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Having a CO2 Laser Treatment for Dark Spots? Just Add Topicals.

By: DuPage Medical Group Plastic Surgery
Topics: General
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Are you bothered by dark spots and are considering having a CO2 laser treatment to correct your skin? Make sure you add a topical regimen to your list! By combining CO2 laser treatments with topical therapy you can achieve the most effective results for moderate to severe skin pigmentation. Plus you get the added benefit of improved overall collagen formation!

Dark Spots, Be Gone!

Dark spots, known as hyperpigmentation, are very common when your skin ages due to the overstimulation of the pigment producing cells (melanocytes) in your body. These cells can be triggered to deposit pigment by sun damage, inflammation, injury to the skin and various diseases. The accumulation of these darkened areas over time can result in an overall uneven skin tone that may be difficult to treat with over-the-counter topical skin care products.

Where to Start

One month prior to your CO2 laser treatment, start pre-treating your skin with hydroquinone and Retin-A topical therapy. This will help prevent transient hyperpigmentation that may occur post-laser therapy.

  • Hydroquinone is a medical grade topical that is used in the treatment of skin pigmentation. It has a lightening effect and when used effectively can reduce the appearance of dark spots.
  • A topical retinoid (such as Retin-A) is also a mainstay of therapy if you are looking to treat photo-aging. Retinoid works to increase collagen and improve pigment irregularities.

CO2 Laser Therapy & Pigmentation

CO2 laser therapy treats pigmentation by destroying the outer layers of the skin and stimulating re-epithelialization and cell turnover in the deeper layers. This removes pigmentation and restructures collagen to both improve dark spots and reduce wrinkles. Most people require one or two CO2 laser treatments for best results. The recovery time from a CO2 laser treatment is generally about 1 week for total skin resurfacing. Please know that redness may persist for several weeks after the treatment depending on the intensity.

Post Laser Treatment Care

Immediately following the laser treatment, a post-laser skin care regimen should be implemented to calm and protect your skin during re-epithelialization. The combination of hydroquinone and Retin-A therapy should be reestablished 4-6 weeks following your CO2 laser treatment. There is still a possibility of developing new dark spots over time even after laser treatment. That is why it is most beneficial to continue topical therapy in order to prevent the re-emergence of hyperpigmentation and protect the post-laser results.

Combining topical therapy with CO2 laser treatment is an excellent way to get the best outcome with the longest results from your laser treatment.