Is your skin making you feel self-conscious? If so, you’re in good company. We all look in the mirror and see room for improvement. At the Michigan Center for Cosmetic Services in Ann Arbor, MI, Dr. Jessica West proudly offers a number of safe, effective skincare treatments, including the CO2 laser. Today, we’re taking a closer look at this treatment, including what it does, how quickly it works, how long the results last, and who qualifies.
What Does a CO2 Laser Do?
A CO2 laser, otherwise known as a carbon dioxide laser, can be used to accomplish a number of tasks. For example, it can be used to reverse certain signs of aging, like wrinkles, lines, folds, and sagging skin. It can also be used to treat skin discoloration, such as sun spots that resulted from years of insufficiently protected sun exposure. You can also turn to a carbon dioxide laser if you are worried about such cosmetic concerns as:
How Soon Can I Expect To See the Results of My Treatment?
It can take between three and six months to see the final results of your laser therapy because there is a chance that you will need multiple treatment sessions to achieve your desired results. These treatment sessions are usually spaced four to six weeks apart. However, most people only need one treatment session and can enjoy their desired results after just four to six months.
Generally, the more severe your cosmetic concerns are, the more treatment sessions you will need. Therefore, if you’re worried about deep scars, it may take half of a year to see your final results. On the other hand, it may only take a month for fine lines to be erased.
How Long Will the Results of My Treatment Last?
You can generally expect that the results of your treatment will last a very long time. The reason this treatment provides long-lasting results is that the results are derived from your skin producing extra collagen in response to the laser light. As long as you keep your collagen relatively healthy, you shouldn’t have a problem enjoying results that last for six months to a year. In the case of scar removal, results can last a lifetime.
What Can I Expect During My Treatment Session?
You can expect your treatment session to take anywhere from half an hour to a couple of hours. The length of your treatment depends on the severity of your cosmetic concerns and how many cosmetic concerns you are trying to address in a single treatment session.
Your carbon dioxide laser resurfacing session may only take 30 to 45 minutes if you only need to resurface part of your face. On the other hand, it can take anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours if your goal is a full-face skin resurfacing treatment.
Will My Treatment Session Hurt?
No, your carbon dioxide laser resurfacing treatment session will not hurt. Before the laser resurfacing begins, we will evaluate your areas of concern to verify that your skin is not irritated. If no skin irritation is present, we will numb the portion of the face being treated with a local anesthetic.
If you are going for a full-face skin resurfacing, general anesthesia may be administered. During your initial consultation, we will advise you on how to prepare for your session if you will receive general anesthesia. There will be fasting requirements if we deem general anesthesia the best medication for you because it is crucial that your stomach is empty when the general anesthesia is administered.
Will I Be Able to Drive After My Treatment?
No, you will not be able to drive after your treatment session. It is not safe to drive within 24 hours of receiving general anesthesia, even if you feel completely alert and awake. The drug slows down your reaction time. If you opt for local anesthesia, you will also be given a sedative. Like general anesthesia, oral and intravenous sedatives slow down your reaction time and make driving unsafe.
How Should I Care for My Skin After My Treatment Session?
Once your treatment session is complete, it is crucial that you keep your skin hydrated. To keep the deepest layers of your skin hydrated, make sure you’re drinking enough hydrating fluids that your urine is pale. To ensure your epidermis remains hydrated, moisturize your skin every day with a gentle moisturizer.
It is also very important that your skin has all of the building blocks it needs to produce extra collagen in response to the CO2 laser therapy session. Therefore, you should make sure that you’re eating plenty of protein and vitamin C. Protein is made up of amino acids, and your skin needs sufficient quantities of three amino acids to produce collagen.
Am I a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
You need to attend an initial evaluation to verify that you are a good candidate for treatment with a CO2 laser. Most relatively healthy adults will qualify, but it is important that you review all of your cosmetic concerns with Dr. West to verify that this treatment will be effective for you based on the concerns and goals you described. Note that this treatment is not appropriate for everyone, and you must be able to follow all preparation instructions to qualify.
What Should I Do To Prepare for My Treatment?
There are several preparation steps you must be willing and able to follow to qualify for treatment with this device. One of the most important preparation steps is to prevent sun damage in the two weeks leading up to your appointment. If you have sensitive skin that is prone to burning, strongly consider minimizing the amount of time you spend outdoors.
If you need to go outdoors to enjoy the fresh air or run an errand, do your best to schedule your outdoor outings outside the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM. It is during this window that the sun’s UV rays are the most powerful and damaging to your skin. It is also essential that you are hydrated when you come in for your appointment. Therefore, you should prepare for your treatment by drinking plenty of hydrating fluids and eating foods that are high in water.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
A CO2 laser can be used to address a number of skin concerns, including tightening loose skin, erasing sun spots, and eliminating scars. It can also be used to remove such skin problems as warts and birthmarks. It may take several treatment sessions for your desired results to become apparent, but you will start to see an improvement in your appearance shortly after your first session.
If you think your self-confidence would improve with the removal of sun spots, scars, or birthmarks, there’s a good chance you’ll be considered a good candidate for treatment with this device. The only way to know for sure whether you qualify is to come in for an initial consultation. At the Michigan Center for Cosmetic Services in Ann Arbor, MI, we and Dr. West can’t wait to help you boost your confidence.