Carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers are very popular lasers to use for facial rejuvenation. These lasers are the most effective tools available today for eliminating wrinkles. Unlike other resurfacing methods, lasers not only exfoliate the surface of the skin, but they also tighten the skin’s collagen fibers. Some patients find that the skin elasticity is increased after the CO2 laser treatment.
Laser skin resurfacing may also be used to remove abnormalities in the skin such as pigmented lesions or acne scars.
Erbium laser is also available for facial rejuvenation. This Erbium laser is gentler than the CO2 laser and effective for mild wrinkles. This laser targets the tissue more precisely than the CO2 and causes less damage than the CO2 laser.
The patient is under general anesthesia at the time of the procedure. The procedure itself takes about an hour.
The patient will be asked to wear protective dressings around the treated areas for about a week. While the laser procedure is itself virtually painless, post-procedure redness and irritation can be severe. The face looks skinned, swollen and may become crusty during the first 10 days; redness, itching and sensitivity may last up to four months. Patients must stay out of the sun during healing. The healing time would be decreased if using the Erbium laser versus the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) laser.
After a week or two, the patient can resume normal activities. Makeup can be applied to the treated areas 2 weeks after the facial rejuvenation procedure.