Fractional CO2 laser treatment is a minimally invasive skin resurfacing treatment that uses a carbon dioxide laser to create microscopic columns of controlled injury in the skin, stimulating collagen production. The resultant skin exfoliation and tissue regeneration help reveal a newer, healthier, smoother, and more rejuvenated skin surface. This treatment can effectively reduce aging signs and acne scars, enhance skin elasticity and firmness, and improve skin tone.
Why is Fractional CO2 Treatment Done?
Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing primarily aims to rejuvenate the skin by creating tiny columns of thermal injury in the deeper skin layers to stimulate collagen growth and remove the outermost damaged skin layers. This skin resurfacing technique helps
- Make the skin firmer and more youthful.
- Reduce fine lines, deep wrinkles, and other aging signs on the skin.
- Reduce scarring and hyperpigmentation caused by acne.
- It helps reduce pigment irregularities like hyperpigmentation, freckles, and liver spots, often caused by excessive sun exposure.
- Smoothen the rough texture of the skin.
Pre-treatment care improves the prospects of a successful procedure and helps achieve the desired outcome. The pre-treatment care guidelines generally vary from person to person, but some standard steps may include the following
- Avoid sun exposure and tanning. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen more diligently than usual for about four weeks before the procedure.
- Avoid exfoliating the skin for at least two weeks before the treatment, or follow your dermatologist’s specific instructions.
- Consult your dermatologist about temporarily stopping any medications that increase sun sensitivity at least three days before the procedure.
Important note: Speak to your dermatologist if you have had herpes or shingles in the treatment area. They may prescribe anti-viral medication to reduce the risk of a reoccurrence after the treatment.
Which Machine is used?
At Dubai Cosmetic Surgery, the DEKA Smartxide Fractional CO2 Laser machine is utilized for CO2 resurfacing treatments.
Fractional Co2 Procedure
Fractional CO2 skin resurfacing is generally performed in a medical-cosmetic facility. It is an outpatient procedure that may last 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the treatment area size and severity of the problem. It usually involves the following steps
- The treatment area is cleansed, and numbing cream or local anesthesia is applied.
- The fractional CO2 laser device is then moved over the treatment area.
- During the procedure, a CO2 laser beam is used, which is fractionated or pixelated into several tiny light beams. These beams penetrate beneath the epidermis to create microscopic columns or microchannels, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin fibers and promoting tissue regeneration.
- The process is continued until the entire or targeted treatment area is covered.
- Finally, appropriate aftercare is provided to alleviate any burning sensation caused by the laser treatment.
Post Treatment Care
Some standard post-treatment instructions for fractional CO2 treatment are as follows
- Use cold compresses to minimize discomfort and the burning sensation.
- Follow your dermatologist’s instructions regarding prescribed topical or oral medications to manage pain and discomfort.
- Regularly apply a moisturizer for 1-2 weeks, or as directed by your dermatologist, to prevent dryness in the treated area.
- Avoid direct UV light or sun exposure for 4-6 weeks or the period specified by your doctor. Use sunscreen before going outdoors.
Fractional Co2 Laser Treatment Benefits
There are many benefits of fractional CO2 laser treatment. Some of them are as follows
- The treatment causes less pain and discomfort compared to other ablative treatments.
- It helps reduce fine lines and deep wrinkles and improve skin texture.
- It stimulates collagen production, producing a firmer, smoother, and tauter skin appearance.
- It can reduce the appearance of acne and surgical scars.
- It may help even out the skin tone.
- It has been proven to be an effective treatment due to a higher patient satisfaction rate thus far.
- It benefits from the latest advancements in laser technology for superior control during the procedure, ensuring enhanced accuracy and safety.
Risks and Side Effects
When performed with the appropriate configuration and by an experienced practitioner, fractional CO2 laser resurfacing should be a safe procedure with fewer side effects. Some complications that may occur after this treatment include
- Pain and discomfort: The level of discomfort after fractional CO2 laser treatment can vary, depending on the patient’s pain threshold and the specific laser settings used. The post-treatment pain may peak for 24-48 hours before subsiding.
- Redness and swelling: There will be redness and swelling in the treated area for several days or a few weeks, depending on the problem’s severity and the laser’s intensity.
- Itchiness and dryness: The treated region may become dry and itchy and remain so as it heals. While it is a normal occurrence, it is important not to scratch or pick at the treated site.
- Pigment changes: In some cases, the treated skin may experience hyperpigmentation (darkening) or hypopigmentation (lightening) following fractional laser treatment. It is generally a temporary side-effect but may last for an extended duration.
- Scarring: While the fractional CO2 laser treatment generally has a low risk of scarring, individuals with a history of keloids or other types of scars may have an increased risk. The scarring risk is also higher when you get treatment from a less qualified or inexperienced practitioner.
- Acne and other outbreaks: There is a possibility of acne or herpes outbreaks after the treatment, especially in individuals prone to these conditions.
- Infections: Bacterial or viral infections can occur in the skin area treated with fractional CO2 laser, particularly when post-procedure care guidelines are not properly followed.
The initial results of fractional CO2 laser treatment may become visible after the initial recovery period, typically lasting about three weeks post-treatment. The skin appearance continues to improve, and full results are visible after 3-6 months, depending on the patient’s skin type, problem treated, and laser intensity. The results may vary from person to person.
Cost of Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing
The average starting cost of Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing in Dubai is AED 750. The final price of the treatment may vary from person to person, depending on the following factors
- The size of the treatment area.
- Skin type and tone.
- The degree of improvement needed.
- The number of treatment sessions required to achieve the desired results.
- The practitioner’s expertise.
- The geographic location of the clinic or treatment facility.
FAQs About Fractional CO2 Laser
What areas can I treat with the CO2 laser?
Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is most commonly performed on the face but may also be done on other areas, such as the neck, chest, arms, and hands.
Is there any downtime associated with fractional CO2 laser treatment?
Yes, you may need a downtime of a few days after fractional CO2 laser resurfacing. During this period, you may notice flaking, scabbing, and crusting. Therefore, it is crucial to follow your dermatologist’s instructions and be diligent with your skincare routine.
How many CO2 treatments might I need?
The number of fractional laser resurfacing sessions may vary, mainly depending on the type and severity of the problem and the skin’s response to the treatment. You may need
- 1-2 sessions for fine lines and light wrinkles
- 3-4 sessions for deep wrinkles
- 2-3 sessions for pigment irregularities
It is important to note that the exact number of sessions is determined by a qualified practitioner, generally during the initial consultation.
Who is NOT a candidate for a fractional CO2 laser treatment?
Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is not recommended for individuals who
- Have active infections, such as the ones caused by herpes simplex virus.
- Have active acne.
- Have open wounds or lesions in the area designated for treatment.
- Have a dark skin tone, which may have a higher risk of complications such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
- Have connective tissue or autoimmune disease.
- Have a history of keloid scars or are prone to serious scarring responses.
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What distinguishes the Fractional CO2 laser from the Sellas Fractional Laser?
The Fractional CO2 laser uses an ablative carbon dioxide fractionated laser beam that resurfaces the skin by creating microscopic columns of thermal injury. The Sellas fractional laser, on the other hand, is a non-ablative ER: Glass fractionated laser that resurfaces the skin by creating microscopic columns of thermal coagulation. Although both laser systems promote collagen production for skin rejuvenation, they may each be more suitable for different individuals, depending on specific treatment needs and skin conditions.
Schedule A Consultation
Get rejuvenated skin with Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing at the Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, performed by our highly experienced and top-rated dermatologists in the region. For more information, call us at +971 4 348 5575. You can also book a consultation online by filling out the form below.