Everything You Need to Know: CO2 Laser Treatments

skin rejuvenation patientLaser skin rejuvenation has become the go-to choice for skin renewal for many individuals, but it can be hard to know which device will work the best for you. At Dermacare, we offer different laser options, allowing us to customize treatments to the precise needs of all our patients. Our CO2 laser, the SmartSkin CO2 is a particularly popular choice for patients looking to refresh and revive tired, aging skin with minimal discomfort and downtime involved. We have the basics about the SmartSkin system to help you determine whether this might be the right laser treatment for you.

The Lowdown on Fractional Laser Treatments

The SmartSkin CO2 laser is a fractional treatment that addresses a broad range of skin concerns. The fractionated technology differs from the ablative lasers that have frequently been used to eliminate signs of aging and skin imperfections. Ablative lasers work similarly to other exfoliating treatments like dermabrasion and chemical peels – by removing the outer layers of skin to reveal softer, smoother skin underneath. While the results of an ablative laser treatment can be dramatic, the amount of discomfort and downtime associated with this procedure can be unattractive to many patients.

The fractional technology eliminates the pain and recovery needed for the ablative procedures without compromising results. Lasers that use fractional technology create a series of micro-channels in the skin as the narrow laser beam penetrates the dermal layers. This process alerts the body’s healing system to kick in, stimulating cell renewal to refresh the complexion. At the same time, the process promotes neocollagenesis, which is the natural process by which collagen is produced in the body. Additional collagen provides the support the dermal structure needs to retain its soft, supple look and feel.

Best Candidates for the CO2 Laser

The SmartSkin CO2 laser might be a good treatment choice for you if you have any of the following concerns:

  • Dull, dry skin tone
  • Subtle lines and deeper wrinkles
  • Pigmentation irregularities and brown spots
  • Diffuse skin redness
  • Shallow scarring, including acne scars
  • Mild to moderate skin laxity

In addition to addressing concerns on the face, the SmartSkin CO2 laser can be used to revive other areas of sun-exposed skin like the neck and chest.

Despite the numerous benefits offered by the SmartSkin CO2 laser, this is not the most efficient treatment for all our patients. Dr. Birchall and our patient care advisor will carefully assess your concerns and aesthetic goals before your treatment to ensure this laser rejuvenation will provide you with the results you want. If the SmartSkin CO2 laser is not the best choice for you, Dermacare offers a variety of different skin rejuvenation treatments so we can provide you with the best possible outcome from your procedure.

During Your Treatment

Before you undergo treatment with the SmartSkin CO2 laser, our team will apply a topical numbing medicine to keep you comfortable during your procedure. The laser energy is delivered via a handheld device that is moved across the treatment area. While you may sense some warmth as the laser energy penetrates the dermal layers, it should not be painful at all. An integrated cooling device maintains a comfortable temperature for the skin throughout the treatment. Most procedures take about 30 minutes to complete.

After Your Treatment

You can drive yourself home right after your SmartSkin procedure if you did not take any oral pain medication or sedative before your treatment. Your skin will be red and feel tender, like a sunburn, for about one week after the procedure. Within a few days, you may start to notice some flaking and peeling on the skin’s surface as the treated cells begin to shed and reveal the more youthful skin cells below. Once the peeling is completed and the redness subsides, you should see a noticeably smoother complexion with fewer lines and other irregularities than before your treatment.

Meeting Your Aesthetic Goals

While some of your improvements will become apparent after about a week, those results will continue to increase in the weeks and even months following your laser procedure. Neocollagenesis is taking place during that time, and as collagen levels gradually rise, your skin will look more youthful and radiant. These changes will be both natural and long-lasting, giving you months to enjoy your refreshed complexion.

Some of our patients choose to undergo deeper penetration of the laser into the underlying dermal layer. While this approach does require a longer healing time, the results can be even more dramatic and last for many years. If you choose a lighter approach, you can repeat the procedure within a matter of months to further enhance and prolong your positive results. Dr. Birchall will discuss your options with you based on the amount of correction you need and the results you hope to achieve.

Is the CO2 laser an affordable procedure?

The cost of a SmartSkin CO2 treatment will vary, depending on the depth of the procedure and the size of the treatment area. We are currently offering special pricing on service for patients interested in treating a single area or multiple areas at one time. When you come in for your consultation, we will discuss the cost with you after assessing the amount of correction needed to help you realize your cosmetic goals.

The SmartSkin CO2 laser is the perfect choice for reversing signs of aging and sun damage, giving you a healthy, glowing complexion just in time for the holidays. To learn more about this treatment, contact Dermacare Laser & Skin Care Clinics today in Carlsbad at 760-472-5088 or in Rancho Bernardo at 858-943-2443.