CO2 fractional ablative laser
CO2 fractional laser skin resurfacing is a technique used during laser surgery where targeted skin cells are vaporized and removed by laser and collagen is tightened. It is used for the treatment of wrinkles, solar lentigines, sun damage, scars, stretch marks, and actinic keratoses. Intense pulsed light treats brown spots and telangiectasia or "spider veins".
The CO2 fractional ablative laser combines the effectiveness of the old traditional CO2 resurfacing lasers with the safety of fractional lasers. There is reduced downtime, faster healing time, and increased safety compared to traditional CO2 resurfacing, and results are more dramatic than with a non-ablative laser.
How does it work?
Tiny columns or dots of laser energy vaporize the damaged skin and stimulate the growth of fresh, new collagen. Since only a fraction of the skin is treated, the non-treated adjacent skin promotes fast healing. It is more than skin resurfacing - it is deep skin rejuvenation.
What does it improve?
The CO2 fractional ablative laser is used to reduce wrinkles and lines, tighten loose, crêpey skin, and treat sun damage, pigmentation, brown age spots, and scarring in individuals with a fair complexion. It is not used on very dark complexions. Within a week, skin is smoother, healthier and younger.
What areas can be treated?
Popular areas are the face, neck, décolletage, and hands, but any area can be treated. Small isolated areas such as crow's feet or lip lines can be treated, or large areas for improved texture and firmness.
Is the procedure painful?
There is minimal discomfort. An anaesthetic cream is used to numb the skin and ibuprofen is advised.
What happens after the treatment?
Immediately after the treatment, your skin will be red and will feel warm, similar to a sunburn. There will be some swelling for a few days and then some dryness and perhaps itchiness. Homecare consists of cold compresses and a hydrating cream which will help the skin heal. Makeup can usually be applied after three days. The dryness peels in about four days, revealing fresh, new skin underneath. The redness lasts for one to two weeks but can be camouflaged with makeup. An oral antiviral medication for herpes simplex is always taken for five days, starting two days before treatment.
When will you see the results?
In seven to 10 days, there will be a dramatic improvement in fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, and scarring. You will notice an overall improvement in radiance and texture, and skin will have a young, healthy glow. The results will continue to improve over time and will remain for several years given proper skin care and sun protection.
Can CO2 fractional laser be combined with other treatments?
Definitely! Neuromodulators, fillers, light chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and intense pulsed light will help maintain your results. Antiaging products containing retinol, glycolic acid, and antioxidants keep your skin healthy and fresh.
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