Fractional CO2 Laser:
Fractionated or “pixilated” carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers are one of the latest advances in non-surgical skin rejuvenation treatments. Backed by sources like the Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology, CO2 Laser treatments are an efficient and effective way to resurface and remodel the skin. CO2 has the longest wavelength of all the lasers on the market and can be used safely on darker skin types with appropriate adjustments in the settings.
Fractional CO2 lasers excel at treating deeper wrinkles, more severe textural changes from sun damage, age spots, crow’s feet, droopy eyelids, sagging skin, blotchiness, acne scars, and surgical or traumatic scars. It can be used on the delicate eyelid skin and around the mouth. It can be used to improve texture, wrinkles, and blotchiness on the neck, chest, arms and legs.
Fractional CO2 Laser resurfacing is a very effective treatment for overall skin rejuvenation by brightening and tightening the skin.
Patients will typically undergo a consultation with Dr. O’Connell to determine if Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing is the best treatment for the patient’s goals. The patient will then be prescribed a topical lightening cream (that is sold at Laguna Beach Aesthetics) that the patient will apply daily for 2 weeks prior to the laser resurfacing treatment session if necessary.
Your appointment will begin with a topical numbing cream applied to the area being treated. Dr. O’Connell will set the laser to the correct settings based on your skin type and goals. Our fractionated CO2 Laser provides skin resurfacing by delivering tiny concentrated beams of heat energy into the deeper layers of the skin. The session lasts approximately 20 minutes with minimal pain as you are numb. The process stimulates new collagen and elastin production. The advancement in the fractionated method allows for damaged superficial skin to be removed, while the surrounding area is left intact to aid in the healing of the treatment area.
Healing takes 3 to 14 days, depending on the depth of the resurfacing. You will likely experience redness and possible swelling, similar to a bad sunburn. Side effects can include swelling, burning sensation, itching, scarring, pigmentation issues, infection and bumps due to obstruction of sweat glands. Deep moisturizer (Vaseline) and sunscreen should be applied daily. Dr. O’Connell will sometimes recommend vinegar soaks, which help prevent infection, decrease the healing time and can soothe the treated skin. Direct sun exposure should be avoided for at least 2 months.
CO2 Laser is the gold standard for skin tightening and wrinkle reduction, however it does have the longest recovery time.
The number of treatments required to achieve optimal results can vary from one individual to the next. On average 1-3 treatments may be recommended.