SKIN TIGHTENING AND SKIN TEXTURE IMPROVEMENT WITH THE MIXTO SX® CO2 FRACTIONAL LASER
The micro fractional CO2 skin resurfacing laser is a powerful tool for the treatment of several skin conditions including acne scarring.
The fractional ability of this laser enables it to deliver energy in a scanning pattern rather than a continuous beam. This reduces unnecessary heat build-up in the skin, allowing higher energy levels to be applied. The application of the laser in this controlled way allows the top layers of skin to vaporise and peel in a manner that provides quick recovery and significant improvement in terms of skin quality. The CO2 laser also stimulates collagen regrowth, which will give the skin a much smoother, blemish-free appearance.
WHICH AREAS CAN BE TREATED?
Treatment with the CO2 laser has been proven safe for the face, neck, chest, arms and hands. It can be used on most parts of the skin that shows signs of scarring.
THE BENEFITS TO THE PATIENT ARE:
- Reduction in acne scarring or individual scars.
- Textural improvement which removes pigmentation problems, reduces pore size, wrinkles, acne scars, and other textural irregularities.
- Effective reduction of skin lesions e.g. discolouration from sun damage and ageing.
- Stimulates new collagen production for up to one year following treatment.
- Minimal discomfort with topical anaesthetic cream
- Minimal downtime: typically 5 days in total, of which 3 days are infection risk and the subsequent 2 days being ‘social downtime’ due to facial redness.
When do you see results?
You can see results immediately as the CO2 laser’s wavelength targets and vaporises the water held within the skin. This causes the skin to contract. Patients will be able to see the benefit of the skin tightening effect once the skin has peeled away.
When we are doing the procedure you can immediately see the skin contract and shrink.
The quality of the skin’s texture continues to improve over the coming months as the generation of new collagen simulates healthier and younger-looking skin.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
In most cases only one, but for deep acne scars two or more treatments may be required for optimum results and to meet more discerning patients’ needs.
You can watch videos of the treatment and see before and after photos here.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO HAVE THE MIXTO TREATMENT?
A detailed verbal and written explanation of what to expect at the time of the CO2 treatment and subsequent recovery time will be provided at time of consultation with our clinician. The following is an overview to help patients decide whether they are prepared to undergo the short-term inconvenience of downtime to achieve the long-term benefits of gaining clearer, smoother, healthier, younger looking skin.
Patients are given a prescription to administer two days prior to date of treatment to minimise the risk of infection. On the day of treatment we provide patients with topical anaesthetic which makes the treatment more comfortable. Once numb, patients receive the treatment to the area concern.
Treatment times will typically be 30 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the treatment area and the number of treatment passes previously discussed, determined and documented in the patient’s care plan. After a cooling down period, patients are treated with protective gel to protect against infection. The immediate after-effect is to experience mild discomfort for up to one hour, a feeling similar to bad sunburn. Patients are free to drive home once they have been given a reminder of aftercare instructions and a supply of medication to take home.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH FRACTIONAL CO2 TREATMENT?
The CO2 Laser treatment targets and transfers so much energy to the skin that it is inevitable and, indeed, essential that three effects are generated to ensure we get the change in the skin that we desire, namely:
- Erythema (redness of skin): the laser-treated areas have a distinctive redness representing increased blood flow due to the growth of the superficial tissue and collagen. This will gradually fade during the first few days.
- Inflammation (swelling): treatment with the MiXto System creates a minimal amount of swelling that can last up to 24 hours.
- Hyperpigmentation (tanning): This is presented normally on the third day of the procedure but then begins to shed and reveal younger healthy looking skin.
To combat the risk of a) infection and b) viral attack, patients are provided with both an antivirus and antibiotics prescription. The course of prescription normally commences two days before the treatment and is taken for 3 days after treatment.
HOW LONG IS RECOVERY?
The most important factor for patients to consider before committing to having this procedure is the amount of downtime. The MiXto CO2 Laser provides the lowest downtime currently available, given the level of transition about to be undertaken by the skin. Consequently, most patients are ready to go back to work after the third day as the peeling process will have finished and the skin will have healed. At this point there will no longer be a need to apply the protective gel as the skin will no longer be exposed to the risk of infection.
However, we know that many people would prefer to recover at home until more of the redness has subsided – normally over course of a couple of days. This downtime is referred to as ‘social downtime’ as it’s something that will impact on individuals in different ways depending on their attitude and lifestyle. Consequently, the final decision as to when patients do go back to work will depend on their lifestyle and the patient’s attitude to leaving home with glowing pink skin. Social downtime is typically an additional 1 – 2 days after the peeling on day 3.
HOW COMFORTABLE IS THE TREATMENT?
Immediately after treatment patients do feel the heat on their skin; however, this is made tolerable because of the effects of the topical anaesthetic applied prior to treatment. After the first hour there is no real discomfort and the patient should focus on the application of gel to ensure the skin remains moist at all times. The treated area will be red and remain swollen.
The day after the treatment the redness and swelling will subside. Typically on day 3, the skin will feel itchy as the layers of skin start to peel. Patients are provided with ointment specifically to tackle and combat the effect of the itchiness. Once peeling is complete and the skin is healed on day 3 there will be no adverse effects on patient’s health, however their appearance may still be slightly red or pink in places.
WHY CHOOSE SKIN MEDICAL FOR YOUR CO2 SKIN RESURFACING?
Our clinicians have been using the CO2 laser since 2008 and are trained to a high standard by consultant plastic surgeons and dermatologists both in the UK and USA. We first started using the Active FX and Deep FX CO2 laser manufactured by Lumenis and recently upgraded to our new MiXto which has proven to be highly effective in terms of patient outcomes and reduced downtime.
Our practitioners have recently undertaken advanced one-to-one training by a specialist consultant dermatologist in New York to collaborate on enhancing treatment techniques and patient experience.
The MiXto CO2 laser is the gold standard for skin resurfacing, with a considerable number of plastic surgeons and dermatologists in the US offering these specialist treatments. Skin Medical, at this time of writing, is the only provider within the UK offering the MiXto micro fractional CO2 Laser.