By Dr Davin Lim
Even with the event of fractional lasers, fully ablative laser resurfacing using combination CO2 and Erbium lasers can deliver far superior results with only one treatment. By using both lasers, I can choose the amount of collagen stimulation in key areas- such as under the eyes and in front of the ears. This gives a laser lift.
If the patient has darker skin, I would use more erbium and less CO2 as dark skin or ethinc skin patients have a higher chance of skin darkening with CO2 lasers. If I am treating lighter skin Caucasian patients, I opt for more CO2 as in most cases sun damage and collagen production needs to be optimized in this population of patients.
The same applies if I am using this combination of lasers for skin scars- including acne and surgical scars. In this situation I aim to get ‘under the scar’ with erbium, removing old collagen.
For conditions such as Rhinophyma, the CO2 is a must- this laser delivers heat as well as ablation to stop the bleeding associated with lasering this condition.
In summary, laser resurfacing can be conducted for all sorts of skin conditions including medical resurfacing- scars, benign skin tumors such as syringomas, skin cancers, rhinophyma, and sun damage. Conversely, laser resurfacing can also be used to treat cosmetic concerns such as sagging skin, loss of tone, wrinkles, upper lip lines and poor skin texture. The flexibility of using BOTH types of lasers for different applications, combined with the skill level of the operator can result in a remarkable transformation. See the before and after gallery for more information.