What is the CO2 Laser Treatment all about?
The CO2 laser treatment uses laser light with a 10,600nm wavelength, which is in the mid-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, and which is invisible to the human eye. Energy from CO2 laser light is readily absorbed by water in the tissues, and since soft tissue is comprised primarily of water, CO2 laser energy can be used effectively for the eversion, incision, ablation, vaporization, and augmentation of soft tissues.
Indications for treatment for CO2 Laser Treatment
The CO2 laser can be used for ablation, vaporization, incision, and coagulation of soft tissues for the following skin lesions:
- keratoses (ex: seborrheic keratosis)
- Lentigenes and Moles
- Small skin tumors
- Skin tags
- Sebaceous gland hyperplasia
What is the recommended number of treatments in order to achieve optimum results?
Only one single treatment is required, except for some deeper skin lesions such as syringomas, deep moles, sebaceous gland hyperplasia, which may require 2-3 treatments.
- Local anesthesia is applied on the skin lesion which will last for about 45 minutes.
- Laser light is targeted on the area of the skin lesion.
- Treatment duration will vary from 5 – 30 minutes, depending on the area treated.
Instructions for patients after going through CO2 Laser treatments:
- The treated area should remain dry at least 24 hours after the procedure.
- Remove the applied dressing 24 hours after CO2 laser treatment.
- Use saline-soaked cotton to gently clean the treated area after 24 hours.
- Apply the prescribed antibiotic ointment on the treated area twice daily.
- For skin lesions on the face: Clean the treated area and apply topical antibiotic ointment twice a day for one week, after which time, healing as occured. The patient may then stop application of the ointment. After one week, the patient may resume use of make-up, if she so desires.
- Skin lesions on the neck, body trunk, and extremities will heal later than the face. The ointment has to be applied for 2 weeks or until the treated area is completely healed. Never pick on the crust that may form on the healing area.
- When the treated area on the face is completely healed, avoid exposing the area to sunlight, and apply sunscreen for 2-3 months.
What are the common complications of this treatment procedure?
- Erythema and hyperpigmentation which will usually resolve over time
- Some scars may form if the skin lesions are very deep