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eCO2 Resurfacing

What is eCO2 Resurfacing?
ECO2 Resurfacing is a recently developed dermatological treatment that uses a laser to heat tiny areas of the dermis while completely removing other tiny areas of dermal and epidermal tissue. The procedure leaves skin feeling firmer, smoother and younger, while improving the appearance of age spots and other unwanted pigment.

How does eCO2 Resurfacing work?
The treatment stimulates skin cells to produces collagen and extracellular matrix by using tiny fractionated laser beams to heat and remove precise areas of tissue. The additional collagen and extracellular matrix renews the structure of skin cells, making the skin firmer and more elastic.

What areas of the body does eCO2 Resurfacing treat?

Typically, eCO2 Resurfacing is used on the face to treat conditions such as wrinkles, acne scars and sun damage. However, it has also been used to treat scars and pigmentation problems on other body areas such as the upper chest, arms and legs.

What are the advantages of eCO2 Resurfacing over other similar treatments?

The new eCO2 lasers are an improvement over earlier ablative lasers, which tended to leave marked coloring differences between treated and untreated skin areas. This treatment also decreases the patient's post-procedure pain and shortens recovery time, compared to some other resurfacing treatments. The eCO2 treatments is also work faster and provide more significant results than non-ablative laser treatments, which heat skin tissue but do not remove it.

Who is a candidate for eCO2 Resurfacing?

Adults with mild to moderate wrinkles in specific facial areas such as around the eyes or mouth are considered good candidates for eCO2 Resurfacing. Other candidates for this treatment include patients with scars from burns, surgery or acne, as well as those with sun-damaged skin, mottled skin, or skin pigmentation problems.

How is the procedure performed?

The patient is prepped for the procedure with a thorough skin cleansing, the application of a topical anesthetic to the treated area, and placement of protective eye cups if the surface to be treated is around the eyes. The laser is then set to the scan pattern and light frequencies the doctor determines are best for the patient's specific condition. The doctor then carefully scans the treated area with the laser light. Total time for the procedure is usually about an hour.

What is the recovery like?

Upon completing treatment, patients normally feel some discomfort in the treated area, which is usually somewhat swollen. For a few days afterward, the treated skin will look as if it has been sunburned: it will be red or pink in color. It will weep and drain for about 24 hours after treatment, and then will appear dry and may start to peel. These conditions improve within 72 hours, and most patients can resume normal activities about five days after treatment.

What will the results be like?

Once the skin has fully recovered, patients will typically see much better tone, color and texture after the first treatment. Often only one treatment is needed; seldom are more than two or three treatments required.

What are the risks?

As with any treatment that removes skin tissue, there may be some noticeable differences in skin coloration after the skin has healed from the surgery. This risk is increased for patients with darker skin tones. However, the risk of these pigmentation problems is much less with eCO2 Resurfacing than with other kinds of ablative laser treatment.

Is eCO2 Resurfacing approved for use in the U.S.?

The FDA issued regulatory clearance to the eCO2 laser system in July 2008.

Is eCO2 Resurfacing covered by insurance companies?

Typically insurance plans to not cover cosmetic procedures, so eCO2 Resurfacing treatments will probably not be reimbursed by insurance.

Disclaimer: This information is intended only as an introduction to this procedure. This information should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor does it guarantee results of your elective surgery. Further details regarding surgical standards and procedures should be discussed with your physician.

By Staff
Updated: November 23, 2009

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