CO2 laser resurfacing is a versatile facial rejuvenation treatment that can treat acne scars, diminish fine lines and wrinkles, reduce sun damage, fade pigmentation, age spots, and improve uneven skin tone and texture.. As a result of the aging process, and with repeated sun exposure, we develop wrinkles and other skin imperfections. To remedy this, there are myriad cosmetic treatments and procedures, and CO2 laser resurfacing is one of the most effective methods that requires no surgery. At Las Vegas Body Sculpting, Dr. Mustafa Ahmed is a passionate and skilled triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon who provides customizable CO2 laser treatments to his patients.
- 1 CO2 Laser Resurfacing Science
- 2 Benefits of CO2 Laser Resurfacing
- 3 Candidates
- 4 Personal Consultation
- 5 How Do I Prepare for CO2 Laser Resurfacing?
- 6 Treatment Steps
- 7 Recovery Process
- 8 Results of CO2 Laser Resurfacing
- 9 Complementary Procedures
- 10 How Much Does CO2 Laser Resurfacing Cost in Las Vegas?
- 11 FAQ
- 12 References
CO2 Laser Resurfacing Science
CO2 laser resurfacing works in multiple ways to help encourage skin regeneration. The carbon dioxide targets water inside the skin cells, heating them to a high temperature.This process encourages healing and collagen production by removing the outermost layer of skin called the epidermis. This “wound remodeling” produces elastin to regenerate the skin damaged by the laser light. Carbon dioxide laser resurfacing also causes the skin to tighten, creating a smoother texture with less folds and fine lines. (1)
When the skin is exposed to the sun often, it can develop inconsistencies in color, texture, and structure. Sun-damaged skin is a common indication for laser resurfacing, as removing the epidermis to reveal the dermis allows the skin to essentially heal itself. By promoting the production of collagen and elastin, the skin can regenerate. CO2 resurfacing treatments result in smoother, tighter skin, achieving a more even tone and texture. (2) Resurfacing disintegrates the most affected layer of skin to allow a new one to form.
Acne Scar Treatment
During adolescence, and even adulthood, facial scarring can occur for patients that experience cystic acne. These scars are notoriously hard to treat because of how deep they can go into the skin. CO2 laser resurfacing effects on the deeper layers of skin, the heat treatment allowing new skin to grow above it. This breaks down the scar tissue and successfully reduces its appearance. (2)
Benefits of CO2 Laser Resurfacing
CO2 laser resurfacing is a safe and effective non-surgical skin rejuvenation treatment. There are multiple benefits to receiving CO2 laser resurfacing. As a comprehensive and moderately invasive treatment for many skin conditions, treatment can: (3)
- Remove thin layers of the epidermis without damaging the surrounding tissue
- Correct sun spots and discoloration
- Reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
- Reduce under eye bags and the look of crow’s feet
- Even out texture
Patients that inquire about laser resurfacing often come to Las Vegas Body Sculpting with:
- Visible skin damage around the eyes, forehead, upper lip, and cheeks
- Slight to moderate wrinkling of the face
- Excessive scarring from acne
- Realistic expectations of what laser treatment can and will achieve
Your consultation is the perfect time for you to describe your specific skin goals to Dr. Ahmed. He will ask about your medical history, including any past procedures or health concerns, to gain a comprehensive understanding of your needs. Dr. Ahmed will also take this opportunity to explain how CO2 laser surfacing works and the treatment process at length. You will likely take this time to schedule your treatment if it is not being performed that same day, as well as any future follow-up appointments.
How Do I Prepare for CO2 Laser Resurfacing?
- Avoid sun exposure for 4-6 weeks prior to treatment. Wear high SPF sunscreen if sun exposure is unavoidable.
- Do not use any self-tanning treatments or any treatments that alter skin pigmentation.
- Avoid waxing, electrolysis and other hair removal procedures.
- Stop using harsh topical skin treatments, particularly retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs).
- Take antiviral medication where necessary for at least four days before and after treatment.
- Quit all use of tobacco and nicotine products 4 weeks before your session.
- Stop taking blood thinning medications and supplements
- Pick up any other medications prescribed to you beforehand
You should come to their CO2 laser resurfacing treatment with a clean face, wearing no makeup or jewelry. You should also arrange transportation to and from our facility. Dr. Ahmed and his staff will make sure you have all the necessary information for you to be well prepared for the treatment so you can focus on resting afterward.
