The CO2 laser is the standard treatment for fine lines, wrinkles, enlarged oil glands, scars, and other skin issues. The most recent version of the CO2 laser utilizes short light pulse energy to remove thin layers of skin with minimal heat damage. The Erbium laser removes surface-level and moderately deep wrinkles in the face, chest, neck, or hands, and is often a much better choice for people with darker skin.
Unlike traditional CO2 lasers used in resurfacing treatments, the Erbium laser causes fewer side effects after treatment. In many cases, CO2 laser treatments cause side-effects that include redness, swelling, and bruising. These issues mean that resurfacing with a CO2 laser can take up to two weeks to recover completely from. The Erbium laser causes fewer of these issues, so recovery time from the procedure is dramatically shortened; most cases will heal in approximately one week, depending on the procedure.
Like most resurfacing procedures, treatment with the Erbium laser is generally considered a cosmetic procedure. As a result, most insurance companies will not cover the costs of a resurfacing procedure unless you are receiving it to cover disfiguring scars, remove pre-cancerous growths, or are having some other treatment deemed medically necessary. If you have questions about the procedure, about how to pay for it, or about how it may benefit you, you should speak with your doctor. Most offices provide financing options for procedures not covered by insurance, and your doctor can explain the treatment, its benefits, and its risks.