Fractional C02 Laser
The Fractional CO2 laser is one of the most recent and exciting advances in laser technology. Introduced in 2007, this powerful laser allows our providers to treat deep lines and wrinkles, treat acne scars and pigmentation, and tighten and rejuvenate the skin in just one treatment. It literally “turns back the clock” by 5-10 years! The amazing thing is that there is much less downtime and risk compared to traditional ablative CO2 laser resurfacing.
Benefits of Fractional CO2:
Take a look at our Before & After Galleries for more examples of Fractional CO2 treatment results!
Testimonial from T.N.:
“I had been self-conscious about my acne scars since I was a teenager and always wore makeup to try to hide them. Three months ago, I finally decided to see Dr. Chiu. She was very friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. She recommended the fractional CO2 laser to resurface my skin. I am a complete needle-phobe and she really put me at ease. The procedure itself wasn’t too bad and the crusting peeled off in about 3 days.
I am totally thrilled with the results! Now, my skin is much smoother and my acne scars are barely visible. Not only that, the skin around my eyes looks “lifted” and the wrinkles are gone. This is the first time in years that I haven’t had to wear makeup! My car broke down recently and when the tow truck driver looked at my I.D., he commented that I look much younger in person! The best thing is, I am still noticing improvement every day!”
How It Works
Fractional laser treatment is one of the hottest new aesthetic trends offering excellent results with minimal downtime. Fractional lasers target the skin in thousands of deep microscopic treatment zones, leaving surrounding areas of normal skin untouched. This allows for more rapid skin healing and recovery with less potential risk. The Fractional CO2 laser utilizes a wavelength that penetrates much more deeply into the skin than non-ablative fractional lasers like the Palomar LUX 1540 or Fraxel, making it even more effective at treating deep lines and wrinkles. Traditional CO2 resurfacing lasers set the gold standard for skin resurfacing, but work by completely ablating the surface of the skin, leading to increased downtime and potential risk. Compared to the traditional CO2 laser, the safety and versatility of the Fractional CO2 affords our providers tremendous ability to customize the ideal laser treatment for your specific needs.
Our providers will adjust the intensity of the laser depending on your problem areas. Acne scars and more stubborn lines and wrinkles are treated with settings that deliver increased density and depth of the laser beam. Whereas pigmentation, fine lines, and skin tightening can be achieved using lighter, more superficial settings. With the fractional CO2, we can also safely rejuvenate the sun-damaged neck and chest–areas that we could never treat before with the traditional CO2. Best of all, we are able to achieve outstanding results in just one treatment session!
Occasionally, our providers may recommend traditional ablative CO2 treatment for certain skin conditions. If this is the case, the laser that we have is adjustable to become a fully ablative CO2 laser as well.
What Can I Expect?
At your initial consultation, our providers will determine whether or not you are a good candidate for the Fractional CO2 laser. Patients with darker skin may not be good candidates for this procedure.
Before your treatment, you will receive prescriptions for prophylactic antibiotics to prevent infections. Topical anesthetic will be applied one hour before your procedure and pain medications will be given to make you comfortable. Local anesthetic may also be used.
Afterwards, the treated skin feels like it has been sunburned. You will need to bring an escort that can drive you home. If this is not possible for you, please let us know and we can help you make arrangements.
During the healing process, it is normal to have redness and swelling. The top layer of the skin will turn brown and crusted. This represents the laser-treated skin that is preparing to shed. This layer will peel off in 3-5 days, leaving smooth, pink skin underneath. After the skin sheds, you may wear makeup. In general, the downtime is approximately 5-7 days. The redness fades after about 2 weeks. Your skin will look noticeably tightened immediately afterwards and most patients say they look 5-10 years younger. As new collagen is created over the next few months, results improve even further. Your skin will look better and better each day up to 6 months after your treatment! Most patients require only one treatment, but certain patients with deeper acne scars or wrinkles may benefit from an additional treatment after 3 months with either the Fractional CO2 or the Palomar LUX 1540.