ZocdocAnswersIs the Italian CO2 laser a hoax?

Question

Is the Italian CO2 laser a hoax?

I'm a young woman, but my skin is showing signs of early aging ? so I'm always on the lookout for new techniques to treat sun damage and wrinkles. Recently I've been hearing a lot about some new Italian CO2 laser treatment. Is this a hoax, or what?

Answer

The Fractionated CO2 laser technique is a method that dermatologists and some cosmetic surgeons use to help deal with unwanted photo damage (sun spots), scars, and wrinkles. I have not heard of any specific technique called the "Italian CO2 laser", so I'll assume that fractionated CO2 skin resurfacing is the same. There is a fair amount of literature to suggest that some patients cosmetically benefit from fractionated CO2 laser treatments. There is no doubt that some patients have seen very positive effects from it. There are some permanent and quite common side effects that should be discussed at length with your doctor before proceeding such as hypo-pigmentation that may occur in up to half of recipients. I suggest you that you find a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon in your area who advertises doing this procedure. Make sure that he or she has done the CO2 laser procedure for many years. Have a sit down consultation with him or her and get a feel for how comfortable you are with that physician and the procedure. Make sure you look at before and after pictures. An most importantly, make sure you ask about every possible side effect. Afterwards, schedule an appointment with you primary care physician and discuss the information with him or her. That way you can also get an unbiased second opinion on whether or not to go through with the procedure. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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