The CO2 laser is a carbon dioxide laser and has the longest wavelength of all lasers at the market, therefor it is one of the most widely used laser in medicine.
The name of the laser comes from the fact that the laser is a gas mixture containing carbon dioxide (CO2). Although the emitted light itself is invisible (infrared range), the effects on the skin tissue is immediately visible.
The treated tissue becomes very hot and slightly burns at the surface.
As a positive side effect, the smallest veins are sealed by the heating, so no blood flow hinders the visibility at surgery.
The CO2 laser is used to remove all prominent tissues likes moles and warts. Furthermore, the CO2 laser can be used to treat precancerous skin lesions.
The patient receives a local anaesthesia prior to treatment.
The laser creates a small superficial wound, similar to a graze. The treated area must be treated for one week with a daily iodine solution. In addition, direct contact with water should be avoided during the healing phase. Therefore, a water-resistant patch should be used when showering. Furthermore, intensive sunlight should be avoided during the first 4 weeks after treatment, because this could cause alteration in pigmentation.