Despite the stigma surrounding cosmetic procedures, the popularity of some types of laser treatments — specifically CO2 laser skin resurfacing — has only grown in recent years. For people concerned with facial scars, blemishes, wrinkling or other signs of age, CO2 laser skin procedures can improve skin overall skin quality, elasticity and texture. Although it sounds intimidating, research suggests that CO2 laser skin procedures can be an effective tool for skin improvement when patients and practitioners perform the appropriate aftercare.
Before you undergo CO2 laser skin resurfacing or any similar procedure, it’s important to make a plan for aftercare. An everyday lotion won’t sufficiently soothe or heal skin recovering from laser treatment, but CALM Recovery can. The researchers at Advanced Performance Technology™(APT™) create novel solutions for patient care by using a proprietary APT™-based topical delivery system. Keep reading to find out how CALM Recovery can heal and improve aesthetic dermatological outcomes after CO2 laser skin resurfacing.
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For people unfamiliar with laser skin procedures, the thought that someone would willingly undergo laser treatment may seem strange. Afterall, aren’t there less extreme ways to improve skin quality? For many people, it’s not that simple. Although someone with minimal or moderate facial blemishes may improve skin quality and appearance with a healthy washing and moisturizing routine, people with considerable acne scars, blemishes, lesions and signs of premature aging aren’t as lucky. Fortunately, laser skin procedures can address cosmetic issues in a safe, effective way.
There are many types of lasers and laser treatments, but CO2 lasers are among the most commonly used to treat many skin conditions, including the following:
- Scars, acne scars
- Age spots
- Sun damage
- Uneven skin pigmentation
- Droopy eyelids
- Sagging skin
- Wrinkles, crow’s feet
- Benign and Malignant Lesions
How Does Laser Skin Resurfacing Work?
Laser skin resurfacing, also called laser ablation, works by encouraging dermis cells to produce collagen and is performed by a doctor, generally a surgeon or dermatologist. CO2 laser skin resurfacing works by directing an intense beam of laser light at the skin. The laser destroys the epidermis (the top layer of skin) while simultaneously warming the dermis layer underneath. The warmth stimulates collagen production, a protein found abundantly in connective tissue. As the affected skin heals, the increased collagen improves skin elasticity, smoothness and brightness.
CO2 laser skin resurfacing is generally an outpatient procedure. Partial-face laser ablation can take as little as 30 minutes, whereas full-face laser ablation generally takes 1.5-2 hours. Depending on the area being treated, practitioners may give patients a local anesthetic or general anesthetic so that they don’t feel the effects of the laser.
After the procedure, a patient’s skin is typically raw, red and itchy. It may also be mildly or moderately painful, or in rare cases, extremely painful. After the procedure is completed, a doctor will apply a thick ointment and airtight, watertight dressing. Recovery time can take between one and two weeks, in which time patients can take over-the-counter pain relievers and apply cool compresses. Patients should avoid any product that could irritate or infect the raw skin, including cosmetics and sunscreens. Patients should also avoid activities that could increase risk for infection, such as swimming or spending time in direct sunlight.
Even after the initial healing process, patients recovering from CO2 laser skin resurfacing procedures may have red or pink skin for several months. To prevent uneven pigmentation, patients should avoid unprotected sun exposure for a year after their procedure. Patients can ease their immediate recovery by following these tips:
- Use an additional pillow to elevate the head during sleep.
- Use ice packs and cold compresses to ease discomfort and pain.
- Restrict activities the day of surgery, as well as the days following surgery.
- Consume high-calorie, high-protein meals in the days after surgery.
- Drink fluids regularly to avoid dehydration, nausea and vomiting.
- Avoid tobacco smoke, as it complicates the healing process.
- Use a cleaner approved by your doctor.
- Apply a moisturizer trusted by your doctor.
Additionally, patients should follow these steps to promote healing in the weeks and months following their procedure:
- Continue to clean the affected area with a cleanser suggested by your doctor, generally in the morning and evening.
- Continue to apply skin care treatments and moisturizers designed to promote healing.
- Wear sunscreen formulated for sensitive skin everyday, as well as other protective apparel like hats and sunglasses.
- Use a skin topical designed to soothe and heal skin.
When choosing a skin topical to soothe and heal skin after a laser ablation procedure, it’s essential to be selective. You don’t want to choose a moisturizer, sun screen, cleanser or any other topical with chemicals that could irritate sensitive skin, clog pores or promote infection. CALM Recovery relieves irritation caused by laser ablation by providing damaged skin with an accessible combination of botanical extracts.
CALM Recovery is the perfect post-procedure topical because it not only soothes damaged, irritated skin, but also promotes healing. CALM Recovery doesn’t contain alcohol, which can dehydrate skin, or any animal or biological ingredients. Instead, CALM Recovery uses the APT™ proprietary, dual-carrier topical drug delivery system to apply a combination of botanical extracts, including arnica, calendula and ledum, to the affected areas. While arnica works to decrease swelling caused by the procedure, ledum provides antimicrobial compounds that can reduce the risk of infection. Calendula hydrates irritated skin and promotes collagen production, which can improve the efficacy of the laser ablation procedure.
If you’re considering CO2 laser skin resurfacing, you may be able to improve your outcome with CALM Recovery. Visit our online store to find CALM Recovery, in addition to a host of other healing topicals with Advanced Performance Technology™. Feel free to contact us online with questions or give us a call at 800-918-7534.