What is Fractionated CO2 Laser Treatment?

Think of your skin as a family portrait or digital photograph in need of high-quality restoration or touch up. Just as a damaged painting is delicately restored one small area at a time, or a photographic image is altered, the Fractionated Resurfacing Laser Treatment improves your appearance by affecting only a fraction of your skin at a time with thousands of tiny microscopic laser spots. The Fractionated Resurfacing Laser is a new treatment for wrinkles around the eyes, acne scar removal, age and sunspots, and sun damaged skin. 

After your very first Fractionated Resurfacing Laser Skin Treatment, you will begin to feel the difference in your skin as it gradually becomes softer, smoother, and fresher. Fine lines around your eyes will noticeably fade. So will uneven coloring and the brown spots caused by aging and sun exposure. After several treatments, your friends and family will marvel at how youthful and healthy your skin looks. The results are so discreet and natural that only you and your doctor will know you’ve had a laser surgical procedure.

How does it Work?

The Fractionated Resurfacing Laser utilizes a new technology called Fractional Resurfacing. With Fractional Resurfacing Technology, only a fraction of the skin receives the laser light. The laser delivers a series of microscopic closely spaced laser spots to the skin while simultaneously preserving normal healthy skin between the laser spots. This preservation of healthy skin results in rapid healing following the laser treatment. The entire face can be treated with the laser in approximately 30 minutes. There is no need for pain medicine after the treatment, as any discomfort from the procedure is minimal. Patients can return to work immediately after their treatment or the next day. Optimal results are generally achieved by a series of 3 to 5 treatment sessions spaced one to two weeks apart. 

Preparing for Laser Treatment

Fractionated Resurfacing Laser Treatments can be performed right in the LA Laser Center office, by our certified dermatologists, using only topical anesthesia in most cases. Treatment is well tolerated and feels like a prickling sensation. The treatment area will be thoroughly washed prior to the procedure. Then a layer of topical numbing gel is applied. Once the numbing gel has taken effect, an FDA certified water-soluble tint, OptiGuide Blue, is applied to the treatment area to highlight the contours of the skin. The tint is washed off after treatment.

During Treatment

A certified dermatologist will glide the laser hand-piece across the area to be treated (face, neck, chest, hands or desired treatment location). A special cooling device will blow chilled air across the skin as it is being treated. As the hand-piece delivers the laser energy in tiny “dots”, you will feel a heated prickling sensation and hear a sound from the machine that resembles radio static. In about 30 minutes, you’re done. A nurse then applies a cool gel and removes the tint.

What Happens After Treatment?

You will experience a mild sunburn sensation for about an hour and then virtually no discomfort. The skin will have a pinkish tone for five to seven days. This is a normal sign that the skin is healing deeply, that dermal tissue is being repaired, and there is good blood circulation. Swelling is minimal and generally resolves in two to three days. Typically patients find they can go back to work soon after treatment or the next day. Some patients may wish to use Lycogel instead of regular makeup for its special healing and camouflage properties.

What Happens When You Go Home?

New epidermal skin develops immediately, within 24 hours. 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 reorganized epidermal skin replaces dead tissue. Flaking is similar to that of minor sunburn, but without the associated pain. Use of a moisturizer will mask the appearance of flaking. Over the following weeks and months, the body repairs the deeper dermal tissues that have been affected by the Fractionated Resurfacing treatment, producing longer beneficial changes associated with a healthy, youthful appearance.

Be sure to use sunscreen at least twice daily to protect your skin from sun exposure during both the healing phase and for several months after treatment. Apply a moisturizing sun block with an SPF of at least 30-plus. For added protection, use wide-brimmed hats when in direct sunlight.

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