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What Is CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing?

This method has been used for years to treat different skin issues, including wrinkles, scars, warts, enlarged oil glands on the nose, and other conditions. The newest version of CO2 laser resurfacing uses very short pulsed light energy (known as ultrapulse) or continuous light beams that are delivered in a scanning pattern to remove thin layers of skin with minimal heat damage. Recovery takes up to two weeks.


Am I good Candidate CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing?

If you have acne or if you have very dark skin, you may not be a candidate. This technique is also not recommended for stretch marks. Tell the doctor if you get cold sores or fever blisters around your mouth. Laser skin resurfacing can trigger breakouts in people who are at risk.


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In most cases, the surest testament to a surgeon’s skill is the visual result. Within our gallery, you’ll find many such testaments, allowing you to further decide if Dr. Birely is the surgeon for you.

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If I drive in from Baltimore, what can I expect from CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Once the treated areas have healed, you can wear oil-free makeup to hide the pink to red color that is typically seen after laser skin resurfacing. Green-based make-ups are particularly suitable for this camouflage since they neutralize the red color. The redness in the laser treated sites generally fades in two to three months.

But it may take as long as six months for the redness to completely disappear. Redness generally lasts longer in people with fair skin. People with darker skin tones are more likely to get darker pigmentation. Using a bleaching agent before and after laser skin resurfacing may minimize that.

How long is recovery from CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing after I receive treatment in your Bel Air or Lutherville location?

Generally, laser resurfacing is an outpatient procedure, meaning there is no overnight stay. Following the laser procedure, the doctor will bandage the treated area. Starting 24 hours after treatment, you will need to clean the treated area four to five times a day. Then you’ll need to apply an ointment, such as petroleum jelly, to prevent scabs from forming. This wound care is intended to prevent any scab formation. In general, the areas heal in 10 to 21 days, depending on the condition that was treated.

It’s normal to have swelling after laser skin resurfacing. Your doctor may prescribe steroids to manage swelling around your eyes. Sleeping on an extra pillow at night can help ease swelling. Putting an ice pack on the treated area also helps in the first 24 to 48 hours after laser resurfacing.

You may feel itching or stinging for 12 to 72 hours after the procedure. Five to seven days after laser resurfacing, your skin will become dry and peel.

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410.828.9570

Dr. Brent Birely is a board-certified plastic surgeon with offices in Lutherville and Bel Air, serving patients from Baltimore, Towson, Columbia, Westminster, and other Maryland cities. He is a very well regarded leader in cosmetic surgery and patient safety, and specializes in procedures including breast augmentation, tummy tuck, mommy makeover, facelift, and body lifting procedures after weight loss.

*The content/images on this website are not a guarantee of individual results. Individual results may vary. The information provided on this site is for general informational purposes only and does not replace the need for a formal consultation with a plastic and reconstructive surgeon before undergoing a surgical procedure or skin care treatment.

Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 410.828.9570.
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