CO2 Fractional Laser Resurfacing treatment.
This procedure can take years off your face, even out skin tone, diminish brown spots and wrinkles, remove precancerous lesions, and atone for the sins of sun worshiping in your past. In a matter of minutes, the laser removes small columns of skin, leaving the fresh, glowing, plump skin underneath. The columns allow for collagen to generate where the skin was vaporized. This also results in fewer complications and a down time of looking mildly sunburned for three to four days. These treatments are performed with the aid of a chilling spray that cools the skin to negative 30 degrees, thus making the procedure extremely tolerable. The cooling spray also prevents damage of surrounding tissue that is not the target for removal. Recovery time is thus reduced, with no significant swelling or bleeding associated with other procedures like the weaker, less precise Fraxel.
- One to two treatments per year, depending on amount of damage
- Three to four days of mildly sunburned appearance
- No oozing; minimal aftercare
- Tightens heavy upper eyelids
- Tightens and improves crepey skin under eyes
- Reduces the appearance of lipstick lines
- Fills in acne scars
- Smoothes and lifts loose neck skin
- Tightens and thickens loose skin on the backs of hands
- Improves the appearance of stretch marks or keloid scars
- Evens out irregular skin tone and texture
- Restores youthful glow
So what is the difference is between the various lasers. The CO2 laser is the most powerful laser created that can vaporize material, be it skin, or metal. The technology was developed several decades ago, but was initially poorly controlled, so there was a recovery time of months, since it removed the entire surface of the face. Then, erbium lasers came into vogue. They were a bit weaker, but more controllable. Then the concept of fractionating the laser into smaller, more manageable beams came into play…and thus emerged the fractionated laser. The term “fractional” laser refers to any laser, CO2 or not, that vaporizes smaller, pinpoint areas, instead of large swaths. This leaves healthy skin between to heal the surface while the magic happens below.
The Fraxel was the first and best marketed of these fractional lasers, although it is not well controlled. You can power down a strong laser…you can’t power up a weak laser. Other lasers attempt to make up for their shortcomings, but usually results in more collateral damage, pain, and risk for scarring. The expected down time with the Fraxel, including bleeding and oozing from the face, is about ten (10) days. Since the damage is more superficial, multiple treatments (each with 10 days of down time) are required for optimal results with the Fraxel.
The down time with the CO2 laser we use is three to four days. It is significantly more powerful (goes deeper), and much more precise, so it does not burn the surface. Because this laser reaches so deeply, it takes several months for full results to appear at the surface. This CO2 laser (it’s my second) has the added benefit of radiofrequency for more skin tightening and collagen production. In the following months, you will look younger as time passes, as your body creates its own collagen to fill lines and improve texture. Clients should plan for a productive weekend indoors, as they will need to apply ointments and follow other aftercare measures every few hours for at least three days.