Introducing The #1 Anti-Aging Breakthrough : Ablative Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing
The Ultimate in Laser Skin Therapies: Ablative Fractional CO2 Laser
- Take 5-7 years off your skin—without the harsh side-effects of traditional CO2 lasers
- Reverse sun damage, melasma and blotchiness
- Diminish fine lines, wrinkles and acne scarring
- Tighten the skin and promote new collagen growth
- The most effective laser skin therapy on the market
All in just 1-2 office treatments and minimal downtime!
CO2 Laser Skin Treatment
For many years, carbon dioxide or CO2 laser skin resurfacing has been considered the gold standard in wrinkle removal—but it came at a high price in terms of discomfort and downtime. Traditional CO2 laser skin resurfacing is done under sedation and completely removes the top layer of the skin. The result: open, draining wounds and several weeks of recovery time. And traditional CO2 laser treatments have a risk of hypo-pigmentation—that is, taking color out of the skin. The traditional CO2 laser uses light to generate heat and ablate, or burn off all the top layers of the skin and stimulates new collagen growth.
The latest technology: fractional ablative CO2 lasers treat only a fraction of the skins area. By firing microablative columns of laser energy at the skin, instead of treating the entire surface of the skin, the fractional laser leaves columns of healthy, untouched tissue between the areas that are ablated—resulting in less discomfort, down time and risks. Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing has nearly all of the benefits of the traditional CO2 laser, but dramatically less down time, and much lower risks of complications. This new technology was rated the #1 anti-aging breakthrough by WebMD.
Fractional CO2 Laser Treatments (Ablative vs Non-Ablative)
Fractional Ablative CO2 Lasers
Ablative or skin resurfacing lasers briefly direct an intense burst of laser energy onto the surface of the skin. This energy heats water within the surface layers of the skin, causing both the water and the tissue of the skin to turn to vapor. Every time the laser passes over the skin, some of the outermost layers of the skin are removed in a precise and controlled way to the appropriate depth.
The skin then heals over a period of time, as new layers of collagen are produced. The skin can literally resurface itself, causing an improvement in the appearance of sun damaged or acne scarred skin. After the treatment, the skin will look much healthier than it did previously.
This intensive treatment can significantly reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and pigment (or skin color) changes on the face, neck, and other parts of the body. They can be used in sensitive areas, such as lines around the lips, eyes and even eyelids, or over the whole of the face. Acne and other types of scars and certain stretch marks can also be improved.
Fractional Non – Ablative CO2 Lasers
Non-ablative lasers have been a more recent introduction in types of aesthetic equipment for skin rejuvenation.These lasers have lower energy levels than ablative lasers (which resurface or remove the outer layer of skin completely), and try to cause damage within the dermal layer of the skin without removal of the outer epidermal layers. That is to say that the laser treats the layers of skin under the surface without damaging the surface too much.
It is thought that the laser’s heat in the dermal layers causes collagen to be produced which helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. However, the results from this type of procedure are less obvious than those which can be achieved with ablative laser skin resurfacing during which the surface of the skin is removed.
Studies have shown that one single pass treatment with a fractional ablative CO2 laser provided 50% more collagen stimulation, superior rhytid and histological results as compared to five, multi-pass fractional non-ablative laser treatments.
Fractional lasers: CO2 laser benefits, faster healing
Today’s fractional lasers have many of the benefits of traditional CO2 laser treatments, but with much less discomfort downtime and risks.
What’s so important about collagen?
Collagen is the main protein of connective tissue that keeps skin plump and youthful. Unfortunately, collagen is destroyed by aging, sun exposure and pollution, resulting in unattractive lines and wrinkles. A fractional CO2 laser treatment jump-starts collagen production for younger-looking, healthier skin.
How many treatments are needed?
Most patients need only one or two treatments. People with extreme acne scarring may need two or three treatments. Touch-up treatments can be done very quickly and cost-effectively.
Which skin types can benefit from fractional laser treatments?
We can treat Fitzpatrick skin types 1-4, as shown in the chart on the right. Fractional lasers cannot be used on skin types 5 and 6 because they remove melanocytes, they are the cells in your skin that provide your pigment—thus risking a change in skin pigmentation.
Who is a candidate for Fractional CO2 laser treatments?
Fractional laser treatments could be a good choice if you have:
- Blotchiness or uneven pigmentation from years of sun exposure
- Smoker’s lines—those vertical lines above your upper lip
- Acne scars
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Hypertrophic (raised) scars
Which areas of the body are typically treated?
- Décolletage (chest)
What does a fractional CO2 laser treatment feel like?
A fractional CO2 laser treatment feels like a sunburn for several hours. There may be some swelling involved if you’ve had treatment around the eyes and mouth, as well as some bronzing.
How are fractional CO2 laser treatments performed?
Procedures are done in the office under local anesthesia (numbing cream applied to area to be treated) with the patient awake.
How much downtime is involved after a fractional laser treatment?
You can expect three to five days of downtime—or a week for a very intense treatment vs. weeks or months for traditional CO2 laser skin resurfacing.
Can you vary the intensity of fractional laser treatments?
Yes. You can have a micro-peel that removes the outer surface of the skin for a refreshed glow—or a very intense treatment that gets rid of seven to 10 years’ worth of sun damage and wrinkles.
Who should not have fractional laser treatments?
- Patients with a dark suntan
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding women
- Patients undergoing Accutane® (isotretinoin) treatments for acne
How long does a fractional laser treatment take?
We ask patients to come in an hour before the procedure to allow time to cleanse the skin and apply an anesthetic cream to numb the tissue in the area to be treated. Most patients get their whole face treated.
The actual time for the procedure depends on the area(s) being treated:
- Face: 30 minutes
- Upper lip: 15 minutes
- Eyes: 10 minutes
- Chest and neck: 30-40 minutes
- Hands: 20 minutes
How long do the results last?
Fractional CO2 laser treatment will last five to seven years. You can help maintain the improvement in your skin by:
- Keeping your skin hydrated
- Using sunscreen
- Living a healthy lifestyle
Although fractional laser treatments won’t replace a surgical facelift or brow lift, they will tighten the skin to some degree. This may help stave off the need for facial surgery for several years.
Can I exercise afterwards?
After a fractional CO2 laser treatment, you should refrain from exercise for a couple of days.
If I’m prone to cold sores, could a fractional laser treatment trigger an outbreak?
To help prevent a cold sore outbreak, we give patients the anti-viral drug Zovirax (acyclovir) for several days before and after a fractional laser treatment. Nearly 80% of Americans have the cold sore virus—many just don’t know it until they get a wound or a treatment around their lips.
This information is merely an introduction to fractional CO2 laser treatments. Your next step is to schedule a personal consultation with plastic surgeon, Dr. John W. Tyrone or Kimberly T. Cupp, ARNP, where they will listen to your personal goals for improving your skin, evaluate you and advise you on how you can best achieve the outcome you desire.