The Carbon Dioxide Laser is often used in dermatology for skin resurfacing, surgical cutting or simple ablation of skin lesions.
How does the CO2 laser work?
The wavelength on the laser beam penetrates the skin superficially vaporising water molecules in and around the skin cells. This intense heat destroys the cells and in turn promotes collagen production to repair the damaged cells.
Is CO2 laser painful?
It is more painful than other types of layer but topical anaesthetic can be applied to the area before treatment to lessen the discomfort. General anaesthetics may be necessary for adults having larger areas treated or children.
How long does the treatment take?
Treatment times vary depending on the size of the area and the condition being treated. It could take just a few seconds to as long as an hour.
Do I need to take any special precautions after the treatment?
Care for your skin after the procedure is crucial. Do not pick scabs as this could lead to infection and permanent scarring – scabs must be left to fall off. Occasionally lightening or darkening of the skin may occur but this is generally transient. It is important that you keep the treated area out of the sun for at least 3 months. Always use sunblock (SPF 30 or higher).
Must eye protection be worn?
Yes. Both the patient and the laser practitioner must wear eye protection goggles as the laser beam will damage eyes if viewed without protection.