Fractionated CO2 Laser Resurfacing

Carbon Dioxide (C02) Fractional Laser Resurfacing is designed to help reduce acne or other scarring, uneven coloration, stretch marks, “age-spots” (also called sun freckles, liver spots, and lentigines), fine lines, textural irregularities, dull tone, and thinning skin on the face, neck, and chest. The treatment removes layers of skin tissue in a fractionated method where columns of skin are treated by the laser, but the skin surrounding each column is left intact to aid in healing.

The treatment is an outpatient procedure that requires post-treatment care with sun protection and Aquaphor for a few days to ensure proper healing and comfort during the procedure. For your comfort during the treatment, we will apply a topical anesthetic. After the treatment most patients describe the post-procedure feeling as a slight sunburn for about 12 hours to 2 days.

How CO2 Laser Works

How do I know if I need CO2?

Anyone who has pitted acne scarring, or other types of linear scars, unsightly stretch marks, sun damaged, aging skin, irregularly pigmented skin, wrinkles, sagging, irregular texture of the skin or other skin condition that could be expected to be improved with this treatment. If this treatment is to be undertaken on dark skin, it will need to be part of a series of gentler multiple treatments.

This is also not a treatment for any woman who is pregnant or anyone who has been treated with isotretinoin (or Accutane) within 6 months.  In addition, if you are taking any medications that can make you photosensitive such as Retin-A or tetracycline based antibiotics you need to let the doctor know.

How does CO2 work?

The Carbon Dioxide (C02) Fractional Laser Resurfacing removes layers of skin tissue in a fractionated method where columns of skin are treated leaving the surrounding skin intact to aid in healing. It is an ideal treatment for reducing “age-spots” (also called sun freckles, liver spots, and lentigines), fine lines, scarring, uneven skin coloration, textural irregularities, and dull tone of the face, neck, and chest.

What benefits can I expect?

Results are usually evident within 1 week. Significant and noticeable reduction in sun damage skin such as acne scars, “age-spots”, fine lines, uneven coloration, and textural irregularities can all be seen within a week, but continue to improve over 6-8 weeks. We will instruct you in proper skin care and to minimize sun exposure.

What are the risks and side effects?

Prior to treatment all potential risks and side effects will be discussed with you by your medical provider and cosmetic coordinator. Since a laser is involved there is always a risk of a burn that can lead to scarring. With the proprietary protocols that we have in place we have never had a patient get a burn. We have even treated darker skin types such as Type V and VI skin with no issues. Occasionally, patients may break out due to the Aquaphor healing gel that is used after the procedure for about 5 days.

How will I look and feel after the treatment?

After the treatment, you will be able to drive yourself home and participate in any activity you wish. You may be slightly red (like a sunburn) for 24-48 hours and you may have slight skin peeling over the next week again like a sunburn. You will NOT have that burned zombie look as you often see with other lasers. You will need to use Aquaphor day and night for about 5 days. You will also need to use sunblock and avoid sun exposure for about 2 weeks. By the 7th day you can usually apply mineral makeup. It is most important to follow the instructions given to you by us to maximize your results and ensure safety. Most patients will see results within 1 week; although, results continue to improve over 6-8 weeks.

Your skin will continue to age as time goes on due to sun exposure, environmental stress, overall health and lifestyle choices such as smoking. To maintain results we recommend a healthy skin care routine including cosmeceutical products and other procedures as directed by your provider.

Is there another way to get the same effect?

Alternatives to the CO2 Fractionated Laser Resurfacing include photofacial with IPL or Fraxel laser, but Fractionated CO2 is by far the safest and most effective of all of these for epidermal skin rejuvenation. Your doctor will help guide you towards the best treatment for the results you wish to achieve.

Can this be combined with other treatments?

CO2 treatments can be combined with other treatments although we cannot do other treatments in the same area(s) on the same day. Many patients also choose to have BOTOX/Xeomin/Dysport to reduce unwanted wrinkles caused by muscle contraction or dermal fillers such as Radiesse, Juvederm, Belotero, or Restylane to plump and fill areas where volume has been lost such as the cheeks, nasolabial folds, lower eyelids and lips.