CO2 Laser Overview
The CO2 laser is a carbon dioxide laser used in skin resurfacing. Its effects are similar to those of chemical peels and dermabrasion, except that the laser removes skin layers by vaporization rather than with chemicals or a sanding device.
How the CO2 laser works
Your plastic surgeon or dermatologist specifies the amount of energy transmitted to the skin's surface by the laser beam and controls the depth of penetration.
The CO2 laser system can be used in several ways: "focused" for cutting skin without bleeding, "defocused" for superficially removing your skin, and "ultra pulsed" for facial resurfacing. When the CO2 laser is delivering powerful, rapid pulses, your doctor is able to resurface the skin for cosmetic improvement.
The CO2 laser is commonly used to treat wrinkles, blotchiness or age spots, and scars from acne or other causes. It can be used on the entire face or specific areas. Certain other characteristics of your skin, such as its thickness and texture, may influence whether you are a good candidate for laser resurfacing. Some patients may benefit from the laser's mild "tightening" effect on the skin, particularly in the lower eyelid area where the skin often becomes somewhat loose as a result of aging.
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