What is Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment?
Fractional CO2 laser treatment is a sophisticated laser skin treatment technique that dramatically improves the overall appearance of skin by reducing the appearance of fine lines, sun damage, and wrinkles on the face; it also improves skin tone, skin color and skin texture. It accomplishes these results with less discomfort and downtime than traditional laser treatments. The most common areas treated with fractional CO2 laser are the face, neck, and hands/arms.
CO2 laser treatments are one of the major breakthroughs in anti-aging skin treatments of the 21st century. In order to learn how CO2 laser treatments work, it is important to understand that there are primarily 2 very different types of CO2 laser skin treatments:
- Fractional CO2
- Traditional/Resurfacing CO2
You can learn more about the differences between our advanced Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment versus the Traditional Resurfacing CO2 Procedure at the end of this page.
How does Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment work?
- Removing “sun spots”, “age spots”, “liver spots” and brown blemishes on the face, neck, chest, hands and other areas of the body
- Lightening and reducing redness, Rosacea, dilated blood vessels, “broken”, blood vessels, and “spider veins” on the face, neck and chest
- Reducing flushing
- Improving skin texture through collagen stimulation, and improving pore size which may help to reduce oiliness of the skin as well.
What does Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment feel like?
Patients typically feel minimal discomfort during the treatment that typically lasts between 15 and 30 minutes. A topical anesthetic is applied before the procedure to ensure the most comfortable experience possible for our patients. A cooling device will also blow chilled air across the skin to further enhance the patient’s experience. As the applicator delivers laser energy in micro bursts, you will feel a warm pricking sensation. Our staff will then apply a cool gel to the treated area following the treatment.
What is the recovery from Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment like?
Most patients describe the feeling after treatment like a bad sunburn, that lasts anywhere from two hours to two days, depending on the severity of the skin conditions being treated. Patients are typically able to return to their normal daily activities the day after the treatment. Although you are able to return to regular activities, it is important to follow the specific after care instructions given to you by Dr. Biliack M.D. and Rosie Andaverde R.N. Failure to do so may delay or diminish the results of fractional CO2 laser treatment. These after care instructions will be given to you based on the specific needs of your individual situation, but will typically include avoiding sun exposure as much as possible for 2 weeks, and applying a moisturizing sunblock of at least SPF 30.
When will I see results from Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment, and how long will they last?
Unlike many other anti-aging treatments, patients may achieve results after receiving just one fractional CO2 laser treatment, however, Dr. Biliack may recommend performing these procedures in a series, or in combination with our IPL, Picosure, and/or Pelleve procedures. Patients can expect to begin to see results 2-4 weeks following the procedure, but often continue to see increasingly significant results for the next 6 to 9 months. For the best results, It is important to follow the individual care instructions given to you by Dr. Biliack and Rosie Andaverde R.N.
We also may perform Fractional CO2 treatments in a series to maximize results for sensitive areas that cannot be treated as aggressively. Even with the best care, maintenance treatments are often necessary in the years following the procedure as we continue to age.
Fractional CO2 Laser vs Traditional Laser Resurfacing
In the early 1990s, over two decades before Sensus Healthcare developed the state of the art fractional CO2 laser we currently use at Revital-AZ, the CO2 laser was welcomed as a major advance in methods to ablate (resurface) the epidermis ( outer layer of skin); stimulating the regrowth of younger looking skin. This traditional CO2 laser resurfacing procedure is able to produce very dramatic results in anti-aging, and is still regarded as one of the gold standards for facial rejuvenation.
Despite its effectiveness, these dramatic results may come with the cost of a relatively longer and less comfortable recovery process. While patients can typically return to their normal activities in 1 to 2 days after our fractional CO2 treatment, the recovery from a traditional CO2 laser resurfacing treatment is more severe: the main recovery from Fractional CO2 treatment typically takes 2 to 4 weeks, while the recovery from traditional CO2 laser resurfacing may take several months. Because of this challenging recovery process, our medical professionals typically only recommend the traditional CO2 treatment for our patients with the most severe skin conditions; who may not be able to achieve their desired results through more non-ablative treatments.