What is Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing?

In general, laser resurfacing is a method of reducing wrinkles, scars and blemishes. By using a laser to remove the outermost surface of the skin, laser resurfacing offers the skin a chance to regrow into a glowing, unblemished surface. Laser resurfacing also stimulates collagen growth underneath the skin. With increased collagen, wrinkles are filled in, reducing or eliminating their appearance.

Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing

Like the other modalities, fractional CO2 resurfacing causes a slight but controlled injury to the skin, but only to those areas of the skin that need to be treated. In one type of fractional laser resurfacing, the chromophores and water in the patient’s skin absorb the pulses of laser light. The heat that results vaporizes just that area of the skin, one microscopic layer at a time. The body responds by producing new skin and collagen. Another type of laser tightens the skin without vaporizing it.

Before the session, the patient’s skin is cleaned, and the nurse or doctor marks the skin to be treated. Goggles are put on the patient to protect their eyes, and their face is protected with towels. The patient is given a numbing agent then the doctor passes a handheld device over the skin. The delicacy of the skin and the depth of the wrinkles or scars dictate how often the device is passed. To keep the patient comfortable, the doctor soothes their skin with cool salt water between passes. After the session, the doctor paints the skin with soothing ointment.

The Fractional CO2 laser offers all the advantages of laser skin resurfacing with drastically reduced disadvantages. Because one purpose of laser skin resurfacing is regrowth of the outer layers of skin, patients should expect some redness and a recovery period while the skin heals. However, this is dramatically reduced from previous procedures, and patients are much more comfortable following the procedure. Additionally, because the Fractional CO2 laser is not as rough on the skin, the recovery time is significantly shorter with faster results.


Treatment Uses for the Fractional CO2 Laser

The Fractional CO2 laser is extremely diverse. At Trilogy Medical Center, we use it to treat a broad variety of skin conditions, including:

  • Fine lines or wrinkles throughout the face, such as around the eyes, mouth or forehead
  • Acne scars
  • Sun damaged skin
  • Aging skin
  • Liver spots
  • Discolored complexion
  • Enlarged oil glands
  • Skin resurfacing on other visible parts of the body, such as the hands

*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.

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