Fractional CO2 Laser for Skin Resurfacing and Rejuvenation
We, at the Texas Institute of Dermatology, offer several state-of-the art lasers for skin resurfacing and rejuvenation. Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is one of the most popular laser treatment options for skin rejuvenation, treating wrinkles and treating acne scars today.
Fractional CO2 Laser or Non Fractional CO2 Laser?
Without question, the Fractional CO2 Laser carries less risk than a full CO2 Laser treatment. This is because the Fractional CO2 Laser treats fractions of the skin leaving small areas of untreated skin between treated areas. This translates to a greater ability to repair aging, scarred, discolored, and sun-damaged skin without lengthy down times. The Fractional CO2 Laser helps to reduce lines and wrinkles, to tighten the skin, and to promote collagen regeneration, leading to a healthier, younger looking you. Results between a Fractional CO2 laser treatment performed by an expert and regular CO2 treatments are comparable. Therefore, we at the Texas Institute of Dermatology highly recommend Fractional CO2 Laser resurfacing.
Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing
- With the Fractional CO2 Laser, all areas of the skin, including face, neck, hands and body can be treated
- With the Fractional CO2 Laser wrinkles, discoloration, including sun spots, brown age spots and hormonal facial discoloration (melasma) can usually be effectively treated
- Fractional CO2 Laser treatments allow the skin to be tightened, reducing skin laxity and folds
- With the Fractional CO2 Laser, future skin tightening procedures may be avoided or postponed
- Uneven discoloration, sometimes including areas that are too light, can be improved with the Fractional CO2 Laser
- Both red and brown spots can be improved using the Fractional CO2 Laser
- Precancerous lesions are reduced with the Fractional CO2 Laser
- Many patients have seen that after Fractional CO2 Laser treatment, scarring of all types including acne scarring, burn and surgical scars can be improved, sometimes quite dramatically
- The Fractional CO2 Laser helps to improve the appearance of stretch marks
- Large pores and skin roughness can be improved by using the Fractional CO2 Laser
- The Fractional CO2 Laser can also remove Syringoma, Sebaceous Hyperplasia and pimples around the eyes
- Fractional CO2 Laser treatments help to visibly diminish dark under-eye circles, puffiness, and fine lines/wrinkles by brightening and smoothing skin and promoting new collagen growth (see picture below)
Fractional CO2 Laser procedures create microscopic columns on the surface of the skin (see image to the right). This treatment promotes regeneration and collagen synthesis in the deeper layers of the skin. Thanks to advances in laser technology, Fractional CO2 Laser treatments deliver consistent results, rapid recovery and minimal downtime. We believe that high-quality treatment requires exceptional experience and the latest technology. Therefore, we use the industry’s most versatile Fractional CO2 Laser system available. Our Fractional C02 Laser allows us to offer several resurfacing and surgical procedures with a single machine. With multiple spot sizes and delivery options, the Fractional CO2 Laser delivers excellence in Skin resurfacing. The Fractional CO2 Laser beam heats and vaporizes the skin tissue, instantly removing the superficial layers of the skin. Each fractional micro spot creates a thermal zone. Intact cells around the treated area help during the healing process by inducing cell regeneration. Immediate tightening and textural improvement is often seen within one week of the procedure. The result is a smoother, clearer and more youthful appearance of the skin. The Fractional CO2 Laser removes sun spots, reduces pore size, wrinkles, acne scars via soft tissue coagulation, and other textural irregularities. With the Fractional CO2 laser, there is progressive improvement of the skin’s appearance due to the continued collagen production, resulting in added improvements for 6-9 months following the treatment. Advanced capabilities and intuitive functionality of the Fractional CO2 Laser allows clinicians to deliver customized treatments with dynamic and long-lasting results. The Fractional CO2 Laser is used for the treatment of scars, fine lines, texture, dyschromia (skin color changes) and deep wrinkles.