At the start of your treatment, Dr. Ahmed will clean the targeted areas of the face. Then he will thoroughly numb the area. If you are receiving full facial treatment, you will be put under general anesthesia to stay comfortable throughout the procedure. If the targeted areas are smaller, he will administer local or topical anesthetic at this point. It is important that you are comfortable and still for treatment to avoid any complications.
We will provide eye protection in the form of glasses or surgical eye guards. Dr. Ahmed will program the device to correlate to the type of skin damage you have, whether that be scarring, wrinkles, or discoloration. This step ensures the laser energy is customized to your needs. Once you are completely numb, he will make his first pass with the laser. The timing of the laser’s pulse is important, kept short to limit any excessive thermal damage.
Once the treatment is complete, we will apply antibacterial ointment and bandages. (4)
CO2 laser resurfacing is a fairly quick process, depending on how many passes Dr. Ahmed must perform to treat the targeted damage. The procedure typically takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours to complete.
It typically takes 1 to 3 weeks to fully recover from CO2 laser resurfacing. You may experience irritation on the treatment areas that can feel like sunburn. After a week, your skin will start to peel, leaving behind the new surface. It may appear pink for up to one year before adopting your typical skin tone.
To further help your healing, try your best not to sleep on your stomach and avoid scratching your face. Scabbing and flaking are normal as the skin is healing, and interrupting this might lead to new scarring. Dr. Ahmed will offer thorough post-treatment instructions that you will closely follow to help this process, including a cleansing and moisturizing routine.
Results of CO2 Laser Resurfacing
Patients can typically see the results of CO2 resurfacing right away, as the skin that held the imperfection is now gone. The full extent of your results will be visible when the skin fully regenerates its collagen, which takes 3 to 4 months.
The skin is the largest, most exposed organ in the human body. In order to protect it, remember to wear sun protection every day to help prevent future photodamage. Your facial skin will be sensitive after this treatment, so it is even more important to be diligent.
Sometimes when patients have severe loose skin and wrinkling, a facelift is the best solution. During this procedure, Dr. Ahmed will make incisions around or behind your ears and possibly under the chin. He will then lift and tighten the skin and underlying tissues before removing the excess. This is more invasive than CO2 laser resurfacing, but the results are stunning and can last up to ten years. It removes significant folds and smooths the skin for a younger look.
During a facelift procedure, patients often receive a blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) at the same time. Dr. Ahmed removes sections of the upper or lower eyelids and sutures them for an overall lifted look. When performed on the lower eyelid, eyelid surgery can eliminate under eye bags and wrinkles.
How Much Does CO2 Laser Resurfacing Cost in Las Vegas?
The total cost of CO2 laser resurfacing is completely dependent on your specific treatment plan. We will describe a cost breakdown in detail at your consultation. To schedule an appointment, you can contact us by calling (702) 899-8100 or filling out our online form.
If you have any questions not answered here about CO2 laser resurfacing or similar cosmetic procedures, you can check out our blog.
How many sessions of CO2 laser resurfacing will I need?
Depending on your skin’s condition and your projected results, you may need 1 to 3 sessions to achieve your desired look. It is advised that you take long periods of time in between your sessions to allow your skin to fully heal.
What areas can I treat with CO2 laser resurfacing?
This treatment can be used to target certain areas of the face like around the eyes or mouth, but it is most commonly used for full facial rejuvenation. It can also be used on the neck to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes.
Can CO2 laser resurfacing be used on scars that are not from acne?
Yes, this treatment can diminish the look of most typical scarring. Depending on where your scarring is, CO2 laser light can help break down the scar tissue and reduce the pigmentation around it.
How long will my results last?
Patients can enjoy their results for several years after their treatments. You can extend this by diligently using skin protection and incorporating a recommended skin care routine.
- Fitzpatrick RE. Maximizing benefits and minimizing risk with CO2 laser resurfacing. Dermatologic Clinics. 2002;20(1):77-86. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/s0733-8635(03)00047-0
- Walia S, Alster TS. Prolonged Clinical and Histologic Effects from CO2 Laser Resurfacing of Atrophic Acne Scars. Dermatologic Surgery. 1999;25(12):926-930. doi:https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1524-4725.1999.99115.x
- Laser Skin Resurfacing. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Accessed November 2, 2023. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/laser-skin-resurfacing
- Yumeen S, Khan T. Laser Carbon Dioxide Resurfacing. PubMed. Published 2022. Accessed November 2, 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560544/