Have you ever wanted to just remove all the accumulated damage on your skin and replace it with fresh, new skin? Co2 Laser treatments can do just that!
Co2 Laser Skin Resurfacing is a modern, innovative, and preferred method to achieve non-surgical skin rejuvenation. At City Laser Clinic, we use the TGA-approved, medical grade FRAXIS Co2 device which utilizes Carbon Dioxide (Co2) and 10,600nm ablative micro-sized laser beams to enable intense superficial skin resurfacing. By creating this micro-trauma on the skin, we can effectively stimulate the collagen and elastin fibres to regenerate, heal, and grow. This stimulation will result in fresher, smoother, and tighter skin!
What can Co2 treat?
FRAXIS Co2 can be used on all areas of the body as well as on most skin types (Fitzpatrick skin types 1-4). It can significantly help to reduce and improve several skin conditions and concerns such as:
- Scarring (acne, surgical, keloid)
- Excessive pigmentation/shadowing
- Age spots
- Stretch marks
- Fine lines and deep wrinkles
- Enlarged pores
- Uneven skin tone/texture
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
How does it work?
You may be wondering how we can help the skin by literally damaging and creating trauma to your skin. Thankfully, this is how our skin biology works. If you think about falling over as a child, you may recall a scab forming over your damaged skin. Once your scab fell off, you would have had fresh, smooth skin come through beneath. Note: if you picked the scab, you may have created a scar – but that’s another blog post for another day!
Co2 Laser works in a similar way. With intensive settings (Level 2 & Level 3), the co2 laser creates micro-trauma to the skin. After a few days, tiny scabs begin to form over the treated area. Not to worry – these scabs are not visible unless you are looking very closely at your skin. However, you will know they are there as your skin will feel rough if you run your fingers lightly over the skin. Once these scabs fall off (1-2 weeks post-treatment), new, tighter, blemish-free skin will appear.
The number of treatments you require depends on what your main skin concern is. For rejuvenating the skin, 3-6 treatments are recommended, once every four weeks. Whereas for more specific and deeper concerns such as scars or stretch marks, 3-4 treatments are recommended at 5-8 weeks apart. It is necessary to wait until the skin has completely healed prior to retreating it to avoid further damage.
Is there downtime?
Downtime refers to your skins healing period post-treatment. With Co2 laser treatments, the downtime varies depending on the strength required for your skin concerns. If you are wanting to rejuvenate and refreshen the skin (Level 1), there is zero downtime. However, with most other concerns, there is 1-2 weeks of downtime.
Downtime is unavoidable when using an ablative laser as we are resurfacing the skin. Fortunately, as the laser uses micro-sized lasers, the wounds are very small which results in a much quicker healing time compared to standard laser resurfacing.
A benefit of using the FRAXIS Co2 Laser is that we can change the shape and size of the laser. Accessing this modality allows us to have increased control of the treatment area by targeting and treating solely your area of concern. For example, if you have a small singular scar, we will be able to adjust the shape and size of the laser to the exact size of your scar. This means that no surrounding skin will be affected by the laser and therefore will not require downtime anywhere except where your scar is.
How do I care for my skin after co2?
As we have created damage to your skin, it is important to think of the area as an ‘open wound’. As we have created micro-channels in the skin, you are at risk of getting an infection if you don’t look after the skin as recommended. The great thing is, you’re only at risk of infection for the first 48 hours – as scabs will cover the wounds by the third day.
During the first 48 hours, it is important to:
· Avoid touching your skin – especially with unclean hands
· Avoid using products active ingredients such as glycolic acids or retinol
· Don’t take any anti-inflammatory medication (including ibuprofen)
· Avoid heat to the area (including hot showers)
· Use bepanthen only as necessary to cool and protect the skin
· Not apply makeup to the area
Once the scabbing has occurred on Day 3, you may discontinue use of bepanthen. You must still avoid:
· Using active products
· Rubbing the skin – if you wear makeup, please use extra cleanser to gently remove it without disrupting the scabs
If you are ever in doubt after your treatments, please do not hesitate to contact our staff. We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have!
As with all laser and aesthetic procedures, there is always an element of risk involved. This is why at City Laser Clinic, we always require a consultation prior to commencing your treatment. Consultations allow us to assess your unique skin type, your skin concerns, any existing medical conditions, and any medications you may be taking. We will also look into any lifestyle factors that may have caused your concern if the cause is unknown.
A thorough consultation minimises any risks post-treatment. These risks can include:
· Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – usually in skin types 3-4
· Infection – if area isn’t kept clean
· Skin irritation/redness – if active products are used whilst skin is still healing
· Bruising – if intensive settings were used in sensitive areas
· Scarring – if you are keloid-prone or have picked the scabs off
· Hypopigmentation – if scabbing has been picked/rubbed off
Some of these risks, such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and redness, are common reactions and can sometimes be expected. However, most of these risks can be avoided by following the recommended aftercare.
To find out if Co2 is best for you and your skin concerns, please visit us for an initial consultation. Our consultations are $50, however this fee is deducted from your first session/package or is refunded if you are not suitable for the treatment.