What is fractional CO2 laser treatment?
Fractional CO2 laser treatment is a lighter, faster, and more versatile solution for skin resurfacing, wrinkle and scar reduction, atypical skin pigmentation, minor dermal incisions and excisions, and vaginal treatments. The specialized fractional CO2 laser treats both superficial and deep skin layers simultaneously with precision control over intensity, pattern and depth. Unlike other more invasive facial treatments, the fractional CO2 laser treats layers of skin cells in columns, leaving the surrounding cells intact to aid in healing.
Which parts of the body can fractional CO2 laser treat?
Fractional CO2 laser treatment is available for a wide range of skin conditions. It can be used on all parts of the body except for skin tissue nearest the eyes.
- Stretch Marks
- Vaginal Rejuvenation
- Skin Discoloration
Is fractional CO2 laser treatment right for me?
Fractional CO2 laser treatment is the perfect antiaging treatment for adult men and women of all ages. If you’re committed to proper after care, this procedure is right for you!
What can I expect the day I receive fractional CO2 laser treatment?
Fractional CO2 laser treatment is a safe, quick, and easy office procedure that takes 15-30 minutes depending on the areas and conditions being treated. For your comfort during treatment, you may be given a topical or injectable anesthetic. A skin care specialist will glide the laser applicator over the area to be treated, and a cooling device will blow chilled air across the skin. As the applicator delivers laser energy in tiny bursts, you will feel a heated prickling sensation and hear a sound that resembles radio static. Once treatment is complete, a nurse will apply cool gel to the treated area.
Most patients describe the feeling after treatment like a bad sunburn. This feeling can last anywhere from two hours to two days. We often prescribe medications both before and after surgery that make is unsafe to operate a vehicle, so you may need to designate a driver to take you home after treatment.
What will recovery be like after I receive fractional CO2 laser treatment?
Patients are typically able to go back to work the day after fractional CO2 laser treatment. Even though you are able to return to regular activities, it is important to follow the after care instructions given to you by your skin care specialist. Failure to do so may delay or diminish the results of fractional CO2 laser treatment.
Within 24 hours of treatment, new epidermal skin begins to develop. This process of skin repair involves bronzing and flaking. Your skin will have a bronze appearance that lasts anywhere from 3-14 days, depending on the treatment level. Your skin will naturally and vigorously exfoliate as the new skin replaces dead tissue. It will be flaky and look and feel similar to a minor sunburn. By the 7th day, you can apply makeup, though your skin will still be pink and slightly sensitive. Over the following weeks and months, the body will continue to peel and heal.
Do I need to follow a special skin care routine after receiving fractional CO2 laser treatment?
Your provider will give you detailed instructions about your specific skin care needs. You may receive a prescription for special creams or gels to maximum the results of your fractional CO2 laser treatment. You will need to keep your skin well moisturized in the weeks following treatment. Be sure to use sunscreen daily to protect your skin from sun exposure during both the healing phase and for several months after treatment. Apply a moisturizing sunblock with an SPF of at least 30. For at least six months after treatment, avoid being in the sun as much as possible.
When will I see results from fractional CO2 laser treatment and how long does it last?
Patients typically see results after just one fractional CO2 laser treatment. The skin will continue to improve for a period of six months following the procedure if proper skin care is used and sun exposure is minimized. Sometimes results are not significant until the 6th or even 9th month, depending on age and after care routines.
Occasionally, in an area that cannot be treated aggressively, we may need to do more than one treatment to optimize results. Maintenance treatments may also be necessary for continued results, especially if sun is not avoided or proper skin care is not used. Even with the best care, another treatment may be necessary in a few years.