Ablative Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing

The most effective laser skin therapy on the market. All in just 1-2 office treatments:

  • 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

CO2 Laser Skin Treatment

For many years, carbon dioxide or CO2 laser skin resurfacing has been considered the gold standard in skin resurfacing—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 a month 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.
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.
We can treat Fitzpatrick skin types 1-3. Fractional lasers cannot be used on skin types 4 and 6 because they remove melanocytes, they are the cells in your skin that provide your pigment—thus risking a change in skin pigmentation.
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
  • Face
  • Neck
  • Décolletage (chest)
  • Hands
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.
Procedures are done in the office under local anesthesia (numbing cream applied to area to be treated) with the patient awake.
You can expect 10 – 14 days of downtime and redness for 1-2 months vs.months for traditional CO2 laser skin resurfacing.
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 five to seven years’ worth of sun damage and wrinkles.
  • Patients with a dark suntan
  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding women
  • Patients undergoing Accutane® (isotretinoin) treatments for acne
  • Skin type 4- 6 Fitzpatrick
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: 60 minutes
  • Upper lip: 15 minutes
  • Eyes: 10 minutes
  • Chest and neck: 60 minutes
  • Hands: 20 minutes
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
After a fractional CO2 laser treatment, you should refrain from exercise for 10 days.
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.

Contact Us For A Virtual Consultation

John W. Tyrone, M.D. Pllc. strives to keep you comfortable, confident and satisfied. Schedule a state-of-the-art virtual consultation to bring your results to life before the procedure even begins.

Get Started Now