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CO2 Laser Resurfacing or Alternative Treatments: Which is right for you?

Not too long ago, CO2 laser resurfacing was the go-to laser skin treatment. It did it all and it did it very effectively. With CO2 laser resurfacing, we can dramatically reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, facial redness, hyperpigmentation, and even very prominent scars on the face, chest, and hands. However, advances in technology and improvements in non-laser treatments give patients more options for less aggressive treatments with positive results.

co2 laser resurfacing los angeles

Is CO2 laser resurfacing right for you, or would you benefit from a gentler laser skin treatment? Could a non-laser skin rejuvenation treatment work as well? Let’s explore all the ways we can resurface your skin, starting with the pros and cons of co2 laser resurfacing procedures.

Pros and Cons of CO2 Laser Resurfacing

CO2 laser skin resurfacing is one of the more invasive laser skin resurfacing treatments; however, this is what makes the results so powerful. With CO2 lasers, the procedure is a “one and done” experience that provides long-lasting results. For patients with more extensive sun damage, scarring, or who have more widespread fine lines and wrinkles, CO2 laser resurfacing can provide faster results while treating all of their skin concerns in one effective procedure.

As stated above, however, CO2 laser is very aggressive and invasive. While this is definitely worth it if you have more extensive skin damage or advanced signs of aging, many patients want smoother, younger-looking skin without an aggressive laser treatment with extensive downtime. That is why we’re excited to show you less invasive alternatives to CO2 laser resurfacing in our Los Angeles laser and aesthetics practice, including more gentle laser skin resurfacing procedures and treatments that provide real results without lasers.

co2 laser resurfacing before and after photos

Less Invasive Alternatives to CO2 Laser Resurfacing in Los Angeles

If you want the results a laser treatment can give you, but you don’t need the intensity that CO2 laser resurfacing provides, a less-invasive, non-ablative laser treatment may suit you. During your consultation with one of our aesthetic providers, we will likely recommend one of the following non-CO2 laser treatments: Fraxel, Vbeam, or Clear+Brilliant.

Fraxel Laser

The Fraxel laser is a true fractional laser, unlike the misunderstood and often misnamed fractional CO2 laser. Fraxel is not ablative like in CO2 laser resurfacing. Instead, it targets specific spots on the skin, triggering the growth of new skin cells and collagen production. Basically, Fraxel delivers thousands of microscopic laser pulses to a tiny area of your skin. This stimulates your body's healing mechanisms. As with other types of lasers, it softens the look of fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, birthmarks, and enlarged pores. Ideal for patients under 50, Fraxel laser can treat your face, legs, arms, neck and chest, as well as the backs of your hands.

Fraxel is very comfortable. A topical numbing cream is applied prior to treatment, making the procedure very tolerable. Facial redness, like a sunburn, is present following the treatment, but this doesn’t last long and isn’t nearly as extensive as with a co2 laser procedure.

The drawbacks of Fraxel, as well as Vbeam and Clear+Brilliant, is that you will require multiple treatments before you see results. Most patients, however, are happy to see us for multiple appointments in exchange for the little-to-no downtime associated with these procedures.

vbeam laser before and after

Vbeam Laser

The Vbeam laser is interesting because it uses a dye to treat imperfections such as red birthmarks and rosacea. It targets hemoglobin, which is the protein that makes blood red. Because of this, Vbeam reduces the appearance of red lesions such as port wine stains and angiomas. Our Vbeam laser also treats bruises, scars and damage caused by the sun. Vbeam is very comfortable, using a cryogen to cool the skin for comfort before the laser reaches the skin.

One drawback of Vbeam is that it shouldn’t be used if you’re taking isotretinoin for acne. You will need to be off isotretinoin for at least six months before you can undergo the Vbeam laser. Discuss your options with our expert providers to find out what we recommend for your specific needs.

Clear+Brilliant Gentle Laser

Clear+Brilliant is one of the milder types of laser skin treatments. It heats up the collagen layer beneath the skin and prompts your body to produce more of it. The treatment reduces the size of your pores, is non-invasive and leaves behind a clearer complexion. Because it is gentle, you have a shorter recovery period and can probably go back to your normal routine immediately. If you have one session a month, it can forestall those early aging signs as well. Clear+Brilliant is suitable for patients of all ages, ethnicities, and skin types. However, you may find that you require a more aggressive laser, depending on the results you’re looking for.

