What cosmetic issues can Fractional CO2 treatments improve?
Fractionated 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 improves sun spots and spots of dark pigmentation. It is also a very effective treatment for sun damage and precancerous growths.
It can be used to improve texture, winkles, and blotchiness on the neck, chest, arms and legs. The risk of scarring is higher in these areas and treatments are done on lower settings in these areas.
What does Fractional CO2 laser not treat?
It does not take care of redness including dilated blood vessels (telangectasias), or that reddish blotchy discoloration on the neck and chest (poikiloderma) Temporarily it can even make these problems look worse because the laser treatment itself causes some redness. For problems with red and veins, a medical grade IPL is more effective.
How does the fractional CO2 laser work?
The fractional CO2 laser takes the Co2 laser beam and fractionates, or pixellates that beam into thousands of tiny little shafts of light. These tiny shafts of light penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. The skin then repairs those tiny shafts by pushing out the old sun damaged skin and replacing it with new skin. The “collateral” heat damage also helps to shrink existing collagen.
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.
When will I see results?
Bear in mind that the fractional CO2 laser treatments 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 2-3 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 4-6 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.
What will I look like right after the treatment and what is the healing time?
During the first 24 hours after treatment, your skin will 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 be red and tender for 2-7 days and then will be pink for 3-6 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. Allow 2-4 weeks for weddings, reunions, family picture, etc just to be safe. Allow longer for body sites like arms or legs.
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 social 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 treatments.
Portica Body & Face
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