Is There Such a Thing As Too Much Laser Treatment?

I am in my mid-twenties and am thinking of undergoing fractional CO2 laser treatment for acne scars. Will having such treatment be a contraindication for future laser resurfacing (or even invasive surgical procedures like a facelift) when I am older, to get rid of wrinkles?

Doctor Answers 2

Repeated Fractional Resurfacing with CO2 (Carbon DIoxide) Laser

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Fractional CO2 laser is an excellent treatment modality for acne scars. Often, repeated treatments are necessary. The treatments you have now will stimulate collagen growth and improve your skin. These changes will make a difference in the way you age. Repeat treatments can be performed multiple times, as long as you allow for the skin to heal and remodel. I encourage patients to wait between 3-6 months before having a repeat treatment. From El Paso.

Repeated Fractional Resurfacing

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This is a common question I see with both fractionated CO2 treatments and in other treatments that work to effect gradual changes in the skin.  Generally speaking, moderate fractionated CO2 treatments are going to treat about 15-30% of the surface of the skin, which leaves the skin polished and evens the pigmentation.  Even more impressive though are the long-term changes with dermal repair and neocollagenesis, which is the deposition of new collagen that results in long-term skin tightening, which occurs for 3-9 months after a treatment. 

You are not going to have a problem later by doing fractionated resurfacing now, but with repeated treatments you may not need an eventual traditional ablative procedure when you are older because of the long-term collagen changes associated with these treatments.  I would encourage you to speak to a knowledgable expert in laser resurfacing.  The American Society for Lasers in Medicine in Surgery is a good place to start.

Michael H. Swann, MD
Springfield Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

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