CO2 laser - Patients ask Dr. Ringpfeil answers
Please feel free to use the blog below to share information about CO2 laser or to ask Dr. Franziska Ringpfeil a question that might be of interest to others.
Overview: A carbon dioxide laser delivers accurate removal of skin layers and is the gold standard for resurfacing and skin tightening. This is the only device on the market that can deliver results of a face lift when you do not want to undergo surgery. This laser is also the ultimate device to treat acne scars.
Expected results: Removal of fine, intermediate and deep lines, maximum skin tightening, evening out of pigmentation, removal of brown spots (sun spots), correction of acne and other scars
Preparation: Vigorous regimen of daily sunscreens and night time retinoids for several months, no alcohol and aspirin for 2 weeks prior to the procedure, vitamin C 1000 mg daily starting 2 weeks prior to the treatment. Topical anesthetics will be applied in the office one hour prior to the procedure, facial nerve blocks are performed as needed for added pain control.
Post treatment instructions: Rigorous sun avoidance/protection for 3 months, refrain from alcohol consumption for 2 weeks after the treatment, avoid aspirin for 10 days, continue vitamin C 1000 mg daily for 3 months. Skin care in the immediate postoperative period includes the use of a very gentle non-soap cleanser, petrolatum or bio-occlusive dressing until skin renewal sets in (3-6 days), oral medications to prevent herpes reactivation and bacterial super infection. The hours following the treatment, ice should be applied for fifteen minutes every hour. That night, avoid sleeping face down to avoid swelling. Topical retinoids can be resumed when scabbing subsides (1-2 weeks after treatment).
Time to desired results: Up to 2 weeks for skin renewal, up to 6 months for skin tightening (maximum collagen production).
Duration of desired effects: Lines may recur within 10 years. This treatment can be paired with Botox injections in order to extend results. Acne scar removal is permanent. Note: Deep, pitted scars may require surgical intervention (punch grafts) prior to the procedure or fillers afterwards. One treatment is usually sufficient to achieve these results.
Contraindications: History of phenol peel, isotretinoin (Accutane) in the past 12 months, coumadin or other blood thinners, recent tan. This treatment is highly efficient in fair skin types and is usually restricted to the face.
Downtime: 7-14 days for skin renewal, gradually diminishing pinkishness for about 3-4 months