A CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser is an advanced technology used by our staff at Gulf Coast Facial Plastics to remove the outer layers of skin to treat deep facial lines and wrinkles. Removal of the deeper layers of damaged skin helps stimulate the production of collagen, which stimulates the regeneration of new, healthier skin.
How does it work?
The CO2 laser uses pulsed beams of light to remove skin tissue in columns, which is known as a fractionated method that leaves the skin, around each column, intact to aid in healing. Because of the laser pulses at a high rate of speed, it produces minimal heat damage, allowing the procedure to target deeper layers of skin. The patient is under IV sedation during this procedure.
Are there specific benefits?
Laser resurfacing is used to reduce the appearance of age spots or sun freckles, liver spots, uneven coloration, scarring, skin laxity, and dull tone, as well as thinning collagen layers on the face. By removing these imperfections, you will have a more balanced skin tone and more youthful appearance since the increased collagen production will tighten skin in the treated area. The size of any enlarged pores may also be reduced.
Is there a recovery time? And, are there side effects?
Common side effects include swelling in the treated area along with redness and irritation similar to that of sunburn. Less common side effects include scarring, burning, or a change in skin pigmentation.
After the procedure, you can return to normal activities within two days. Our staff will advise you to stay out of the sun and make sure to wear sunscreen, daily, for several weeks during the healing process. Patients usually begin to see results as soon as the skin starts healing; however, healing takes two weeks and you will see definite results in six months.
Who is a good candidate for the CO2 Laser?
Ideal candidates have elastic, non-oily skin that is not prone to scarring following minor injuries. Patients with certain skin types, or who have certain medical conditions, may not benefit from this procedure. During a consult, our staff will fully evaluate your skin and your medical history to determine if a CO2 procedure may be right for you.