Preparation for Fractional CO2 Laser or Erbium Laser Resurfacing:
Preparing your skin for Fractional CO2 Laser resurfacing is critical to optimizing your result and recovery. Retin-A, glycolic acid, Kojic acid and bleaching agents (hydroquinone) available through our office will help prepare your skin for the Fractional CO2 Laser resurfacing. (No preparation is necessary for the AFT laser). They will reduce your risk of discoloration, speed healing, and optimize your cosmetic result. You should use these products consistently for at least six weeks prior to your procedure. After your skin heals from the laser, you should resume these skin care products throughout your period of redness.
Recovering From Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing is Relatively Fast:
- Anesthesia: Sedation or topical anesthesia
- Length of Fractional CO2 Laser surgery: 15-30 minutes.
- Length of stay: Outpatient (home same day).
- Discomfort: Anticipate 1-2 days.
- Swelling: lasts 1-2 days.
- Dressings: Treated areas will appear as abrasions. They will weep and ooze for the first 2-3 days when uncovered.
- Healing: Your skin will heal in 3-8 days following treatment with the Fractional CO2 Laser. It does look like a sunburn. Redness will improve over days to weeks following treatment. Once your skin heals, you can wear camouflage make-up to conceal the redness. Interestingly, as much as everyone hates to be red, the longer you are red, the better your final result.
- Presentable in public: You will be presentable with makeup in about 4 days.
- Sun protection: SPF 30 or higher for 6 months, you need to stay away from sun for at least 3-4 weeks after the procedure and wear a hat.
- Resume skin care: You may resume skin care products after your skin has healed.
- Final result: Will be seen within months; your skin will constantly produce new collagen after treatment with the Fractional CO2 Laser.
- Next laser treatment: Typically, you need to wait for weeks between laser treatments.
The exfoliation of skin requires new skin to grow from the deeper layers. During the first two weeks following your Fractional CO2 Laser treatment, a significant amount of redness and weeping of the skin can be expected. An ointment is applied during the first 7 to 10 days to keep the skin moist. Patients must refrain from wearing thick make-up during the first 10-14 days. The skin may continue to show signs of pink or redness for several weeks following Fractional CO2 Laser surgery. We will assist you in helping to prepare the skin for treatment as well as applying camouflage make-up during the second week. Swelling may also occur and should resolve within the first couple of weeks. The skin heals extremely well over time and sun exposure should be avoided during the first four to six weeks following Fractional CO2 Laser treatment.
Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing Procedure:
The Fractional CO2 Laser allows us to use a high-energy beam to vaporize scars, lines, wrinkles and other skin imperfections, layer by layer. The laser affords a level of precision, control and accuracy that is not available by other methods. The laser setting for the face can only be used up to the jaw line because of difficulties in healing if used on the skin of the neck with high settings. (We treat the neck in a separate session with extreme caution). This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. You cannot drive yourself home after treatment.
A Synergistic Approach to Skin Rejuvenation:
While the Fractional CO2 laser by itself may produce helpful results, we have found that combining technologies helps to provide a synergistic approach to skin rejuvenation. Our state-of-the-art Renew 3×60 treatment combines 4 technologies in 3 treatments aimed at completely revitalizing your skin in just 60 days. This powerful combination system dramatically revitalizes your skin from the inside out by promoting new collagen growth in the deeper layers of the skin. This is accomplished by engaging the body’s natural regenerative processes. In short, you can reclaim your youthful look without suffering the risks and side effects of needles and/or surgery. Click here to learn more about Renew 3×60 and how it can help you achieve the look you desire.
Why should you choose Texas Institute of Dermatology for Fractional CO2 Laser Treatments?
At the Texas Institute of Dermatology, we want you to have an excellent outcome and to feel that your needs and concerns have been promptly addressed in a caring and sensitive fashion. We strive diligently to ensure your satisfaction, comfort, privacy, and safety. All treatments are supervised or performed by a dermatologist with many years of successful experience in a large variety of procedures. Many treatment modalities are available, and we can recommend the one or two that are most likely to meet your needs; we’re here to meet your needs and help you realize your aspirations. At our clinic in San Antonio, Texas, we serve communities throughout Bexar and Kendall Counties, including San Antonio, Boerne, Leon Springs, Fair Oaks Ranch, Canyon Lake city; many of our patients also come from San Marcos, New Braunfels, Kerrville, Austin, Wimberley and Corpus Christi.