CO2 CO2 laser: principle of operation and application

The invention of the laser is the most significant invention of the XX century.
Laser technologies have found application in various fields of science –
from the removal of skin tumors to space flight and
controlled thermonuclear reactions. They are so firmly established in our
life that no field of science is no longer able to do without
of them. It is especially difficult to imagine modern cosmetology without
laser based procedures. In modern cosmetology there is
a large number of laser systems. We already wrote about neodymium
laser. Today we will know what carbon dioxide CO2 is


  • What is CO2 laser (carbon dioxide laser) and its principle
  • Types of carbon dioxide lasers
  • What can be improved with carbon dioxide lasers
  • Carrying out the procedure with CO2 carbon dioxide laser
  • What is the effect of carbon dioxide laser in cosmetology?
  • Indications for the CO2 laser procedure
  • Contraindications to the procedure
  • Side effects and complications

What is CO2 laser (carbon dioxide laser) and its principle

CO2 lasers are lasers that work on gas mixtures.
Light amplification in such lasers occurs due to vibrating
transitions in carbon dioxide CO2 molecules. Lasers of this type
use a combination of several gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), helium
(He), nitrogen (N2), hydrogen (H2) and xenon (Xe). CO2 lasers
generate 10.6 micron wavelengths that can
generate high quality radiation and high power.


Getting on the skin of a carbon dioxide laser is absorbed
melanocytes (cells that produce the pigment melanin) and water,
exerting a thermal effect on the fabric.

The laser effect depends on the density and intensity of the light
radiation (beam of light), duration of exposure, its nature and
momentum. How does the laser work? For example, when deleting
neoplasms on the skin using CO2 laser radiation power
50 kW and density per 1 cm2. Density and power correlation
radiation contributes to the rapid heating of water, which
contained in tissues and cells, and then heated anhydrous
tissue components. The result is instantaneous
explosive vaporization of fluid with destruction of cells and tissues.
In other words, the CO2 laser light is absorbed by water,
which is found in large quantities in cells and tissues

Types of carbon dioxide lasers

There are two main types of CO2 laser:

  • continuous;
  • pulse.

Continuous laser based devices are based on
laser radiation, which is constantly on time. Such
Lasers are used in surgery to excise skin neoplasms.
But this type of lasers has one major drawback. During
its exposure to significant heating of nearby tissues.
For this reason, it is not possible to accurately predict the depth
laser penetration into the tissue.

Apparatus based on pulsed radiation carried out
exposure to short flashes during which each quantum
radiation transmits a certain energy to the tissues. Afterwards this
cells and tissues in the treated area die and evaporate.
Important is the fact that during data exposure
machines, nearby tissues do not heat up, heat transfer is not
carried out and they remain intact. Can say that
This type of laser has a selective effect that
promotes rapid recovery and healing of the treated

Modern laser devices and installations work as in
continuous and in pulse mode.

What can be improved with carbon dioxide lasers

Carbon dioxide lasers operate in a variety of modes, which
allows you to use them for different purposes:

  1. To carry out laser dermabrasion. Its essence is to remove
    the upper layer of the epidermis in order to rejuvenate and improve skin
  2. Improving the structure of scar tissue. The laser allows you to improve
    the appearance of scar tissue after acne, post acne scarring,
    traumatic scars.
  3. Evaporation of skin growths and skin defects: nevi,
    warts, papillomas, age spots, stagnant spots after
    acne, tattoos, cysts.
  4. Elimination of fine wrinkles resulting from dehydration
    skin, and improving the appearance of deep wrinkles.

Carrying out the procedure with CO2 carbon dioxide laser

The procedure is carried out in several stages:

The first stage is the cleansing of the skin. The skin is cleared of decorative
cosmetics with special antiseptic preparations.

The second stage is anesthesia 30 minutes before the main
procedures. As painkillers use local
anesthetics in the form of a cream, gel or spray. If necessary
elimination of serious skin defects conduct general anesthesia.

The third stage is the direct processing of the required areas.
skin. This stage is the essence of the procedure, and last 20-30

The fourth stage is the final one. After carbon dioxide treatment
a skin cream is applied to the skin with a soothing and moisturizing cream, which
able to restore and moisten the normal level of humidity

Approximately 10 days before the procedure, you must start
taking antiviral drugs to prevent recurrence

In the first days after the procedure it is necessary to apply on the skin.
healing drugs and antibacterial ointments that are prescribed

What is the effect of carbon dioxide laser in cosmetology?

Carbon dioxide laser is most often used for skin resurfacing. For
the implementation of this procedure, the laser apparatus set up such
way that the frequency and power of the laser beam is removed in one
pulse surface area of ​​skin no more than 24-30
micrometers. In this case, the pulse frequency is not more than 5.
hertz that prevents deep heating of tissues and their uncontrolled

Skin rejuvenation under the influence of CO2 laser radiation
caused by several factors:

  • reduced wrinkles due to surface evaporation
  • coagulation of tissues and vessels also due to evaporation
    cell fluids;
  • changing the structure of protein molecules (denaturation);
  • draining tissue due to dehydration;
  • the destruction of collagen fibers is also due
  • tissue reaction to traumatic and thermal damage,
    which provokes aseptic inflammation;
  • aseptic inflammation, provoking activation
    fibroblasts that synthesize collagen and elastin to form
    parallel fibrils.

Indications for the CO2 laser procedure

The procedure is shown in the following cases:

  • roughness of the skin;
  • post-acne scarring and scarring;
  • wrinkles and skin flabbiness;
  • keloid scars;
  • traumatic scars;
  • dark spots;
  • keratoses;
  • neoplasms of the skin (warts, papillomas, nevi);
  • stretch marks.


Contraindications to the procedure

The procedure is contraindicated in the following conditions:

  • pregnancy and lactation;
  • dermatological diseases;
  • infectious diseases;
  • acute and chronic diseases in the acute stage;
  • autoimmune and oncological diseases;
  • diabetes;
  • bleeding disorders;
  • propensity to form keloid scars.

Side effects and complications

After the procedure, based on carbon dioxide laser happen
side effects in the form of slight redness and slight
peeling of the skin, which usually pass in two days. Such
effects are a one-time procedure based on a carbon dioxide laser.
If there are more procedures, then the skin reddens significantly (hyperemia
lasts for a month), bloody crusts appear, which
in no case can not be forcibly removed. Under these crusts
healthy young skin is formed.

A large number of procedures can also trigger
long bleeding ulcers covered with crusts. Ulcer healing
occurs within 2-3 months. With deep penetration
laser, on the patient’s skin can be formed depigmented
areas that contain damaged melanocytes. If the laser
penetrates even deeper, scars form in these areas and
scars. Areas of healthy tissue are interwoven with scar tissue, which
gives the skin an unhealthy and unaesthetic appearance.

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