Fractional CO2 Laser
Do you suffer from severe wrinkling or sun damage to your skin?
Dermatologists have been eliminating fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage and other undesirable skin conditions with the help of resurfacing lasers for years.
There are various laser treatments available on the market, so if you’re thinking about laser resurfacing, it’s important to consider all of your options before making a commitment to one particular laser treatment.
In general, laser resurfacing treatments fall under one of two categories: ablative lasers and non-ablative lasers. Both ablative and non-ablative resurfacing can give you dramatic improvements, but they do differ significantly in the final results they produce.
Fractional CO2 laser delivers the results of traditional ablative lasers (which work by vaporising the outer layers of the skin, causing the skin to heal and restructure), but with the faster healing and safety of fractional technology.
As a non-ablative laser, Fraxel changes the epidermal and dermal tissue to a semi-solid or solid state, while penetrating the outermost layer of the skin (Stratum Corneum) without breaking the skin. As a result, there is no clinical downtime and, depending on the aggressiveness of the treatment, social downtime is only 2-4 days.
The ablative CO2 Fractional Laser, on the other hand, still treats the skin fractionally, but it microscopically removes all layers of the skin in its treatment zone, including the outermost layer of the skin. Due to the removal of the skin’s protective barrier one can expect pinpoint bleeding and some oozing. There is a very small risk of infection following the treatment, due to breakage of the skin’s barrier function.
Thanks to fractional technology, the risk is much lower than traditional ablative lasers. Depending on the aggressiveness of the treatment, clinical downtime may last up to two days and social downtime may last 1 week.
- Due to the aggressiveness of the treatments, patients may have some pinpoint bleeding, as mentioned above, as well as some oozing for up to 48 hours until the wounds close up.
- The most common side effects are swelling, which usually subsides within a week, and redness, which may last up to a month.
- Other temporary side effects may include minor itching, dry skin, peeling or flaking and a bronzed skin appearance.
- Some of these skin reactions may not occur with all patients.