One area of the body that most patients focus on when it comes to restoring signs of youth and vitality is the face. It makes sense, of course, considering this is the most visible portion of the body, and what people see in the reflection all throughout the day.
The aging process inevitably causes lines and wrinkles to form across the face, whether along the brow, down the cheeks and jawline, around the mouth and nose, between the eyebrows, and over the throat. These, combined with age spots and sagging, loose, and thinning skin can make a person appear more tired, angry, or depressed than they really are, dragging down their self-esteem as well.
Laser resurfacing is a cosmetic procedure that reduces these signs of aging and revitalizes the skin. This is done by removing the entire outer layer of the skin surface. Certain resurfacing methods can be painful and require extensive recovery times. However, Dr. Saini and the team of Carolina Plastic Surgery are pleased to offer CO2 laser resurfacing as a faster, more comfortable and effective anti-aging treatment.
The benefits of laser resurfacing to smooth visible signs of aging and reduce the appearance of skin imperfections are being utilized in many treatments on the aesthetic market, but at Carolina Plastic Surgery, we utilize CO2 laser resurfacing for dynamic results with faster healing. Call Carolina Plastic Surgery to schedule your informative consultation today.
About CO2 Laser Resurfacing
Most laser skin rejuvenation procedures target the skin of the entire face at once. With CO2 resurfacing, this process is broken up into smaller treatments that use the heat produced by the laser in extremely focused amounts and shorter durations so healthy skin and tissues are better preserved. This accelerates the healing while still providing satisfactory results. This method is also known as CO2 fractional laser resurfacing because of the skin being removed in slight columns.
Your results will continue to improve for up to 6 months.
After one undergoes CO2 laser resurfacing, patients should be able to see visible results that will continue to improve with time. These benefits include the reduction of age spots, minimized wrinkles and lines, improved skin tone, laxity, and a slow restoration of collagen on the treated areas. Alongside the treatment to the outer skin layer also stimulates the deeper tissues, triggering the body’s natural collagen and elastin production, firming up the skin and helping restore more youthful contours to the face.
If you are an adult with damaged or aging skin, either with heavy wrinkling and lines, irregular texture of the skin, age spots, hyperpigmentation, acne, or acne scars, then laser resurfacing may be an excellent option to pursue.
Dr. Saini would like to note that for patients with skin of color, proper treatment may not be possible in a single session. It would require more gentle treatments done over a longer period of time and involve more extensive healing.
Pregnant women are also not recommended for this treatment. We recognize that every patient case is going to be different, and the best way to determine if CO2 laser resurfacing is the best option for you is during your personal consultation with Dr. Saini and the Carolina Plastic Surgery cosmetic coordinator.
To optimize the results of your CO2 laser resurfacing treatment, Dr. Saini may recommend a regimen of skin care in the weeks leading up to your appointment. This will be based on the evaluation performed during your consultation, and is customized to your particular skin health and goals. This can take up to 6 weeks of preparation before the schedule treatment.
Any cosmetic laser resurfacing is going to be performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you will be allowed to return home immediately after your treatment is complete.
Any smoking and drinking should be minimized or eliminated at this time as well, as these can reduce or negate the results of laser resurfacing. They should also be abstained from after the treatment is performed in order to maintain results as long as possible.
Laser skin resurfacing can cause some discomfort to patients, though CO2 laser resurfacing is designed to minimize this as much as possible. However, local anesthetics are available to ensure minimal discomfort for those whose skin is extra sensitive. This may also be used if you are undergoing multiple cosmetic procedures at once, which is often the case during laser resurfacing.
Once prepped, the doctor employs a CO2 laser to deliver short pulses of light and heat to the target areas. Precise amounts of skin are removed from specific areas of the face, while avoiding damaging surrounding healthy tissue as much as possible. It is possible to combine CO2 laser resurfacing with treatments such as dermal fillers to further reduce lines and wrinkles or plump the lips, botox injections, and similar.
After the CO2 laser resurfacing, you should be able to return to most daily activities and routines pretty immediately, unless your physician recommends otherwise. Patients may find themselves sensitive to sunlight for up to a year following this treatment, and it is advised that you apply sunscreen and take other protective measures to avoid direct sunlight to any large degree during the healing process. Treated skin may also appear more pink or red than normal for a few months as the new skin recovers.
Immediately following the procedure, your skin will look and feel sensitive. Rest is required. During your consultation, you will be informed of the specific steps to care for your face at this stage, and you will have at least one follow-up appointment scheduled to ensure you’re progressing properly.
Please recognize that even with this treatment, age and other elements are likely to impact your appearance, and the lifestyle choices you make (such as drinking, tanning, or smoking) can accelerate the return of previous signs of aging.
CO2 Laser Resurfacing Results
There are two levels of results provided by CO2 laser resurfacing: immediate and gradual. After the initial procedure (assuming a single session achieves the results you want), patients are able to see immediate results in the adjustment of their skin tone and healthy appearance of their skin.
Beyond this, the gradual results will take effect as the skin fully heals and improves for up to a year following the procedure. The laser resurfacing will have triggered the body’s elastin and collagen production, firming up the skin and adjusting facial contours for months to come. During this time, it is helpful to keep the “before” photos provided by your physician as a reference so you can enjoy seeing the ongoing changes.
Dr. Saini has all patients at the Carolina Plastic Surgery participate in a consultation prior to a CO2 laser resurfacing treatment. During this time, your medical history will be reviewed to ensure you don’t have any medical issues that would cause increased risks or complications during the procedure. If you’ve had any other cosmetic facial procedures performed, these will also be covered, and your current health profile and lifestyle factors will also be taken into account. Since this treatment focuses on improving the health of one’s skin, habits such as smoking, drinking, heavy sunbathing or tanning, and similar can accelerate the appearance of age. By reducing or eliminating these activities, patients can improve the initial results and maintain them for longer.
Be sure to prepare a list of questions to present that cover all areas of concerns or doubt. Your physician will happily clarify each item. These questions may include:
- How long does a CO2 laser resurfacing treatment take?
- How soon are results of this treatment going to be visible?
- How long are results of laser resurfacing going to last and what can be done to maintain them?
- Is the procedure painful? Will I require any pain prescription to manage the discomfort?
- Are there any major side effects or complications I should be aware of?
- Is it possible to combine CO2 laser resurfacing with other cosmetic treatments to improve the overall results?
- How safe is CO2 laser resurfacing?
- How does CO2 laser resurfacing differ from other types of laser resurfacing methods?
The cost of laser resurfacing has a wide range. This will depend on where your clinic is located and where the procedure actually takes place, the physician’s fee, if anesthetics are used, and how many sessions are needed to achieve the desired results. Talk with the cosmetic coordinator at Carolina Plastic Surgery in order to determine what payment plan or other financing options might be best for you.