The CO2 laser (carbon dioxide laser) is an ablative laser that uses pulses of laser energy to remove the thin outer layer of the skin (the epidermis) and resurface new healthy skin cells. Laser resurfacing treatment also triggers the body’s natural wound-healing process and new collagen production. Collagen is a protein naturally found in the skin and it is largely responsible for keeping the skin elastic and giving it volume. The skin’s natural aging process slows the growth of collagen and environmental factors like sun exposure break down existing collagen fibers. As collagen is lost, this skin starts to sag, and wrinkles develop.
CO2 laser skin resurfacing treatments are a great way to combat these aging effects and many other skin conditions like uneven skin tone and texture. The laser can be safely used on various areas of the face as well as sun-damaged skin on the neck and chest. Deeper treatments can even be used to eliminate pre-cancerous cells, making this a great treatment for cosmetic rejuvenation and good preventative maintenance for better skin health.
CO2 laser treatment is best for healthy individuals with lighter skin tones. Dark skin complexions are more at risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or permanent skin darkening from the beams of laser energy. The ideal patients should also not have a history of scarring or bleeding problems, active acne breakout, or skin infection. Dr. Ghafouri will discuss your medical history and assess your skin at your consultation to make sure you are a good candidate for laser resurfacing. Candidates for the CO2 laser treatment can improve the following skin conditions:
- Moderate to severe lines and wrinkles
- Mild to moderate skin laxity
- Rough skin texture
- Acne scars
- Sun damage
Your skin will be cleansed at the start of your laser treatment, and a topical numbing agent will be applied to the treatment area. Cool air can also be used during the treatment for additional comfort. As the laser passes over your skin, you may feel a mild snapping sensation and warmth from the laser energy. The procedure takes 1-2 hours, depending on the size of the treatment area of the severity of the skin conditions being treated.
The recovery period after CO2 laser resurfacing typically is 7 to 10 days but can last up to 2-3 weeks depending on patient’s own recovery and level of treatment needed. After treatment, you can expect skin redness and the feeling of sunburn are common. Additionally, the skin will have a scabbed texture with a bronzed color. The skin will slowly and naturally begin to shed the crusting in 5-7 days. As the healing is taking place, the new smooth and refined fresh skin is reviled. The new skin may have a pink tone for a few weeks until fully healed. This pink flush may be covered with makeup once you have been cleared at your post-op appointment. While the skin is in the shedding phase, it is very important to generously apply the recommended post-care products to prevent improper healing that could lead to hyperpigmentation. Cool vinegar soaks are used to aid in recovery and provide comfort to the skin.
Although this treatment has some recovery time, the benefits are worth it! After just one treatment, patients see a significant improvement in their skin quality and overall appearance. While the aging process cannot be stopped, treatments that increase collagen provide long-term benefits with improvements that can be seen for five years or more! Taking care of your skin with proper home skincare and protecting it from sun exposure will help maintain these results and your new younger-looking appearance.
“A wonderful practice full of caring practitioners. Dr. Ghafouri was patient in answering all of my questions and concerns. And the results speak for themselves.”
“Wonderful office. The whole staff and providers are fantastic.”
“Dr. Ghafouri and staff are simply the best! They take care of you from start to finish and make you feel welcome and important. Dr. Ghafouri operated under my eye taking out a mass I had since birth. So very thrilled with the results! 100% I recommend this doctor and staff.”
Dr. Ghafouri offers virtual consultations for out-of-town patients. We see patients from all across the country who trust Dr. Ghafouri’s unique skills and expertise for their facial or eyelid surgeries. If you choose to travel to Arizona for your surgery, we can also recommend hotels and other resources to make your stay comfortable.
To schedule a virtual consultation with Dr. Ghafouri Click here.
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