CO2 is a Carbon Dioxide laser that has been used for more than 25 years in the Aesthetic industry for the treatment of conditions such as fine and deep wrinkles, scars of various origin, uneven pigmentation and dilated pores.
When the CO2 beam of light comes in contact with the epidermis it heats and vaporizes the skin tissue, instantly removing the superficial layers of the skin, scars and wrinkles while smoothing out the surface of the skin. The skin remodeling occurs with new skin and collagen growth.
CO2RE is the best treatment if you wish to get the most results with one treatment.
If you have the ability to take some time to heal (7-14 days), having this one treatment is like having multiple other non-invasive treatments at once.
CO2RE is an in-office procedure that requires pre- and post-treatment medications to ensure proper healing and comfort during the procedure. Discomfort varies on the depth of the treatment.
For your comfort during the treatment, we may apply a topical anesthetic or inject local anesthetic and/or tumescent anesthetic and prescribe sedative medications to reduce discomfort. After the treatment most patients describe the post-procedure feeling as a bad sunburn for about 12 hours to 2 days. Please also follow the instructions for all other prescribed pain medication is needed post treatment. We also recommend pain or relaxation medications prior to treatment therefore you will need to have somebody drive you home after treatment.
How do I know if I need CO2RE?
Anyone who has sun damaged, aging skin, uneven pigmentation, wrinkles, sagging, irregular skin texture could expect to benefit from this treatment. It is important to understand the risks, and to have the required downtime in order to achieve the full benefit of the procedure. This is not a good treatment for darker skin as the risks of hyper pigmentation are increased.
Other contraindications include pregnancy, diabetes, pacemakers, a tendency to form keloid scarring. In addition, if there are any conditions resulting in delayed or abnormal healing or a history of cold sores or herpes virus it is important to tell your physician at the pre-treatment stage to prevent complications.
Benefits of CO2RE:
- Skin tightening
- Immediate shrinkage of damaged skin
- Improves overall texture and tone
- Wrinkle reduction
- Removal of age and sun spots
- Acne scarring
- Minimal downtime
- New collagen production for up to one year post treatment
Occasionally, in an area that cannot be treated aggressively, we may need to do more than one treatment to optimize results. Maintenance treatments may also be necessary to maintain results, especially if sun is not avoided or proper skin care used.
A significant reduction in fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, uneven pigmentation, skin laxity & textural irregularities may be expected. The skin will continue to improve for a period of 6 months following the procedure provided the correct skincare is used. Sometimes the results are not significant until the 6th and even the 9th month, depending on the person's age, their aftercare routine and their history of smoking.
What are the risks and side effects?
The main negative of the CO2RE is the downtime. Depending on the area and the aggressiveness of the treatment, it will take 7-14 days for the skin to heal. One should expect significant redness, crusting (possibly minor bleeding and oozing depending on treatment depth), dryness, peeling and flaking. It is important to keep the skin lubricated at all times, specific products will be provided.
Prior to treatment all potential risks and side effects will be discussed with you.
How will I look and feel after the treatment?
After the first day your skin will be raw and you will follow the instructions as to how to keep it healing maximally. Expect significant redness, swelling and tenderness, especially within the first 48hrs. It is suggested that you rest with your head elevated during this time during this time.
Follow up appointments will be scheduled on the first, second or third day. You will need transportation. By the 7th day you can usually apply makeup or venture out in public, but your skin will still be pink and will be very sensitive for the better part of 1-3 months.
It is most important to follow the instructions! A strict skincare regimen and sun avoidance is recommended for best healing and optimal results for a period of 6 months following treatment. Failure to do so may result in sub-optimal results or side effects such as listed above.
Your skin will continue to age due to sun exposure, environmental stress, overall health and lifestyle choices such as smoking. To maintain your results we recommend a healthy skincare routine including cosmeceutical products, medical grade facials, peelings, medical needling etc.
Is there another way to get the same effect?
Alternatives to the CO2RE Fractional Laser Resurfacing treatment include PhotoDynamicTherapy. Typically, there are no other treatments that can give you as much of an overall effect with only one treatment. You would have to combine the above with fillers or tissue tightening devices to achieve similar effects.
Skin rejuvenation may also be maintained with the use of non-invasive skincare treatments such as Dermal Fillers and wrinkle relaxers
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
DOES IT HURT?
The treatment is painful. However, to minimise the discomfort we apply a topical anaesthetic cream to the area an hour before the treatment. The discomfort is similar to bad sunburn and usually stings for a few hours post treatment.
WHEN DO YOU SEE RESULTS?
You will see gradual improvement in the appearance of your skin immediately after the initial healing phase is complete in about 5 days. Visible benefits by the time the skin has completely peeled and will continue to see results for up to six months with the new collagen regeneration that “plumps” up the skin. The results are permanent.
WHO IS THE BEST CANDIDATE FOR THIS PROCEDURE?
Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing is suitable for the young patient with severe acne scarring; the middle-aged patient with wrinkles and age spots; the older patient with wrinkles, age spots and pre-cancerous lesions.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED?
In most cases only one, but for deep wrinkles and acne scarring two or more treatments may be necessary. The interval between treatments will be three months.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
- Erythema (redness of the skin): the laser treated areas have a distinctive redness representing increased blood flow due to the growth of the superficial tissue and collagen. It will gradually fade during the first few days.
- Inflammation (swelling): treatment with the Fractional CO2 presents a minimal amount of swelling that can last up to 24 hours.
- Hyper pigmentation (irregular pigment formation): this is presented after the third day of the procedure but then begins to shed and reveal younger healthier looking skin.
- Medication that you are currently taking or have taken in the past will also be discussed. You will also be given a script to begin anti-viral tablets before and after your laser treatment. This is to prevent cold sores or fever blisters.