There is a lot of information out there about CO2 laser skin resurfacing. So much, in fact, that it can be difficult to know what’s fact and what’s false. After all, unless you’ve had the treatment, you simply can’t know for sure.
As CO2 laser skin resurfacing specialists, we at Monterey Laser believe it’s important for anyone considering the treatment to have the facts. Because we believe in the results, we want to encourage those who aren’t happy with their acne scars, wrinkles, and age spots to be open to laser skin resurfacing—and that starts with understanding the procedure and knowing the right information.
Here we’ll clear up some of the misinformation that we’ve seen out there about CO2 laser resurfacing…
False: You Can’t Get Laser Skin Resurfacing in the Summer
There’s some validity to this, but it’s not necessarily true. You may read or hear that you can’t get laser skin resurfacing done in the summer because the sunlight is too harsh. However, no matter when you get the treatment, you’ll have to avoid the sun for a couple weeks, anyway. You can get it done any time of the year; just be mindful that it’s best to stay indoors (or at least, avoid excessive sunlight) during your recovery time, and you MUST wear a good sunblock to protect the treated area.
False: Laser Skin Resurfacing Hurts
Yes, you may feel some discomfort, but unbearable pain? Not likely. The most common “pain comparison” made to laser skin resurfacing is that it feels like tiny rubber bands snapping on the skin. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s pain threshold is different. Your laser skin resurfacing specialist will also provide you with any creams or cool packs you may need to help minimize discomfort.
False: Laser Skin Resurfacing is Only for Light Skin
There are claims that laser skin resurfacing is only safe for lighter skin types. Again, there’s some validity here, but it’s not entirely true. Darker skin types are at risk for cell damage or skin if certain types of lasers are used—but not all lasers. There are other safe and effective laser options. Every individual and skin type are different, which is why consultations are encouraged.
False: Laser Skin Resurfacing Recovery Takes Months
Weeks, maybe—but months, no. This myth probably perpetuates itself because it can take months to see final results, but not to recover. After several days, you’ll be able to wear light makeup and resume daily activities. Final results won’t be fully apparent for anywhere from three weeks to six months.
Hopefully this helped clear up some of the muddled information out there about CO2 laser resurfacing. If you have any questions about this treatment, or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us at Monterey Laser & Skin Care.
These days, if you have a problem with your skin, there’s most likely a cutting-edge laser treatment for it. From age spots and scars to skin tightening, lasers and fillers can do wonders to keep your skin looking healthy and as youthful.
At Monterey Laser & Skin Care, we administer very popular treatments for many of the most common skin concerns. We specialize in using both Alma CO2 (an ablative carbon dioxide laser) and Fraxel (a fractional, non-ablative laser).
Let’s take a look at which of these treatments works best on different skin concerns?
Generally, the Alma CO2 laser is great for age spots, except in the case of darker skin tones. For those with darker skin tones, the Fraxel laser will work better, as it uses the 1550 nm and the 1927 nm wavelength, which is safe for all skin colors.
If your acne scars are pretty serious, the Alma laser is a better choice. Its intensive light has proven to achieve very significant results with acne scarring that’s more pronounced, while the Fraxel laser does a great job on milder scarring.
Similar to the acne scarring mentioned above, the Alma CO2 laser is better for more pronounced problem areas. If your wrinkles are deep set and you’re over the age of 50, the CO2 laser is most likely the better choice. If your wrinkles are finer and you’re younger than 50, you may be very pleased with the results you achieve with the Fraxel.
Skin tightening is usually a “bonus” when you’re treated with the Alma CO2 laser, but rarely is it used only for skin tightening. If the tightening itself is your main concern, Fraxel treatments are better for that alone.
Keep in mind, if you choose a treatment that requires the Alma CO2 laser, there is more downtime than there is with the Fraxel laser, since Fraxel treatments are a bit less intensive than the Alma treatments.
If you have areas of your skin that concern you and you’re interested in correcting the issue, please feel free to contact us at Monterey Laser & Skin Care. We can answer any questions you may have, or we can book a complimentary consultation for you so that we can go over your concerns in person. We look forward to hearing from you!
As we’ve mentioned before on the Monterey Laser beauty blog, CO2 laser resurfacing is a treatment that delivers amazing results—but it does require some understanding, and patience.
You’ll need to avoid direct sunlight, alcohol, chemicals, and exercise. You’ll have to keep your skin moist and cool. You’ll need to stay very hydrated. You’ll experience a sunburn-type feeling. You’ll need to be patient during the red, itchy, peeling-skin phase.
You’ll also need patience knowing that the entire healing process after CO2 laser resurfacing can take up to two weeks, and that you, as the patient, will need to be mindful of your at-home care during the recovery process.
So, what exactly is involved in this process, and what is the care you’ll need to give your skin to achieve the gorgeous results you see in before and after photos?
The Day Of
Immediately following your CO2 laser treatment, you’ll need to keep the treated skin covered with the cream that your specialist has directed you to use, as well as apply compresses to cool down the inflammation. (Warning: don’t use ice directly or towels on the skin.) Your first night may be a bit uncomfortable. Be sure to sleep with your head elevated and you might want to protect your pillowcase from any cream to avoid staining. Your skin may swell and ooze for up to 48 hours post treatment. Don’t worry, this is a normal part of the rejuvenation process.
Moisture, Moisture, Moisture
We cannot emphasize enough that it’s very important to keep the treated area moist. The best way to do this is with a layer of petroleum applied on the skin for about five days after with cleansing with room-temperature water. Continue using cool compresses. After 5-7 days, begin using a quality moisturizer.
