What is a Fractional CO2 Laser?
A Fractionated CO2 Laser is a laser based on carbon dioxide (CO2) that helps to improve fine lines and wrinkles on the face and neck.
How Does It Work?
Fractional CO2 Lasering resurfaces the skin, but it is much more aggressive than microneedling. The laser burns very small holes in your skin, stimulating it to form more elastin and collagen. It also uses heat energy to tighten the skin.
Because it is stronger than other skin resurfacing techniques, there can be more pain with the procedure, even with numbing. Most patients describe it as a rubber band being snapped against your skin. It works very well to smooth out wrinkles and decrease fine lines as well as improve skin texture. This improvement continues to occur up to 6 months after the treatment.
For more in-depth information on CO2 Lasers:
Is There Any Downtime After The Procedure?
Downtime from CO2 Lasering is usually anywhere between 3 to 5 days. You'll notice your skin first ooze, then crust all over, and finally peel. During this time while you are healing, you must avoid all sunlight.
We'll typically turn the energy slightly lower on the first round to see what settings you can tolerate. Based on how many days it takes you to heal after this, we can either stay at the same strength or turn it up for the next round. You don't want to be too aggressive on the first round because unlike microneedling, Fractional CO2 Laser can be associated with complications like burns and hyperpigmentation (dark spots) due to the strength of the treatment.
How Often Do I Have To Do It?
Most patients will get great results in as little as one or two treatments. Maintenance is recommended at 1-2 a year to keep your skin looking its best. Note that CO2 Lasering is NOT offered during the summer months as patients are required to avoid all sunlight for 3-5 after treatment while they are peeling.
How Much Does It Cost?
Each treatment costs $800 (under local anesthesia).