Guide to Fractional Carbon Dioxide CO2 Laser
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 the delicate eyelid skin and around the mouth.
It can be used to improve texture, wrinkles, and blotchiness on the neck, chest, arms and legs but this should only be done by experts because the risk of complications, including scarring, is higher in these areas.
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.
How long does the fractional CO2 laser take to work?
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?
Our attending nurse will cleanse the treatment area and then apply a numbing cream to the area to be treated. We also have our patients take the anti-inflammatory capsule, which helps to reduce the discomfort.
• Then you just relax, read, and listen to music, while the numbing cream takes effect.
• After you numb for about an hour, the numbing gel will be removed.
• The treatment takes about an hour for a full face and feels a little like a “pins and needles” sensation. There is mild to moderate discomfort.
Plan on being in the clinic for 2 ½ hours total.
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/frozen peas 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.
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.
Medico Global Medical and Skin Care Clinic
58 Bayani Road, Western Bicutan,
Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Landline +632 838 0918
Smart +63928 893 7264
QUEZON CITY Branch
2nd Floor New Grange Condotel
32 Timog Avenue, Quezon City
Globe 0956 014 3575
Smart 0918 924 1900