Can Lasers and Light Help You Turn Back Time?

It was great while it lasted, but those years of fun in the sun can leave their mark on skin with unwelcome brown spots, rosacea and unsightly fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. Mohit Sood, Penn Affiliated Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon with Shore Physicians Group and Sood Center for Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery, is helping to slow down and even reverse that sun damage to reset the clock and bring back a more youthful appearance.

Two cosmetic procedures that are giving Dr. Sood’s patients the results they desire include Intense Pulsed Light treatment (IPL) and Fractional CO2 laser. We spoke with Dr. Sood recently to learn more about these procedures and how they work.

Intense Pulsed Light
IPL is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that uses high-intensity pulses of light rather than a laser to diminish the appearance of imperfections like sun damage, age spots, vascular lesions, rosacea, and redness in scars. IPL therapy is considered a non-ablative resurfacing technique, which means that it targets the lower layers of skin (dermis), without affecting the top layers of skin (epidermis). The results will vary depending upon the patients’ habits and their use of sunblock, skin care and sun exposure. Dr. Sood indicated that it is possible for hyperpigmentation problems to be permanently eradicated with the IPL.

The IPL procedure is quick, with little or no downtime for patients. According to Dr. Sood, the discomfort is minimal and has been likened to a rubber band snap at the site during the treatment itself. There is sometimes a mild stinging sensation that resolves in an hour or two after the procedure and patients jump right back into their normal lifestyle.

After the IPL treatment, patients will continue to see improvements in the days following the procedure. The full results from treatment come two weeks post-procedure, but Dr. Sood said in most cases, a series of IPL treatments are required to provide the optimal results.

Fractional CO2 Laser
While Fractional CO2 Laser might sound like something from Star Wars, it is really a great tool. The resurfacing carbon dioxide laser helps stimulate the regeneration of new, healthy skin by precisely removing deep outer layers of damaged skin.

Dr. Sood said the CO2 laser treats fine to moderately deep wrinkles, photo damage, scarring, skin tone, texture, along with crepiness and sagging. “The treatment may cause some discomfort but we ensure our patients’ comfort throughout the procedure by use of numbing cream. The CO2 can treat specialized areas, such as the eyes and around the mouth. However, the most popular areas to treat are the full face and neck. Skin will scab and peel 2-7 days after treatment. Plan for 5-7 days for healing before you feel comfortable going out in public,” said Dr. Sood.

The area treated by the CO2 laser will remain pink for 3-4 weeks. During this time there will be noticeable improvements of skin texture and tone. The full results can be seen 3-6 months after the initial treatment, once the skin has completely healed and had enough time for cell turnover. Dr. Sood indicated that improvements from a CO2 laser treatment can be seen for many years after treatment. Those results can be prolonged with diligent use of sunscreen, avoided sun exposure, and with good skincare maintenance. Most patients only need one CO2 treatment to see results or multiple treatments for deeper wrinkles or scarring.

To find out if Intense Pulsed Light or Fractional CO2 Laser are the tools that may help to improve your skin tone, even out dark spots, rejuvenate deep wrinkles or remove scarring, contact Dr. Mohit Sood at Shore Physicians Group, 609-653-4535 or visit