Refresh Your Body: Our CO2 Laser Treatment Tightens Skin and Minimizes Lines and Wrinkles

Aging can be hard on your skin. The smooth, taut, pliable tissue you had when you were young inevitably gives way to fine lines and wrinkles, sagging, and areas of hyperpigmentation or rough texture. Add to that the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, cigarette smoke, and environmental toxins, and you’re left with dull and damaged skin that doesn’t make you want to smile.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Michael Nichols at Oral & Facial Surgery of Mississippi in Flowood understands your situation and offers state-of-the-art laser resurfacing treatments to help you regain the healthier and brighter look of the younger you. As many people aren’t yet familiar with this technology, he’s put together this guide to provide you with the information you need to know.

Skin 101

Your skin’s strength and resilience come, in large part, from a fibrous protein called collagen. Your body produces lots of collagen when you’re young, but after about age 25, production begins to decline. Other factors, including smoking and sun overexposure, also contribute to its depletion. The end result is your skin is unable to maintain its smooth texture, leading to wrinkles, lines, sags, and “hollowed out” patches.

In addition, the sun can trigger a burst of melanin production, and the more you’re exposed, the greater the likelihood you’ll develop areas called age spots or sun spots. The spots are flat and oval, ranging from tan to dark brown and from freckle-size to half-an-inch across. They’re completely harmless, but like wrinkled skin, they can damage your self-confidence and make you feel old.

Laser resurfacing explained

Laser skin resurfacing is a cosmetic procedure that removes the outermost layer of skin cells (the epidermis) to reveal the healthy, vibrant skin that lies below. It can improve the appearance of a number of skin problems, including fine lines and wrinkles, age spots and blemishes, and acne scars and other complexion imperfections, while enhancing overall skin tone and texture. It can’t, however, be used to eliminate sags and bags.

The system uses a handheld device that directs short, concentrated light pulses at the treatment area. The light and heat are ablative, precisely removing the outer skin layer by layer to target the damaged tissue in the dermis layer beneath. 

The heat breaks up the pigmented sections and destroys old collagen cells, while sparking an increase in new collagen production. 

As collagen builds up in the dermis, and the epidermis heals and regrows, the treated area fills in, becoming smoother and tighter. The waste products are flushed out of the body over the next few months by your lymphatic system.

While stripping off your outer skin layer may seem a bit drastic, ablative procedures require fewer treatments than non-ablative ones.

Dr. Nichols uses a fractional CO2 laser resurfacing system, which treats the tissue in columns, leaving tiny columns of untreated tissue next to treated ones. This helps shorten recovery time and reduce the risk of side effects. The laser uses either very short pulsed light or continuous beams projected in a scanning pattern. Both are designed to remove thin layers of skin with minimal heat damage. Fractional CO2 is ideal for getting rid of scars, warts, and deep wrinkles from age or sun damage. 

The American Board of Cosmetic Surgeons (ABCS) recommends that you get laser resurfacing done before you schedule your time in the summer sun, since it can damage delicate, healing skin.

What’s involved in the laser resurfacing procedure?

At Oral & Facial Surgery of Mississippi, we perform laser resurfacing with IV sedation in our outpatient surgery facility. While some people may experience marked improvement after a single session, most require several sessions to achieve their comprehensive aesthetic goals.

You may begin to see results soon after the procedure, but the burst of new collagen production will continue for several months. As a result, it’s not uncommon for people to see their appearance improve over the course of weeks and months, with the best results appearing in the 3-6 month range. Your skin will remain light pink for several weeks to several months until the entire area has healed completely.

Even with the new collagen, your skin will continue to age normally moving forward, so we recommend you develop a good skin care regimen to maintain the health of your new cells and boost your long-term results. You can always have another treatment down the line, though, if you once again become dissatisfied with your appearance.

If your skin is lined, wrinkled, or scarred, a fractional CO2 laser treatment may be just what the doctor ordered to give you back a younger, healthier look. Give Oral & Facial Surgery of Mississippi a call at 601-282-9290 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nichols, or book online with us today.

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