WHAT IS CO2 LASER TREATMENT?

The CO2 lasers is a high-power 10,600nm laser, which produces a non-touch beam of ablative (tissue removing) infrared light. At Clinica Jóia, we use the DEKA SmartXide DOT® laser technology. The SmartXide DOT® is the only CO2 laser that works through combined pulsed and stacked emission, guaranteeing maximum reliability in controlling the depth of vaporisation and the thermal effect on the skin. Minimising thermal damage to the surrounding tissue will guarantee rapid recovery. This technology can therefore treat even the most complex of clinical cases.

CO2 laser treatment works by using a light beam to vaporise specific segments of skin. Healthy tissue will then grow back in these areas, in the process healing and rejuvenating the skin. The heat from the laser beam also stimulates the skin to produce new collagen resulting in more elastic, tighter, and younger looking skin post-procedure.

There are two main cosmetic uses of CO2 laser. Firstly, in ‘Fractional CO2 Laser’ the skin is scanned with a laser beam that is broken up (fractionated by computer) into many small micro beams. They are separated so that when striking the skin, small islands of skin between these beams are not hit and therefore left intact. This helps to promote rapid recovery and healing with less risk of complications.

This procedure is generally used for skin rejuvenation such as to reduce wrinkles, scars and pigmentation problems resistant to other treatments. This treatment is considered to be the gold standard for the definitive improvement of chickenpox and acne scars, especially when the latter are of the “boxcar” or “rolling” variety. The CO2 laser is also excellent at improving skin damaged by years of sun exposure and smoking.

The second use of CO2 laser is for ‘Skin Surgery’. In this case the laser is used with a surgical handpiece to remove a variety of unwanted lesions such as moles, warts and skin tags. It works by vaporising a thin layer of the lesion without damaging surrounding tissue. This will be repeated until the problem area is level with the surrounding skin.

If you are interested in CO2 laser treatment, you will begin by meeting with our clinic doctor for a consultation. During the consultation we will be able to review particular aspects that may affect your eligibility to undergo this procedure. For example, this treatment is not advisable for those suffering from diabetes, as they will have impaired healing, nor those on medications that cause photo (light) sensitivity as it can result in pigmentary complications. However, if you are a viable candidate, our doctor will be able to discuss an appropriate treatment plan with you to achieve optimum results.

According to the type of treatment you will be receiving, you may be asked to arrive at our clinic 30-60 minutes earlier than your appointment slot, so that a local anaesthetic can be applied to the treatment area, and will have time to take effect. During the procedure itself, you may feel some discomfort, but this is minimised thanks to the anaesthetic and the use of ice cooling during and after the procedure. The session may last up to 30 – 45 minutes depending on the area and nature of the problem being treated.

You can expect to see significant improvement in wrinkles and scars and skin quality in general even after the first session. However, for the maximum effect, it is best to opt for multiple sessions, and this will be discussed with you during your initial consultation. The skin will further continue remodelling itself after the treatment, therefore improvement will be continuous even months after the last session.

It is possible to experience side effects from CO2 laser treatment. Some possible side effects or complications one could experience are a slight burning sensation that may be felt for a few hours after, however this is minimised with ice cooling and gels post treatment. You may also experience swelling, crusting, or redness, however this is all part of the healing process. Rarely the skin becomes hypo- or hyper-pigmented. Using sunblock and avoiding sun during the treatment programme will minimise this risk. Infections and scars are a rare complication which can be avoided with the proper precautionary measures, discussed during the consultation.

CO2 laser treatments can also be combined with other procedures at Clinica Jóia for a more holistic approach such as intense pulsed light for skin improvement. Laser skin resurfacing is also often used to prepare face and neck skin prior to a surgical face and neck lift.

Ideally, the recommendation to obtain the maximum effect from these procedures, would mean undergoing around 4 treatments, at 4 to 6 -week intervals. However, this advice will be tailored to your specific needs during the consultation process, as it will depend substantially on the problem that needs to be treated.

At Clinica Jóia, our consultation fee is €35, waived if the treatment is performed on the same day of consult. With regards to CO2 laser treatment fees, it will depend entirely on the issue requiring treatment, therefore the costs will be discussed during the consult phase.

* fees are periodically revised.