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CO2 Laser treatment
The latest fractional carbon dioxide CO2 lasers are one of the most effective treatments on the market for non-surgical revitalization of the skin. It uses laser microbeams to create tiny pin-point punctures in the surface of the skin and penetrates the deeper layers of the skin. It creates an ablative and thermal effect which triggers the skins’ natural wound healing response; stimulating collagen and elastin production.
It can be used to safely improve the texture of all the skin types including all the areas of face, neck, arms, hands, chest and legs.
Great results are seen in patients in their late 40s-70s who have moderate to deep sun damage or wrinkles or severe scarring from acne.
What is it used to treat?
Fractional Laser can be used for the following conditions:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Stretch marks
- Age spots
- Acne scars
- Sun damaged skin
- Surgical scars
- Large pores
A course of three treatments is recommended to achieve optimal results. As individual results vary, sometimes more or less may be needed. Results may take 12 weeks to appear fully. Not all imperfections will be removed.
Are there any possible side effects?
Expect the area to be red, feel hot like a sunburn, with a grazed appearance possible in some areas.
Swelling is possible. This can last up to 3-5 days.
Skin may flake off as new tissue regenerates from around 3-7 days.
Post-inflammatory pigmentation (brown discolouration) is possible in darker skin types, especially if UV exposure is not avoided after treatment.
Some people may experience some temporary side effects such as: discomfort, feeling of tightness, bleeding and bruising, and/or cold sore outbreak.
Post treatment infection is a rare possibility.
Residual pinkness and sensitivity lasting longer than 7 days can occur.
What downtime is needed afterwards?
After treatment, you may feel your skin to be sunburned during the first 24 to 48 hours. You should use ice packs and moisturising creams for 5 to 10 minutes every hour during the first 5 or 6 hours after the treatment.
You should not return to normal activities or work for at least 24 hours (preferably 48 hours) after undergoing the treatment. You will need to rest for one day to take care of the healed area. With the lighter fractional CO2 treatments, you will need 3-7 days of downtime. We do not perform deeper treatments at our clinic. This usually requires up to 2 weeks of downtime.
During first 3-6 weeks your skin will be pink and will often peel/flake in 2-7 days. However, this time period may vary based on the depth of your treatment. After one week of treatment you can apply make up to cover the pink spots.
It will usually take three to six months to get full results. It may take about 3-14 days for your skin to heal after which it may remain pink for a period of four to six weeks. Your skin will look less blotchy and stay smoother during this period. Once the colour returns to normal, you will observe less blotches and lines and your skin will glow and appear younger.
Does it hurt?
Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing can be quite uncomfortable, so a topical anaesthetic cream is applied 60 minutes prior to the session. You can take two paracetamol tablets 30 minutes prior. Usually our patients experience heat from the laser’s pulse, and there can be a sunburn-like sensation after the treatment (for up to 3 to 4 hours), which can easily be dealt with by applying cold packs and a gentle moisturiser.
Cost of treatment?
The cost of treatment varies from $500-$1100 depending on the areas being treated The number of treatments needed will depend on the amount of damage from the sun, wrinkles or acne scarring and also on the duration of downtime you can accept. You may need between 2 to 4 treatments for an optimal result. Darker skin types will need lower doses of treatment and may require even more.