Clear+Brilliant is so gentle that it requires many treatments to see the same results as other laser procedures. Depending on your needs and lifestyle, this may or may not be worth it. It’s best to discuss your options with one of our expert aesthetic providers to determine if Clear+Brilliant is the right solution for your needs.

clear and brilliant laser before and after pictures

Which Laser Is Right for You?

It’s very difficult to make blanket recommendations related to laser skin resurfacing without discussing your needs, desired results, and lifestyle in person. There are many factors to consider when choosing a laser procedure. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Your primary skin concern and goals
  • Your natural skin tone (some lasers can damage darker skin tones)
  • Lifestyle (if you’re in front of cameras a lot, being red-faced is not an option)
  • Topical and oral medications you’re currently using

Want Results Without CO2 Laser or Other Laser Treatments?

Prefer a non-laser treatment, but still want smoother, healthier, younger-looking skin? You can opt for treatments that are less invasive or completely noninvasive. These treatments include facials, chemical peels, microneedling, photodynamic therapy, and microdermabrasion.

Hydrafacial before and after anti-aging results

Our experienced, licensed aestheticians offers a wide-range of facial skin care treatments and can also recommend products to improve and/or maintain your results. We offer custom facials, but two of our popular facials that help with many skin care concerns include:

  • Stem Cell Facial: These types of cells can turn into any other variety of cell in the body. The cells used at Lasky do not come from humans or even animals but from a special type of apple found in France. This type of facial stimulates the growth of new, fresh skin cells.
  • HydraFacial: This type of facial is tailored to your specific skin type. We first give your skin a five-step treatment that includes exfoliation and an oxygen infusion facial. We'll then apply additional treatment according to whether the skin is dry, oily, normal or sensitive. The Hydrafacial also includes vacuuming, which helps remove impurities in the pores.

Those looking for a truly cleansing and exfoliating treatment could try a chemical peel. This procedure involves applying a combination of non-scrubbing ingredients that exfoliate the top layers of skin. This reduces the appearance of wrinkles, scars and other blemishes. Chemical peels can be light, medium or deep.

Peel before and after photos
  • A light peel is used to treat your skin if it has poor texture and mild sun damage.
  • The medium peel is for moderate damage from the sun, including uneven pigmentation and noticeable lines.
  • You may opt for a deep peel if your skin has been badly damaged by the sun, has poor tone and suffers from deep wrinkles, folds and liver spots.

Microneedling is another popular alternative to laser skin resurfacing. For patients with hyperpigmentation, acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, microneedling smooths skin tone and texture. Also called Collagen Induction Therapy, this treatment creates microscopic pinpricks to stimulate collagen growth and rapid skin cell turnover. The result is smoother, more youthful looking skin.

Similar to chemical peels, microdermabrasion exfoliates the top layers of the skin via a spray of tiny crystals. A tiny vacuum sucks up the spent crystals along with skin debris. Consider microdermabrasion if you’re bothered by blackheads, uneven pigmentation, scars, enlarged pores and fine lines.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a light treatment that targets damaged skin cells and oil glands. While the Vbeam laser may be used for this treatment, we also use IPL photofacial and LED light treatments, depending on your needs. This is a painless procedure with little-to-no side-effects and treats hyperpigmentation and sun damage to even out skin tone.

Why Choose Lasky Aesthetics for Your Laser Treatments in Los Angeles?

At Lasky Aesthetics and Laser Center in Beverly Hills, our staff has long focused on treating skin problems with lasers, including CO2 laser resurfacing. Because of this, we are experts at knowing the right sort of laser to treat a birthmark, acne scars, wrinkles or enlarged pores. During your first visit, you’ll meet our manager and then have a consultation with a skincare expert. At that time, you can explain your goals, and we'll let you know how we can help you achieve them.

Lasky was founded by four of Los Angeles' most prestigious aesthetic medical physicians in Beverly Hills: a board-certified dermatologist, two board-certified facial plastic surgeons, and a board-certified plastic surgeon. Led by these renowned and respected experts, our team of aesthetic medical specialists are some of the most respected in the area with the results to prove it.

Schedule a Consultation for CO2 Laser Resurfacing or Other Laser Treatments in Los Angeles

Restore the fresh, glowing, unblemished look of your skin or put off those signs of aging with expert treatments at the Lasky Aesthetics and Laser Center in Beverly Hills, CA. Contact us for a consultation today and find out if CO2 laser resurfacing, non-ablative lasers, or other skin care treatments are right for you. We look forward to meeting you and helping you look and feel more youthful and beautiful.

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