Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is one of the most popular facial rejuvenation procedures at Youthful Reflections because patients enjoy many benefits that significantly outweigh any disadvantages. This versatile, nonsurgical cosmetic treatment represented a breakthrough when it was introduced, offering a fractional laser treatment that requires less downtime than its non-fractional counterparts.
What Is Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing?
This nonsurgical aesthetic treatment uses a fractional carbon dioxide laser. This type of laser is highly acclaimed because it has the longest wavelength of all the existing lasers today. When laser wavelength penetrates the skin’s surface, the skin cells absorb water. This vaporizes the skin’s outer layer—the epidermis—and heats the middle layer, or dermis. That, in turn, stimulates the production of new collagen and results in firmer, smoother skin.
What Are the Advantages of CO2 Laser Resurfacing?
Using a CO2 laser to treat concerns on the face has many benefits.
1. It Addresses Many Different Skin Concerns
This type of laser resurfacing significantly reduces visible skin wrinkling, minimizes fine lines, improves the skin’s texture, and targets troublesome pigmentation. A fractional CO2 laser treatment addresses the following:
- Wrinkles that are deeper within the skin caused by a variety of factors, such as smoking and stress
- Severe textural changes due to sun damage
- Blotchiness of the skin
- Scars left by acne
- Traumatic scars due to surgery
The fractional CO2 laser excels in treating fine lines around the mouth and eyes. It can also help treat actinic keratosis or precancerous growths.
2. It’s Convenient
One of the primary advantages of the procedure is that it usually only takes one treatment session to get the desired results.
3. It’s Suitable for Many Types of Skin
We can use fractional CO2 laser resurfacing on almost everyone without worrying about the skin’s safety. However, those with darker skin tones need to be treated more conservatively to avoid changes in skin pigmentation.
4. It Enhances Other Rejuvenation Procedures
Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is also an excellent complement to other rejuvenating procedures, such as a Reflection Lift, eyelid lift, or facial fat transfer. You can see the results of these combined procedures in our patients’ photos below:
What Are the Limitations of CO2 Laser Resurfacing?
Skin resurfacing using a CO2 laser is an aggressive treatment that produces remarkable results. However, anyone considering the procedure should consider some factors before scheduling a treatment.
- Even though we can minimize pain during the treatment, it can still be uncomfortable
- Social downtime lasts 10 to 14 days
- You can’t work out for a couple of weeks while healing
- The heat from the laser may stimulate cold sores
- Redness can persist for months afterward but does eventually resolve
- C02 laser resurfacing isn’t the best treatment option to address loose skin
Following the pre- and post-treatment protocols we provide helps ensure good outcomes.
What To Do Before the Procedure
The most important thing to do to prepare for your procedure is to set up a consultation with Dr. Boggess and his team to determine the best treatment plan for your face. Dr. Boggess and his staff provide instructions and precautions about what to do and what not to do. Be sure to listen carefully and take any necessary notes.
It’s important to arrive on time for your appointment with a clean treatment area devoid of makeup, lotion, or perfumes. If you have had cold sores in the past, you should notify Dr. Boggess right away. You should never wait for the appointment to tell your medical history, especially with infections, as you may have to take medication before the day of the treatment.
You shouldn’t use products that contain certain ingredients, including AHAs and retinoids.
What To Do After the Procedure
After laser skin resurfacing with a CO2 laser, facial care is vital. Laser treatments and sun exposure do not go well together, so it is crucial to take precautions outdoors after your procedure. You should avoid the direct sun for at least a week after the treatment to avoid permanent skin damage.
If it is impossible to stay indoors, stay in the shade and wear protective clothing to shield your skin from UV rays. Use sunscreen labeled as broad spectrum and ensure it has at least a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30. It’s essential to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. Some clients who do not apply sunscreen and go out in the sun unprotected suffer from pigmentation changes that are not reversible.
The Youthful Reflections Difference
Youthful Reflections is a trustworthy facial plastic surgery center offering personalized care and the latest technology to help you feel like a more beautiful version of yourself. Double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Boggess is a nationally renowned expert in cosmetic facial procedures and will work with you at every step to ensure your comfort and satisfaction. If you are ready to restore your skin’s texture, eliminate the effects of sun damage, and look younger, schedule a consultation or call us at (615) 942-8016 to schedule an appointment.