Lasers can be intimidating to ask about. There are dozens of types, even more brands and hundreds of names of treatment. It would take too many blog posts to discuss them all. So for this one, I’ve decided to talk about my favourite laser and treatment. While we have many lasers available at Rejuvenation, nothing gets me more excited than when I look on my schedule and see a CO2 resurfacing booked. I know whether it’s for acne scars in a 20-year-old patient or fine lines and pigment issues in a hard-working mother of 3, they are going to love their results and see amazing improvements.
Fun fact first! Did you know “Laser” actually stands for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”? Try that one out at your next cocktail party! (No one seems to like me at cocktail parties). One of the tried and true lasers through time is the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser. It was invented back in the ’60s and still hasn’t been topped yet today.
CO2 lasers remain the highest-powered continuous-wave lasers available. Its particular wavelength is very well absorbed in water, and since our skin has high water content, it makes this laser ideal for ablation in the skin with good control of bleeding afterwards. Trust me; these are excellent things.
“Ablation” is a word to describe how we vaporize parts of the skin. We can use the CO2 to ablate away lots of things, moles, warts and other blemishes of the skin we don’t want anymore. When we organize the power of the CO2 laser a certain way, we can use this ablation to treat the skin itself. We can set the laser to vaporize the top layers of skin entirely, eliminating signs of aging and damaged skin cells. At the same time, we can also have the same laser intentionally send spaced out deeper waves of heat that help us produce more collagen. Collagen is more valuable than gold in the world of skin. Youthful, taught, hydrated skin is all thanks to collagen.
A CO2 resurfacing takes that technology and approach and does it to the whole face. The results are amazing, treating age spots, sun damage and all types of wrinkles in a powerful way. Patients come in an hour before the treatment and take photos to document the change (believe me, you’ll love looking back and seeing the difference). Then we freeze them with a potent topical numbing agent. By the time we are ready to start, the sensation in the face is so limited that the procedure becomes very tolerable, and we have laughing gas in case you need to be a little more relaxed.
Once you are nice and numb, all you have to do is lay back and let us meticulously pass the laser over your soon to be fantastic skin. It takes about 45 to 60 minutes for most patients, and you get the great pleasure of listening to my witty banter with the nurses who are assisting! I’m shockingly funny when you use the laughing gas.
The procedure does have downtime. You’ll want to stay in and enjoy Netflix for 3-4 days, and even after that, there will be another 10 days or so where you might tell people you were down south and got a sunburn, to explain how the healing process looks. After those days, it’s better and better every day up to full collagen generation at 3 months from the procedure.
Come in and discuss this incredible treatment with me anytime at Rejuvenation. I’ll gladly answer any of your questions, and we can look at other before and afters so you can know what to expect. (Laughing gas not available at initial consults)