There are many reasons to consider CO2 laser resurfacing. It can address issues such as dark spots, deep wrinkles and lines, acne scarring, crepe skin and discoloration. Sounds great, right? It can be. But like any medical procedure, it’s best to go into with realistic expectations and all the information. To learn more, we went to the experts at Harpeth Valley Dermatology.
What Exactly is Resurfacing?
Resurfacing is a cosmetic procedure that uses carbon dioxide (CO2) and a laser to treat certain conditions. It sounds a little unnerving, but in the skilled hands of a trained dermatologist, CO2 resurfacing can yield beautiful, long-lasting results.
The CO2 and laser are used to traumatize targeted areas, removing a thin layer of the outer skin while heating the underlying skin. This stimulates the growth of new collagen. As your skin heals and regrows, the treated area appears smoother, firmer and more evenly toned.
Is There Recovery Time?
Unlike some other dermatologic treatments such as injectables and fillers, there is some downtime or recovery time associated with laser resurfacing. Post-resurfacing swelling is common, usually peaking on day two or three and subsiding by day five to seven. Other side effects during recovery may include redness, itching and peeling. Many patients liken the sensation to a sunburn.
Are Results Fast?
As your skin heals, you’ll begin to notice a difference. Some patients see results in as little as three weeks. Full results may take three to six months post-procedure to appear. Because of the potential downtime and the results taking a little longer to be fully realized, it’s wise to plan ahead if you have an important event such as a wedding for which you’re preparing.
Is It Painful?
CO2 Resurfacing is the most invasive laser procedure, but also the most effective. The procedure itself is performed with a numbing cream or other anesthetizing agent, although it may still have a small level of discomfort. It’s often compared to a “pins and needles” sensation.
How Long Does a Treatment Take?
Average treatments take about two hours or less. That includes the time it takes for the numbing cream or other analgesic to take effect. Some procedures will take less. It all depends on the area being treated.
How Long Will the Treatment Last?
For some, results can last for years! Diligent at-home skin care maintenance, avoiding sun exposure and wearing SPF on the affected area daily have been shown to prolong results.
Is More Than One Treatment Needed?
While many patients achieve the results they’re seeking in only one treatment, others may require multiple treatments, especially for deeper wrinkles.
Your board-certified dermatologist can help determine what treatment program is right for you. Want to learn more about what a CO2 resurfacing treatment could do for you? Contact Harpeth Valley Dermatology at 615-905-8083 to schedule your initial consultation.
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