While our skin has the ability to continually rejuvenate itself, intrinsic aging and cumulative sun exposure can cause the skin can to appear wrinkled and blotchy over time. Laser skin resurfacing can diminish the appearance of wrinkles, acne scars, and sun damage, thereby providing a younger, fresher appearance.
All laser treatments require a consult in advance to decide the best course of treatment. Please be prepared to discuss your issue, how much downtime your schedule can accommodate and how quickly you wish to see results.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser Treatment Options: The carbon dioxide (or CO2) laser system can be used to vaporize skin in a layer-by-layer fashion. The newest CO2 lasers (Lumenis Ultrapulse Total FX) involve fractionated delivery systems that can selectively treat skin without the prolonged recovery needed with the more out of date options. In this office, we offer both the fractional ablative and (fractional) non-ablative laser procedures.
Lumenis Ultrapulse Total FX Laser (ablative): This fractionated CO2 Laser is the most efficacious laser on the market with results from a single treatment lasting 10 years. This procedure combines the Deep FX and Active FX procedures for a total solution in one treatment. It will improve wrinkles and scars as well as skin tone and fine lines. It also improves texture and pigmentation. It is performed in our office under light oral sedation and topical numbing. While there are dramatic results in only one treatment, there is downtime associated with this treatment of about 1 week (see below).
Palomar Fractional Non-ablative Skin Resurfacing: By creating column of coagulation through the skin, this laser initiates a natural healing process that forms new healthy tissue and tightens the skin; creating an improved skin appearance. There is minimal or no down time associated with this procedure because the skin remains in tact. It generally takes 3–5 treatments for optimal results.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser Treatment: You can expect redness and swelling in the treated area which will be most prominent in the morning. There is virtually no pain post-treatment, but a transient burning sensation may be observed immediately postoperatively and generally resolves quickly.
Detailed instructions for cleansing and post-treatment care will be provided, and you may shower the day after treatment-being careful to avoid hot water/steam on the treated area. It is recommended that you sleep with your head elevated the first few nights post treatment to help minimize swelling, and avoid excessive salt pre/post treatment to reduce swelling.
You can expect to resume your normal skin care that includes a gentle cleanser, good moisturizer and make-up application after 5–7 days when most of the swelling and redness has subsided.
Avoid direct sun exposure. Apply sun block SPF 30 or greater after the fifth day. (Sunscreen with titanium oxide, zinc oxide provides broader protection.)
Please schedule follow-up appointments at two months, and six months for follow-up photos.
Palomar Fractional Non-ablative Skin Resurfacing: Swelling is expected immediately after treatment and generally resolves within 24–48 hours, but may last 3–5 days in some people. You may also experience redness or bronzing in the treatment area for 1–3 days. This may persist in a milder form for several weeks. Some itching or dryness of skin may occur. This will gradually clear, and using non-irritating moisturizers may provide relief. Until redness has completely resolved, avoid exercise, hot tubs and Jacuzzis and any activity that causes excessive perspiration
Detailed post-treatment care instructions will be provided, and it imperative that during the first two weeks after treatment, when new skin will begin to form, that you avoid sun exposure. Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher containing UVA/UVB protection along with a sun blocker such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Sun exposure in this period of time may cause permanent hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation. After the initial two weeks of sun avoidance, it is important to continue to use SPF 30 or higher whenever outside for up to six months.
Click here to download a CO2 laser before treatment care PDF.
Click here to download a CO2 laser after treatment care PDF.
Click here to download a fractional non-ablative skin resurfacing after treatment care PDF.