This week I had a Co2 laser resurfacing treatment done with Katy Sullivan at Advanced Body Image. I’m 35 years old, and while my skin is not bad, it could certainly do with some improvement. The past couple of years have seen me have two beautiful children, and as it so often happens, my lines came in thick and fast! Some say lack of sleep, others say its the increased stress of being totally responsible for another human beings safety and well being. Personally I think its probably a little to do with all these things, but mostly to do with the fact that I am no longer 22. My body will age, my skin will age. This is a natural progression. As we age, our skin succumbs to the effects of sun, gravity, and even our unique facial movements, to create lines and wrinkles that make us look older than we feel. I definitely fit this description!
What does it do? The Carbon Dioxide (Co2) Laser treatment very precisely resurfaces damaged, lined or scarred skin, drastically reducing the appearance of lines, wrinkles, sundamage, pigmentation, scarring and in some cases, pre-cancerous lesions. This is done by removing deeper layers of damaged skin and stimulating the regeneration of healthy new skin underneath.
How does it do this? It uses a CO2 laser beam and fractionates that beam into thousands of microscopic columns of light. These tiny columns of light penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. The skin then repairs those tiny shafts by pushing out the old sun damaged skin and replacing it with new skin.
What does it feel like?
On treatment day, my skin was prepped, then a topical anesthetic was applied to my face and left to penetrate for one hour. After an hour my skin was totally numb. The treatment was actually far more tolerable than I had anticipated. It was a little hot in places but overall it was quite bearable and very quick. My treatment took about 45 minutes from start to finish.
After my treatment was finished, I had Stratamed applied to my skin to promote the healing process and Katy used a zimmer machine to apply cool air to my skin. This felt great and really helped to take the heat out of the skin.
My skin felt hot when I left. I was told to expect this for about 120 minutes, and was pleasantly surprised when after only an hour or so, the heat had dissipated.
I was able to shower as normal and run a little cool water over my skin before applying another layer of Stratamed before bed.
Day 1 Today, my skin feels pretty good. The swelling is quite minimal and redness has calmed a little. As the day progressed I started to feel a little tighter around the mouth and eyes but all in all I feel good. I don’t look amazing yet but I feel good!
Day 2 My skin is much darker today than yesterday, which I anticipated. It is starting to feel very dry and tight with some mild flaking in areas and I have a little more swelling today. Not as tender though, I can tell the regenerated skin is already forming and the healing is beginning. Starting to feel a little itchy around my jawline and my areas of movement (mouth, eyes etc). I’ve kept reapplying my stratamed to alleviate this, I appreciate how important it is to let the skin regenerate in its own time so I am being very careful not to pick!
Day 3 In terms of my appearance, today is probably the worst I’ve looked so far, the redness has come through, my face is a little swollen and the skin feels very tight as my skin is yet to start peeling. Although it is a little uncomfortable, I look much worse than I feel. No pain, just mild discomfort. Today I did a vinegar soak to soften the skin a little and applied stratamed straight afterward. This immediately alleviated any discomfort, it made a big difference! By the end of the day most of the swelling had subsided. I kept well hydrated all day and basically just left my skin alone to do its thing.