All skin resurfacing procedures remove the old outer layer of skin to reveal the newer, younger-looking skin underneath. Peels work via the use of chemicals. Dermabrasion essentially sands down the skin. CO2 laser skin resurfacing uses a high-technology, controlled, precise laser beam. This procedure produces much less discomfort than other methods, and can target specific areas more effectively and safely. While the CO2 laser is most often used to reduce lines and wrinkles, it has many applications.
Dr. Koplin will personally meet with you to determine whether you are a good candidate for CO2 laser skin resurfacing. He’ll analyze your skin and examine the areas you’d like treated. During this initial meeting, Dr. Koplin will ask you a number of questions about your lifestyle and health. Together, you’ll discuss your goals for treatment, options, realistic expectations and recovery.
How It’s Performed.
Prior to your procedure, Dr. Koplin will supply you with a special cream that contains Retin-A, Hydroquinone and Hydrocortisone, to help you to properly prepare your skin. This is the magic “key” to success, and distinguishes Dr. Koplin’s technique from many other surgeons. Preparation of the skin, which requires 3-6 weeks of a quick 5-minute bedtime application, allows him to use a lower power setting to achieve better results, faster healing time and much less redness than traditional techniques. This rivals the recovery time of the newest “Pixel” and “Fraxel” type lasers, which do not produce the quality of results achieved by Dr. Koplin’s CO2 technique.
During the outpatient procedure, which takes just 30 minutes to an hour, Dr. Koplin will target and treat the areas needing attention with a fractionated CO2 laser. The laser produces small beams of energy that penetrate to a very precise and controlled depth. In essence, the laser produces a thermal burn, which will eventually cause your old skin to slough off, revealing the new, pink, baby-smooth skin underneath.
You’ll need to keep a thin layer of specialized Vaseline-type ointment on your face, which will be supplied to you by our office. Treated areas will look scary at first, like burns or abrasions, and will take approximately a week to heal. You’ll feel some swelling and discomfort in the first few days after the procedure, but will be given prescription pain medication to ensure your comfort.
In two to three weeks, your face will be completely healed. It will be red for the next week, and require moisturizers as the skin does not immediately make its own oils. After the second week, the color fades to a light pink, the color of mild sunburn. At this point you may use skin care products and wear light makeup to conceal the redness.
You’ll be able to see your amazing results well before the redness has faded. For some patients, this can be as soon as a couple weeks. For others, depending on strength of treatment and your skin color, as long as four months. If your skin takes longer to fade, don’t worry. The amount of time needed for complete healing is not an indicator of results. In fact, many patients who experience redness for longer periods of time have superior results!
Like many aesthetic treatments, CO2 laser skin resurfacing is technique-dependent. Results can vary widely depending on the expertise of the doctor performing the procedure. Dr. Koplin is an expert and an artist, and has provided his patients with beautiful, natural-looking results for nearly 20 years.