Laser skin resurfacing is a great way to restore health and vitality to your skin. In particular, a fractional CO2 laser have made the treatment safer and more effective. Unlike some skin rejuvenating lasers that remove the entire outer layer of the skin, a fractional laser treat specific zones, resulting in a shorter downtime. This technology utilizes the laser for acne scars, wrinkles and skin resurfacing treatments.
Fractional CO2 Laser Technology
Fractionated technology achieves the same results as more ablative lasers, with less downtime and fewer complications. Fractional CO2 (carbon dioxide) lasers are appropriate for a range of skin concerns, and skin types.
The fractional CO2 lasers are very safe, and are often used in combination with other aesthetic procedures. The lasers emit microscopic arrays of energy that create fractional zones within the skin, while leaving the skin surrounding the zones intact. It has a long wavelength which makes it ideal for treating skin damage and scars. The non-ablative lasers can treat delicate parts of the body such as the eyelid, also, around the mouth.
Fractional CO2 lasers also helps with photo-aging and fine lines. Widely used for their anti-aging benefits, they stimulate collagen production. As new collagen forms over time the skin becomes noticeably firmer and younger-looking.
Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is done on an outpatient basis. In order to minimize pain, a physician uses a numbing agent such as a topical anesthetic gel prior to treatment. The procedure can be done to target specific concerns, or it may be performed on the entire face.
Patients can expect some residual redness and discoloration after treatment, but this usually resolves within a few days. For extensive facial rejuvenation treatments, patients generally should remain indoors for 2-3 days, applying a topical ointment during this time.
It typically takes 5-7 days to recover from treatment with the fractional CO2 laser. In some cases, the redness may persist beyond the anticipated 7 days of downtime, but this depends on the intensity of the laser settings.
The recovery period with the fractional CO2 laser is significantly less when compared to the recovery period for fully ablative lasers. There is less downtime because the fractional laser only treats a certain percentage of the skin. The surrounding skin areas aid in the healing process. Recovery is also faster since there is less injury to the tissue.
Recovery time depends on the the aggressiveness of the treatment, as well as the coverage. Physicians will normally use a higher power mode for more intense treatment, such as for deep wrinkles and acne scars. This will increase recovery time from the standard 7 days.
Your physician will customize your treatment plan with the fractional CO2 laser, in order to deal with your specific condition. Some skin issues requires more aggressive resurfacing, resulting in a longer downtime. On the other hand, the downtime will be less for more superficial irregularities.