10 to 14 days
Return to work
Duration of results
Advanced technology with maximum versatility for aesthetic procedures. The carbon dioxide (CO2) laser has been known to provide some of the most dramatic, age-defying results in the treatment of challenging skin imperfections including wrinkles, fine lines, photodamage,uneven skin tone and skin laxity, as well as in scar treatment, skin tags and benign tumors.
Using the power of the CO2 laser, the optimal mix of ablative and thermal effects and an array of applicators and treatment modes for highly tailored procedures, the CO2 laser brings unparalleled precision and innovation to the field of dermatology and plastic surgery.
The CO2 laser is a highly flexible system for char-free tissue ablation, vaporization, excision, incision and coagulation of soft tissue. It allows practitioners full control of treatment parameters, including level and depth of ablation and thermal control via pulse duration and mode of energy delivery. This versatility maximizes precision and treatment results while minimizing unnecessary tissue damage.
What is fractional CO2 laser treatment?
Unlike traditional ablative laser resurfacing which removes the entire top layer of the skin, the fractional CO2 deploys a fractional delivery method which creates pixel-sized perforations in the skin, leaving the surrounding tissue intact. The preservation of undamaged skin between the perforations allows for faster healing while the wound healing process promotes accelerated re-epithelization, generation of new collagen, tissue regeneration and contracture of existing fibers.
Fractional treatment controls and significantly reduces the risk of adverse side effects such as delayed hypopigmentation, scarring, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, infection and persistent erythema. Patients also benefit from much shorter downtime and increased patient comfort compared to traditional resurfacing.
The fractional method is ideal for skin resurfacing and rejuvenation treatments, including scar treatment,
improving skin tone, elasticity and texture and reducing superficial pigmentation.
What is the CO2 laser used for?
How long do the effects of a fractional CO2 resurfacing laser treatment last?
That depends on how well you protect your skin from the sun and other factors that cause aging like your general health, smoking, changes in weight, etc. If you apply sunscreen and wear brimmed hats, you can maintain the good effects of your CO2 laser treatment for several years.
When will I see results?
Bear in mind that the fractional CO2 laser can be customized. Treatments can be deeper, with more healing and downtime, or shallower, with less healing time. The deeper the treatment, the better the results generally. But some patients prefer to have two treatments that aren’t as deep so they can avoid a lot of downtime.
You will see some immediate results but you won’t see the full results for 3-6 months. After your skin heals, which may take up to 3-14 days, there will be a period of 4 to 6 weeks after that when your skin might be slightly pink. During this period, your skin will feel smoother and looks less blotchy. As the color returns to normal, you will see fewer lines, less blotchiness, and more glow.
How are fractional CO2 laser treatments performed?
Your practitioner will cleanse the treatment area and then apply a topical anesthetic to the area to be treated. Once the topical anesthetic has taken effect, it will be removed and conductive gel will be applied. The treatment takes about an hour for a full face and feels a little like a “pins and needles” sensation. The discomfort ranges from mild to moderate (2-4/10). Most people drive to and from their own fractional CO2 laser appointments.
What will I look like right after the treatment and what is the healing time?
During the first 24 hours after treatment, your skin may feel as though it is sunburned. Ice packs are used 5-10 minutes per hour for the first 5-6 hours after the treatment.
Your skin will peel for 2-7 days and will be pink for 3 to 6 weeks. This healing all depends on how deep your treatment is. After a week or so, you can wear make-up to cover the pink. Rarely, bruising may develop, which can take up to two weeks to resolve. Allow 2-4 weeks for weddings, reunions, family pictures, etc just to be safe. Allow longer for body sites like arms or legs.
Can I go back to work and activities immediately?
No, you will need to take the rest of that day off to ice and care for the treated area. For the lighter fractional CO2 treatments, you will need 3-5 days of downtime. For the deeper treatments, plan on 7-10 days of healing before you can go out in public.
How many treatments will I need?
The number depends on the extent of your sun damage, scarring or wrinkles, and on how much downtime you can accept. If you can tolerate 7 days of downtime, you would generally need only 1 or 2 fractional CO2 treatment.
Are there any reasons not to be treated with these lasers?
Reasons not to do a fractional laser treatment may include use of medications that increase photosensitivity, use of anticoagulants (some are fine), use of Accutane in the last year, chemotherapy, history of difficulty healing or scarring, history of bleeding disorders, and pregnancy.
Are there any medical or cosmetic side effects?
Complications are rare. But here is a list of some of the possible complications of fractional CO2 laser treatments:
What’s the difference between the fractional CO2 laser and the iPixel Erbium laser?
The CO2 laser goes slights deeper and has a different way of shrinking collagen than the iPixel Erbium laser. Therefore, it generally gives a better result for deeper wrinkles, acne scars, upper line lines, and crepeyness around the eyes. The CO2 is best for patients who are late 40's to 70's with moderate to deep wrinkles/sun damage or with moderate to severe acne scarring. But because the CO2 laser can go deeper, there is more “downtime” than with the iPixel Erbium laser. If you cannot take any time off from your normal activities, the CO2 laser on the face is not the right choice for you. Some off-face areas can be kept covered and may be fine.
iPixel Erbium is best for younger patients who have early wrinkles or mild to moderate acne scarring or for those who truly can’t take any time off to have CO2 treatments.
You are under no obligation to book the treatment with us after your consultation, however, should you do wish to book a treatment this can be done for you after your consultation or at a later date via phone or e-mail.
At Skinlogic we can assure you that we value your health and wellbeing. You will only be seen and treated by qualified and experienced professionals.
During the Treatment
Before your treatment you will be provided with a detailed consent form. You will be asked to read and sign this prior to your having your treatment.
You will have plenty of opportunity to ask any questions you may still have regarding the treatment.
Your practitioner will cleanse the area to be treated. If necessary, topical anesthetic will be applied. At Skinlogic, we encourage our patients to omit the topical anestetic since it causes vasoconstriction and thus impair an optimal healing cascade. However, your well-being and comfort is very important to us, so the option of topical anesthetic is always available. Depending on the treatment intensity, most patients report feeling just mild discomfort and heat, as though a hot rubber band is flicked against the skin.
After the procedure, the skin is calmed with the application of specialized products to provide comfort, enhance your treatment and aid recovery.