the dermis. It is necessary to cleanse skin several times a day. After each wash, tissue will need to be coated with a thick ointment that looks similar to Vaseline. The reason this step is necessary is that it prevents scabbing. In addition to carefully cleansing and moisturizing, patients will need to avoid exposure to sunlight and sleep with their head slightly elevated until their skin has completely healed.
The recovery from CO2 laser skin resurfacing may sound drastic. It isn’t. With proper care, patients recover within about three weeks and, after this point, can maintain gorgeous skin with non-ablative treatments and quality skin care.
Posted in: Cosmetic Surgery