CO2 Fractional Laser at Body TLC
Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing, or ablative fractional skin resurfacing, is a laser skin treatment that uses fractionated carbon dioxide (CO2) to remove specific layers of damaged skin tissue in a manner that leaves healthy skin intact.
Fractional or “pixilated” carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers are one of the latest advances in non-surgical skin rejuvenation treatments. The CO2 laser has the longest wavelength of all the lasers on the market and can be used safely on darker skin types with appropriate adjustments in the settings.
Fractional CO2 lasers excel at treating deeper wrinkles, more severe textural changes from sun damage, wrinkles, blotchiness, acne scars, and surgical or traumatic scars. It can be used on delicate skin and around the mouth. It is also a very effective treatment for sun damage and precancerous growths -actinic keratoses.
It can be used to improve texture, wrinkles, and blotchiness on the neck, chest, arms and legs and is a useful tool in skin tightening!
The CO2 laser causes small, controlled injuries in the skin. As it heals, collagen is stimulated and the skin is left looking fresher, younger and more radiant than before. The CO2 laser offers skin resurfacing somewhat similar to microdermabrasions and chemical peels, but is much more aggressive in nature and significantly more effective.
Why choose a CO2 laser?
If you are looking for a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of your skin, you may want to consider CO2 laser treatment. This FDA- approved treatment can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and acne scars. CO2 laser treatment works by targeting the surface layer of skin with light energy that stimulates the production of new collagen. As a result, patients can enjoy smoother, younger looking skin with minimal downtime. CO2 laser treatment is often considered the gold standard in skin rejuvenation, and it can provide long-lasting results.
Is fractional CO2 laser treatment right for me?
Fractional CO2 laser treatment is the perfect antiaging treatment for adult men and women of all ages. If you’re committed to proper after care, this procedure is right for you!
Is CO2 laser safe for all skin types and colours?
Some skin tones are not compatible with CO2 laser treatment and should not have it performed. People with darker skin run the risk of post inflammatory pigmentary changes and should ask their therapist about alternative treatment options - to be safe we always perform a laser patch test to help predict any unwanted skin reactions.
How does CO2 Fractional Laser Work?
CO2 Fractional resurfacing lasers are very exciting because they offer significant skin improvements with a reasonably short downtime (4-7 days). Compared to traditional resurfacing lasers that target the entire skin surface, fractional devices only target small areas of the skin (like individual pixels in a camera) with each laser pass.
The idea behind this technology is that if only a fraction of the entire skin surface is targeted with the laser then the healing time will be faster and the downtime greatly reduced. The normal skin surrounding these laser hot spots will in essence allow for more effective tissue healing and production of collagen.
Treatment is described only as a mild to moderate heat sensation with no real pain by most customers.
The slide shows how collagen production is seen with visible growth
following fractional laser treatment
What to expect after treatment
Fractional treatment is intense, the treatment is very effective but does acquire some downtime. Your therapist will explain exactly what to expect at your consultation. Everyone's skin is unique as are their concerns, therefore the downtime you experience is relative to the depth and intensity of your treatment.
The Treatment Day:
Your skin is often mild red or pink.
On close inspection you can see the fractional marks on the skin left by the laser
The skin is often described as a feeling like bad sunburn by most clients at this point
Skin feels tight and warm, there is a fluctuating sensation of being hot then comfortable and so on for many hours. This can be soothed by application of the aftercare gel supplied as part of your treatment package
Typically by the late evening the skin has settled and sleep is not compromised. Although you must make careful choices in sleep positions to avoid compression of the treatment area. Any items of clothing or bedding that come into contact must be fresh each night.
The fluctuating heat is now settled for most clients, unless treatment was specifically deep, skin is no longer painful
The treatment area still feels exceptionally tight and dry
The colour deepens over day one and two, from pink to darker red
You should now implement the aftercare serum into your regime.
You should avoid the sun, and wear sun screen if you do have to go out
Skin will look very sore, however you will not be in pain.
