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You’ve undoubtedly heard of laser skin resurfacing. Although it sounds new, in fact, the original and “the gold standard” is the CO2 laser for skin resurfacing, which was invented in 1964 by Dr. Kumar Patel. Dr. Patel isn’t a physician. He earned his PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford and worked for AT&T Bell Labs for over 30 years, over which time he was granted 36 patents for lasers and won the National Medal of Science. The most useful of all his lasers has been the CO2 laser, which has more applications than any other laser in existence.

The combination of collagen restoration plus long-lasting results makes the CO2 laser my first choice for skin resurfacing. There are other lasers that restore collagen but they don’t create results that last up to 5 years, as does the CO2 laser, nor do they have the ability to really make dramatic changes in the skin. A CO2 laser treatment can create results in one treatment that other lasers can’t create without numerous visits to the office. It can be calibrated to lower settings, giving patients the option of a shorter recovery but the shorter recovery time is a trade-off in results.

The collagen underneath the skin supports the upper layers. If there’s not enough collagen, the skin is less radiant and lustrous. The CO2 laser light literally vaporizes lines, wrinkles, scars, dark spots and other irregularities in the skin, layer by layer. The deeper the penetration of the laser, the better the results, as the collagen will increase in response of the laser light. Although it’s more intense than other lasers such as fractional laser treatments, the CO2 is an extremely effective way to literally turn back the clock on your skin.