CO2 and other ablative lasers have been used in skin rejuvenation for more than 2 decades. The devices have been modernised, but ablative lasers still cause a major thermal destruction of the skin. At the same time the thermal effect remains superficial and therefore the lifting effect of ablative lasers is rather small. Ablative lasers are best for treating benign skin lesions, intradermal nevi and warts. It is essential to have a 100% correct dermatological diagnosis before removing anything with laser. If necessary, skin biopsy can be performed before the removal.
CO2 laser treatment is also succesfully used for treating certain type of acne scars, usually in combination with other modalities. Typical downtime of CO2 treatment is 7-14 days and the treated area can not be covered by makeup. Combining LED treatment shortens the recovery time, but there is still high risk for pigment disorders. The most common side effect of repeated ablative laser treatments is unnatural, shiny, discoloured, stiff and rigid skin.
In Ihoakatemia we have not used ablative lasers in skin rejuvenation since 2009. INTRAcel, ULTRAcel and other methods even and tighten the skin in many different layers with better effect and minor downtime. There have not been any pigmentation problems and the outcome is completely natural. From the photos below it is easy to understand why the longterm side effects of CO2 laser and INTRAcel differ so radically from each other.