CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing

CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing with carbon dioxide (CO2) laser is a very popular method that has been proven effective for the treatment of wrinkle reduction and skin rejuvenation. CO2 resurfacing has been used for skin rejuvenation since the late 1980s and remains the gold standard for long-term, dramatic improvement of:

  • Skin wrinkles
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Pigmentation
  • Textural skin irregularities associated with age, genetics or sun damage
  • Large pores
  • Severe sun damage

Developments in this area have been some of the most innovative and exciting advances in cosmetic surgery in the last 15 years. New technologies in CO2 laser skin resurfacing, particularly with the development of fractional CO2 resurfacing (see below), have made this technology safer, even more effective, and less invasive with less downtime required. There are also less risks of adverse side effects for the patient.

Laser Skin Resurfacing can be used to treat isolated areas, such as fine or deep wrinkles around the mouth and eyes, or lines, wrinkles, textural changes and dilated pores affecting the full face. It is without question the most effective treatment for rejuvenating sun-damaged and aged skin.

Ablative CO2 Laser Resurfacing

At Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, we use the Cynosure SmartSkin CO2 laser, the most advanced micro-ablative and fully ablative laser skin resurfacing system available. The use of this technology allows us to customize a treatment to match your exact needs regarding your particular objectives, the area (s) of concern, your skin type, and your schedule.

Cynosure SmartSkin CO2 Laser Resurfacing treatment can leave you with a more even skin tone, smoother skin texture, and noticeably reduced wrinkles, with results that may last for a decade or more. The amount of downtime associated with laser skin resurfacing is variable and depends on the degree of ablation.

To determine whether laser skin resurfacing with CO2 laser is a good option for you, we would be happy to offer you a complimentary consultation.

Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing

What is Fractional Laser Resurfacing?

The Cynosure SmartSkin CO2 laser is also a fractional laser device. While fully ablative or micro-ablative laser treatment works to remove either the entire superficial and deeper skin layers (epidermis and dermis) or only the superficial skin cells (epidermis), respectively, fractional laser treatments work on both the surface and deep layers of the skin, often going even deeper into the dermis without removing all of the skin.

How Does Fractional Laser Resurfacing Work?

Fractional laser treatment works by delivering a laser beam divided into thousands of microthermal treatment zones (MTZ) that target a fraction of the skin at one time, hence the name “fractional” laser.  

Within each microthermal treatment zone, the laser destroys old, damaged cells and stimulates remodelling of old collagen and the production of new collagen. Fractional laser treatment provides intensive treatment within a small area, leaving surrounding tissue unaffected.

Why Get Fractional Laser Treatment?

Fractional laser treatment can be very effective for the treatment of both superficial and deep facial lines and wrinkles and sun-damaged skin. The majority of our patients who get resurfacing  today will have at least some component of their treatment completed with the fractional technology. This is due to the increased penetration made possible with the fractional technology, in addition to the decreased downtime associated with older devices, and overall increased safety profile of this newer technology.  

Similar to fully ablative and micro-ablative CO2 resurfacing, treatments with fractional devices can be precisely tailored to the objectives of the patient and the degree of damage to the tissue. Consequently, individual treatments can be less or more aggressive. Fractional Co2 laser may require several treatments, depending on your individual goals and how aggressive the treatment. Results progress slowly. As healing occurs, and damaged tissue is replaced with new collagen, healthy new skin cell growth over time.

Fractional laser treatment is very well tolerated by most patients, and requires less downtime than is usually associated with fully ablative CO2 laser resurfacing.  

Micro-Peel/Micro Laser Peel

What is a Micro Peel/Micro Laser Peel?

A micro-peel is a light or mild fractional carbon dioxide (CO2) resurfacing treatment with benefits similar to that of a mild to mid-depth chemical peel. The treatment allows for rapid healing and less downtime post-procedure. Usually, more than one treatment will be necessary to achieve more dramatic results that are long lasting, compared to more aggressive fractionated or ablative laser resurfacing.

The treatment is gentler and more suitable for less serious cases of pigmentation or textural abnormalities. It provides the patient with the benefits of fractional resurfacing without the downtime associated with full ablation (removal) of the damaged outer layer.

A micro laser peel can be completed on its own to the full face to improve skin tone and texture for individuals with mild to moderate sun damage or age-related skin changes. It can also be used in combination with full ablative resurfacing or aggressive fractional resurfacing when patients have lots of wrinkles and sun or age-related damage to one or two areas of the face. Patients that have significant wrinkles around the eyes (periorbital) or around the mouth (perioral) but not a lot of damage to the cheeks and forehead will benefit from full CO2 ablation around the eyes and mouth (or aggressive fractionated resurfacing) and a micro laser peel to the rest of the face.

Micro Peel vs. Micro Laser

Note that patients will find both “laser treatments” and “laser peels” in the literature and online, because these terms are used interchangeably.  The wording of laser peels can result in some confusion with chemical peels. If the patient is considering a peel treatment, it is very important that they are clear whether the peel is performed through the use of a laser or a chemical, as the treatments are considerably different.

Generally speaking, chemical peels can remove damaged surface skin (either superficially or deeper). Collagen remodelling and tightening of the skin is greater accomplished through the use of a laser resurfacing procedure (fully ablative or fractionated).

Treatment Options

Dr. Lubitz has been using CO2 lasers (fully ablative, micro-ablative and fractional) for skin resurfacing for over 15 years, and is recognized as one of the most experienced CO2 laser operators in the province of Alberta.

It is very important that these types of procedures are completed by or under the direct supervision of an accredited skin specialist, such as a dermatologist. A dermatologist is a medical professional who is thoroughly trained in skin disease, skin structure and function. As medically trained professionals, they are able to determine and provide the best laser treatment suitable for your particular skin problem in a safe and effective manner.

All patients considering a laser peel of any kind or degree will receive a consultation prior to treatment being performed. In your consultation, you will discuss whether laser treatment is the best treatment option in your particular case, the areas to be treated, and the degree of treatment needed to ensure desired results.

Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery offers a wide range of fully customizable CO2 laser peels/resurfacing treatments for a variety of different skin conditions, degrees of skin damage and patient schedules. These treatments include:

  • Micro laser peels
  • Micro-ablative laser peels
  • Fully ablative laser resurfacing
  • Fractionated laser resurfacing

Co2 Laser Peels can be entirely customized and designed to suit your desired improvement, your budget and your time schedule.