Skin feels tight and will slowly be turning brown
Skin is now brown and may begin itching. It is very important not to scratch the area as it heals
Application of the serum will help reduce the itch and speed up recovery
The treatment area will be peeling and shedding the brown skin, under this the skin will be pink as all new skin is. The skin resumes to normal colour very fast. New skin burns easily and it is vital to wear sun screen for at least 4 months post treatment to protect from hyperpigmentation
Day Five to Seven:
Skin is now recovered in most ways, make up can be worn again.
Clients who received deeper treatment for more severe conditions may experience pink fresh skin for up to 10 days. Certain areas are more likely to have slower recovery. Airing the treated skin helps aid recovery, the more air circulation the better
Week 1 to 52:
Skin continues to improve constantly, we suggest a 6 month review to assess progress at this point
Time off Work:
Most clients book at least a long weekend off work, though it is recommended to take 5 to 10 days. The more intense your treatment is, the longer the time needed off will be.
As treatment is often not too uncomfortable, from day two onward time off is mostly recommended due to the visual impact. Some clients do decide to continue working
Below is an example of recovery of facial Fractional Treatment for a mild condition.
Below is an example of recovery of facial Fractional Treatment for more severe skin condition.
Book your free consultation now and discuss all the options available to you. Fractional may or may not be the right choice for you. The volume of options can be overwhelming - speak to the experts and find out the best way to treat your concerns and care for your skin. Consultations are free and we never push you to book a service
How often can I have treatments?
CO2 Laser skin resurfacing results are visible after one treatment and, with proper skin care and sunscreen usage, they can last for many years.
What will recovery be like after I receive fractional CO2 laser treatment?
Patients are typically able to go back to work within 3+ days after fractional CO2 laser treatment. Even though you are able to return to regular activities, it is important to follow the aftercare instructions given to you by your therapist. Failure to do so may delay or diminish the results of fractional CO2 laser treatment. Some clients may choose not to return to work until all the bronzing has fallen - not due to discomfort, but more so to avoid the questions from colleagues. Though of course this stage length is dependent on how mild, moderate or severe your concern and hence deeply penetrating the treatment was.
Within 24 hours of treatment, new epidermal skin begins to develop. This process of skin repair involves bronzing and flaking. Your skin will have a bronze appearance that lasts anywhere from 3-14 days, depending on the treatment level. Your skin will naturally and vigorously exfoliate as the new skin replaces dead tissue. It will be flaky and look and feel similar to sunburn. By the 7th day, you can apply makeup, though your skin will still be pink and slightly sensitive. Over the following weeks and months, the body will continue to peel and heal.
Are there any side effects of CO2 Treatment?
Potential side effects of CO2 laser skin resurfacing include redness, discoloration, and flaking / peeling of the skin. These minor side effects may persist for 1 to 3 weeks following treatment. As soon as your skin is healed you may use makeup to conceal any temporary redness.
Do I need to follow a special skin care routine after receiving fractional CO2 laser treatment?
Your therapist will give you detailed instructions about your specific skin care needs. You may receive special creams or gels to maximum the results of your fractional CO2 laser treatment. You will need to keep your skin well moisturized in the weeks following treatment. Be sure to use sunscreen daily to protect your skin from sun exposure during both the healing phase and for several months after treatment. Apply a moisturizing sunblock with an SPF of at least 30. For at least six months after treatment, avoid being in the sun as much as possible.
When will I see results from fractional CO2 laser treatment and how long does it last?
Patients typically see results after just one fractional CO2 laser treatment. The skin will continue to improve for a period of six to twelve months following the procedure if proper skin care is used, and sun exposure is minimized. Sometimes results are not significant until the 6th or even 9th month, depending on age and aftercare routines.
Occasionally, in an area that cannot be treated aggressively, we may need to do more than one treatment to optimize results. Maintenance treatments may also be necessary for continued results, especially if sun is not avoided or proper skincare is not used. Even with the best care, another treatment may be necessary in a few years.