Non-fractional and fractional CO2 have been used in dermatologic and aesthetic procedures for over two decades. They treat a range of skincare conditions. However, the most known use for CO2 laser is skin resurfacing. Yet, not only has laser technology changed to allow for more skin treatments but there also is a multiplicity of conditions CO2 laser can treat.
First thing first, what is skin resurfacing? It is a skin treatment that employs a variety of techniques to change the surface texture and appearance of the skin. Although fractional CO2 is one very famous technique, others treatments include chemical peels and dermabrasion.
What skin conditions can CO2 laser treat?
The main reason patients undergo CO2 laser is to diminish wrinkles around the mouth and eyes. Treatments may sometimes be a combination of all three techniques for optimum results. As mentioned above, there are others conditions that can be treated with fractional CO2. Thus, your practice can broaden its menu of services.
1. CO2 laser for acne scars
A person suffering from acne as a teen or even during adulthood may be sporting acne scars that they wish to see go. Laser is a very safe and effective way to remove such scars. There are two options: CO2 laser which is ablative or Fraxel, which is semi-ablative.
The ablative CO2 laser will remove the top layer of the skin, thus boosting natural collagen production. The new skin layer will regenerate and the patient will find themselves with a smooth new skin. CO2 laser is an ablative treatment and has a longer downtime. It will take at least 10 days before the marks on the face are gone.
Straight after the treatment, it is normal to experience red and swollen skin. The top layer of the skin will indeed turn brown and crusted before it falls and is replaced. Even though one session will produce good results, it is advised to have three to four in order to achieve top results.
Results of a CO2 laser treatment are permanent. However, patients must not expect all acne scars to be 100% gone. The treatment will reduce and make them far less noticeable.
2. Stretch marks removal
Stretch marks can results from any change in a women’s life: pregnancy, sudden weight loss, weight gain, etc. While some women (and men) are completely comfortable with their stretch marks, other wish to see them gone.
CO2 laser is a very efficient and safe to remove stretch marks. Here again, it will work by removing the outer layer of skin to help restructure the overlying skin. The beams of light are used in concentrated amounts to encourage new growth.
While CO2 laser can’t get rid of stretch marks completely, it may help make striae smoother, thereby reducing their appearance. This ablative treatment will create new skin. The newly generated skin tissues will be smoother in texture and appearance.
3. Sun damage and sun spots
CO2 laser is of great help when it comes to removing sun damage such as sun spots. Especially as such spots can later on, if left unchecked, develop into actinic keratoses. Those are considered the earliest stage in the continuum of the development of squamous cell carcinomas.
Sun damage removal can use both ablative and non-ablative, which can both be delivered with a fractional laser. CO2 laser works primarily by removing the top layer of damaged skin. It also heats the layers underneath to promote collagen production, which stimulates skin in the treatment area to heal in a smoother, more even appearance.
The technique directs short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at sun-damaged skin, precisely removing skin layer by layer. Thus, damaged skin can be removed in a very precise manner.
4. CO2 laser for scars
CO2 laser can remove acne scars but also any regular scars. Scars actually are on of the biggest market for fractional laser. Almost everybody in the world has a scar, and most patients want those treated. Scar revision can set you apart and augment your practice.
Scars are never perfect and can be a source of complex for some individuals. Laser can significantly improve their appearance to become almost non-visible. Fractional ablative lasers are a mainstay for scar treatment, especially for hypertrophic burns and traumatic scars.
Laser scar revision is indeed an effective method for treating a wide range of scars that improves skin texture and pigment as well as functional aspects. CO2 laser can significantly improve the appearance of the treated skin with raised hypertrophic scars making them more uniform.
Similarly to sun spots and other sun damage, fractional CO2 laser is great to treat hyperpigmentation such as dark spots. Here, a CO2 laser treatment will treat pigmentation by destroying the outer layers of the skin. It will also stimulate the re-epitheliazilation and cell turnover in the deeper layers.
The laser removes pigmentation and restructure collagen to both improve dark spots and reduce wrinkles. Win-win! When it comes to dark spots, most people will require one to two laser treatments only. Recovery time is at least a week.
Offering more CO2 laser related services and treatments at your practice will allow to widen the range of services you are offering and make your practice more attractive. Patients tend to choose practices with the most choices so that they do not need to go to a different place each time they need something different.