Winter CO2 Fractional Laser Resurfacing
Benefits of CO2
Fractional Laser Resurfacing Treatments
The fractional CO2 laser 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 treatment results in an improvement in the appearance of sun
damaged or acne scarred skin. In addition, the post treatment skin will have a
healthy look along with a better texture and tone.
This intensive treatment can significantly reduce the appearance of lines,
wrinkles, and pigment changes on the face, neck and other parts of the body.
The laser can be used to treat delicate 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.
Winter is an ideal time for patients to have laser-resurfacing
procedures performed with less risk of sun exposure following the procedure.
With vacation from work or school schedules, patients can afford more downtime
during the holidays.
Potential CO2 Laser
Resurfacing Side Effects and Complications
Although CO2 fractional resurfacing is a safer alternative
to traditional CO2 resurfacing, it is not without complications. We expect all
our patients to experience some redness and swelling. Depending on the
parameters used and location treated, redness can last 3-21 days. There have
been reported cases of redness lasting up to 3 months. Acne or milia and
hyperpigmentation are the most common side effects we deal with in our clinic. We
have been favoring the fractional CO2 laser over our non-ablative Fraxel
Restore laser due to lower incidents of the acne, milia and
Hyperpigmentation may occur with post laser sun exposure and
more frequently with darker skin types. Despite careful sun precautions some
patients still develop hyperpigmentation. At the opposite end of the spectrum,
hypopigmentation may occur. It's rare,
but usually permanent. Hypertrophic scarring and ectropian, also rare, may occur.
Patients must be given verbal and
written aftercare instructions following their laser treatment. Giving
instructions to them a week prior to treatment is ideal so they can prepare to
have appropriate aftercare products available. Contact dermatitis can occur
when they attempt to use their usual skin regimen or use OTC skin remedies when
their skin is still in the healing process post laser resurfacing treatment.