One of the fastest and easiest ways to “turn back the clock” is to improve the look and feel of your skin with laser skin resurfacing. With time, sun exposure, and even pregnancies, the surface of the skin can become mottled with brown spots, redness, fine lines, and wrinkles, making it appear “crepey” in texture. How fast this happens depends on a number of factors including genetics as well as lifestyle choices such as how much time you’ve spent in the sun and whether or not you were a smoker.
A CO2 laser procedure, in particular, is a fantastic way to radically improve both your skin tone and texture. However, CO2 laser treatments require a fairly serious commitment in terms of downtime, and thus has been a deterrent for many patients. A new option, CoolPeel, offers all the benefits of a CO2 laser with considerably less downtime – something many, many patients are after. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christine Hamori of Boston discusses how this new treatment is changing her patients skin one 15 minute session at a time.
What is CoolPeel?
The CoolPeel treatment is a brand new offering with the DEKA dot laser, a fractionated CO2 laser. Laser skin resurfacing with a CO2 laser has long been the gold standard for treating:
- fine lines & wrinkles
- age spots
- areas of pigmentation
- scars & blemishes, including acne scars
These lasers can radically improve skin texture, but also has the ability to tone, tighten, and even lift loose skin. They work by damaging and removing the top layer of the skin. This, in turn, stimulates the body to produce more collagen and elastin, the foundation of youthful looking skin. The problem with CO2 lasers is that they require quite a bit of downtime for the damaged skin to heal. The CoolPeel treatment, however, is a fractional ablative treatment. This means that only a portion of the skin is damaged so that you’re only red for about 24 hours.
What Makes CoolPeel Different?
This ability to produce profound change in your skin tone and texture without a lot of downtime is what makes the CoolPeel treatment so different. With this procedure, Dr. Hamori is able to adjust the treatment pattern, “so it’s almost like aerating a lawn.” The Deka laser creates tiny micro channels that can be either bigger or smaller in width depending on a patient’s needs and ability to tolerate downtime.
This ability to fine-tune means that Dr. Hamori can decide exactly how much skin she wants to treat in the ablative mode and how much she wants to leave untouched. By coring out the skin that is poor quality, “the rest kind of shrinks, so if you have brown spots, there’s less there,” she explains. “If you have laxity, there’s less there.” Furthermore, keeping portions of the skin untouched allows the treatment area to heal and recover much more quickly.
Benefits of CoolPeel
Besides a speedy recovery, one of the greatest things about the CoolPeel treatment is that it’s possible to treat the entire face, neck and hands on different settings that can be adjusted for each area and for each individual patient depending on need. This versatility is a game changer.
The CoolPeel treatment is also fast, requiring only about 15 minutes. It’s performed in the office, and is basically pain free. After treatment, patients can expect to be red for about 24 hours. Patients will need to apply a balm, such as Aquaphor, for about 3 days, and that’s it! “You have these incredible results that you start seeing at about 6-7 weeks,” says Dr. Hamori.
Patients and Surgeons Love the CoolPeel
Patients love the CoolPeel treatment because it is a fast, effective way to rejuvenate their skin tone and texture without a huge investment of time. There are definitely more aggressive modes to the laser if you are trying to treat deep lines, such as bar code lips or serious sun damage. But this will translate to more downtime — probably about 72 hours. However, the more aggressive treatments don’t typically need to be repeated.
“If you are going to take the baby steps with the CoolPeel where you have less recovery and are able to go back to work after 48 hours, you’ll probably need to repeat it twice a year,” explains Dr. Hamori. The great thing about the CoolPeel treatment is that it gives the patient choices, and choice is always appreciated.