Fractional CO2 laser treatments have been gaining popularity in recent years for their ability to rejuvenate and improve skin’s appearance. With advancements in non-surgical procedures, this laser treatment has become a popular option for those seeking more youthful and radiant skin. The CO2 laser is known for its long wavelength, allowing it to be safely used on darker skin types with the appropriate adjustments.
This innovative technology focuses on a fraction of the skin’s surface, targeting fine lines, tone loss, and complexion issues without the need for extensive recovery time. As a result, patients with medium to deep skin tones can benefit from the procedure without significant risks of pigmentation issues. The treatment boasts a shorter downtime and minimal side effects compared to traditional laser resurfacing methods, making it an appealing choice for many seeking skin improvement.
Fractional CO2 Laser Basics
How It Works
Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is a non-surgical skin rejuvenation treatment that uses a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser to address various skin issues. The treatment works by emitting a wavelength of laser light that is absorbed by the water in the skin. This process creates microscopic columns of controlled tissue damage, which stimulates the body’s natural healing response and promotes the production of new collagen, leading to improved skin tone and texture.
The fractional aspect of this treatment means that the laser beam is delivered in a pixelated or fractionated manner, focusing on just a portion of the skin’s surface at a time. This minimizes the impact on surrounding healthy tissue and reduces recovery time compared to traditional CO2 laser treatments.
Types of Fractional CO2 Lasers
There are two primary types of fractional CO2 lasers:
Ablative fractional laser: Also known as Fraxel Repair, this type of CO2 laser is more aggressive in its treatment and is designed to address deeper wrinkles, severe sun damage, scarring, and skin laxity. Ablative fractional lasers remove the top layer of skin, which leads to a longer recovery time compared to non-ablative lasers.
Non-ablative fractional laser: This type of CO2 laser, like the Fraxel Dual, is less aggressive and primarily targets the dermis without removing the skin’s top layer. It is more suitable for mild to moderate skin issues, such as fine lines, discoloration, and uneven skin texture. Recovery time is generally shorter compared to the ablative fractional laser.
Both types of fractional CO2 lasers have been developed to provide effective skin rejuvenation with reduced side effects and recovery time. The choice between the two will depend on the specific skin issues being addressed, individual skin type, and desired outcomes.
Benefits of Fractional CO2 Laser
Fractional CO2 laser treatments offer exceptional skin rejuvenation benefits. The laser targets the epidermis, or outermost skin layer, removing surface cells to reveal fresh, clear new skin beneath. Simultaneously, the laser penetrates deep into the dermis layer, stimulating the production of new collagen. This process results in firmer, smoother skin over time, giving the face a more youthful appearance.
One of the key advantages of fractional CO2 laser treatments is their ability to address fine lines and wrinkles. The laser heats the underlying skin (dermis), stimulating collagen production, which is essential for improving skin elasticity and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. As new collagen forms, it reduces the depth and prominence of wrinkles, resulting in smoother skin and a more youthful look.
Fractional CO2 laser treatments are effective in improving the appearance of various types of scars, including acne scars and surgical scars. The laser’s precision allows for treatment of only the targeted scarred areas, leaving the surrounding healthy tissue untouched. The laser stimulates new skin growth and collagen production, which leads to smoother, more even skin texture. Over time, this treatment can significantly improve the appearance and feel of scarred skin.
Another benefit of fractional CO2 laser treatments is their ability to target and treat skin discolorations such as sun damage, age spots, and hyperpigmentation. The laser effectively removes the damaged or discolored skin cells on the surface, allowing for the growth of fresh, healthy skin cells in their place. This process results in a more even skin tone and a reduction in the appearance of pigmentation issues.