Surgical CO2 laser resurfacing is a procedure that can treat many skin concerns, usually associated with aging. It is best for treating fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, and a rough texture. Often combined with another facial plastic surgery like a facelift to improve the overall quality of the skin, the procedure can also have benefits when performed on its own. While it offers many benefits, how exactly does it achieve them? What does CO2 laser resurfacing do?
Like the non-surgical laser resurfacing, when Dr. Santos performs CO2 laser resurfacing, the laser carefully uses heat to promote new skin production. Non-surgical CO2 laser procedures typically use only heat. Surgical CO2 lasers go deeper and remove the upper layer of skin for better results.
Surgical CO2 lasers are ablative. This means that it removes the upper layer of skin while heating the lower layers to stimulate collagen production and smoother skin. Ablative lasers come with a recovery period and more side effects but generally offer better results.
This does leave the skin red and raw for about a week or so as new skin grows and heals. The new skin can lessen the appearance of acne scars, wrinkles, and sun damage. It increases the quality of the skin which can lead to better skin tightening.