Don’t scrub too hard during while washing your face. Be gentle and don’t pick at your skin. Around day 4 post CO2 treatment, you can be a bit more aggressive (with your fingertips only) during face washing to start exfoliation—but be very careful. When you go outside, still avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, and be sure to wear a non-irritating sunblock on the treated area. Also, around day 4, you can apply makeup for the first time. Only use mineral powder: nothing too harsh.
After day 7, you’ll need to continue using plenty of moisturizer until your skin has fully recovered. Don’t use any exfoliating masks or scrubs for four weeks and continue avoiding excessive sun exposure during this time. Keep that sunblock on as long as you need it, and don’t use heavy foundations or skin-irritating makeup.
The main thing to remember is to be gentle with your skin as it heals and contact your specialist if anything alarms you, such as extreme swelling. Although this sounds like a lot of work, the final results are very worth it. Radiant, smoother, healthier skin!
At Monterey Laser, we specialize in CO2 laser resurfacing, and our clients are in love with their new skin. If you’re interested in a consultation about how this treatment can improve your skin, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
As if acne by itself isn’t enough to be a confidence-killer, it also has the nasty habit of leaving behind an aftermath of evidence: acne scars. From mild to severe, these scars can have a terrible effect on your self-esteem, since it can often feel like the scars are what everyone is looking at instead of your actual face.
But fear not. For many people who suffer from acne scars, CO2 laser skin resurfacing is a godsend. This treatment (one of our most popular) has seen many patients with acne issues get significant results, with much improvement in the appearance of their skin.
How exactly does CO2 laser skin resurfacing help acne scars?
The treatment uses carbon dioxide to create a laser beam that’s high on the spectrum of infrared energy. This energy is absorbed by water, which is what our body’s cells are made of. Et voilà! When the laser is used, the damaged skin cells of the acne are reduced by the laser’s energy. After that, new tissue is able to grow in place of the old damaged cells. It’s very similar to chemical peels and dermabrasion, except it’s less harsh, since it uses vaporization as opposed to sanding or chemicals.
How many CO2 laser skin resurfacing treatments will I need?
The number of treatments each individual may need will depend on the severity of the acne scarring. For less serious cases, one treatment is all that is necessary. For more intense damage, two to three treatments may be required. However, more or less may be needed, depending on your needs. After going over your health history and goals, your certified Monterey Laser & Skin Care specialist will determine how many sessions you may need.
How painful is CO2 laser skin resurfacing?
Although some patients report discomfort during treatments, this discomfort is so mild that only topical anesthesia is usually required. No “knockout” anesthesia is needed, and patients are typically wide awake for the session.
Will the treatments require much recovery time?
Because our CO2 treatments have a lot of work to do, the recovery time can take anywhere from 7-14 days to heal. For a couple of days following the treatment, your skin may secrete fluid, and some blistering may occur. After a few days, your skin will begin to improve, but it may still appear quite pink. You may go through several unpleasant stages including peeling and crusting as well—but keep in mind, this is all temporary. The end result is worth it!
Does everyone’s skin respond well to CO2 laser skin resurfacing?
The best candidates for CO2 laser skin resurfacing are those with lighter skin, since they have less of a risk for hyperpigmentation. However, this doesn’t mean you’re not a good candidate if your skin is darker. The C02 laser does work well with many skin types, and during your consultation, we will help determine if it’s right for you.
If your acne scars are holding you back from being confident, it’s time to consider ways to improve it so that you can live your life comfortably and without concealer. Consider CO2 laser skin resurfacing to get fantastic results. Contact us today to learn more, or to schedule a consultation.
CO2 laser resurfacing is a revolutionary treatment that more and more individuals are taking advantage of with outstanding results. With this technique, columns of skin are removed, which results in the surrounding skin acting as a “healer” for the tissue.
Because the remaining skin heals the tissue around it, this treatment takes care of several skin problems in one session. These problems include age spots, uneven skin tone, scarring, wrinkles, sun damage, and sagging skin.
The good news?
CO2 laser resurfacing is a powerful treatment that typically only requires one session.
The bad news?
Downtime from that one session can take anywhere from 3 to 5 days.
No, no one ever said that beauty was simple or easy. This particular technique is like having multiple non-invasive treatments all at one time, and it will be up to every patient to decide if they want to undergo a beauty procedure that can take this amount of time and requires a bit of “homework.” (Patients must be faithful to at-home instructions for a speedy recovery.)
What exactly happens during all that downtime?
After the CO2 laser treatment you have to avoid the sun. Sunlight can cause pigmentation. For a few days you skin may be crusty, red, itchy, or peeling. You may even experience some oozing. As for the level of pain, many patients compare it to the feeling of a rough sunburn for a couple of days. (At Monterey Laser & Skin Care, we provide patients with cold compresses to help with this burning sensation.)
If you closely follow your at-home instructions, keep out of the sun, and stick to a skin care regimen provided by your aesthetician, your recovery process will go faster and be easier.
So, is it worth it?
Yes, it may take a full two weeks for you to recover and see results when you choose CO2 laser resurfacing. However, once your skin has “settled” and you’re back up and running, the results are fabulous! You’ll notice that your skin looks more radiant, youthful, and healthy. Frustrating issues such as wrinkles and scars will be heavily reduced.
And the best part? You skin will continue to improve for up to six months after your treatment, if you follow a healthy skin care regimen.
Because of the incredible results, our patients have found CO2 laser resurfacing to be very worth the downtime it takes to recover. Many are able to work from home for those several days, and others treat it like a much-deserved vacation.
At Monterey Laser & Skin Care, we use one of the best CO2 lasers in the industry: the Alma Fractional CO2 laser. We staff only licensed professionals, and we have seen very impressive and significant results with this treatment. If you’re interested in improving your problem areas such as sun and age spots, wrinkles, scars, discolored skin tone, or sagging, please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about CO2 laser resurfacing!