A Beginner’s Guide to Fractional CO2 Resurfacing

CO2 laser skin resurfacing is a skin-enhancement procedure that uses heat and oxygen to shed damaged cells and improve collagen production. Collagen degradation makes your skin lose its strength and elasticity, resulting in sagging skin. The treatment can erase several years of skin damage, wrinkles, and discoloration, leaving you with healthy, younger-looking skin.

Here we give you a low-down on the various aspects of CO2 laser skin resurfacing to help you make an informed choice.

How does a fractional laser work?

The procedure involves applying fractionated CO2 in short, ultra-pulse waves of light energy in a scanning pattern to eliminate dead skin. After using a topical anesthetic, the surgeon passes the laser over the skin, treating small square areas of the skin at a time.

The heat penetrates the skin by creating fine holes in the basal layers (fibroblast cells). It draws out moisture from the skin and the cells underneath the fibroblast layer. The treatment provides longer-lasting results by combining heat and CO2.

What does it treat?

Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is one of the fastest and most effective ways of rejuvenating your facial skin. It’s an excellent choice for people who suffer from the following complexion issues:

  • Uneven skin tone

  • Age spots

  • Wrinkles and fine lines

  • Crow’s feet

  • Acne and trauma scars

  • Hyperpigmentation

  • Smoker’s lines

  • Rosacea

  • Sun damage

Who’s the right candidate?

People suffering from fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, or congenital defects are suitable candidates for laser skin resurfacing. However, we recommend against getting this treatment for people who have active acne or very dark skin.

What are the risks of CO2 laser resurfacing?

Patients may notice the following side effects after the treatment:

  • Hyperpigmentation (increased pigmentation)

  • Hypopigmentation (decreased skin pigmentation)

  • The reappearance of a cold sore

  • Bacterial infections

  • Swelling

  • Scarring

  • Redness

Laser resurfacing aftercare

We perform CO2 laser resurfacing on an out-patient basis, so patients can expect to go home immediately after treatment. Patients must follow the following aftercare routine:

  • Clean the treated areas two to five times a day with cool tap water, saline, or a diluted vinegar solution.

  • Apply an ointment such as Vaseline or Aquaphor to reduce swelling and pain.

  • Use an ice pack to mitigate swelling in the first 24-48 hours.

  • Treat hyperpigmented skin with a bleaching cream.

  • Prevent cold sore by asking for an antiviral medication.

  • Prevent bacterial infections by taking an antibiotic before the surgery and continue for 7 to 10 days after treatment.

  • Observe wound-care practices to prevent scab formation. The treatment area heals in 5-10 days, depending on the condition.

  • You can start wearing makeup five days after the treatment to camouflage the redness that results from laser skin resurfacing. It’s better to use only chemical-free and oil-free makeup products.

  • Strictly avoid smoking before and after the treatment.

About Ballentyne Medical Aesthetics

We have been offering high-quality CO2 Resurfacing treatment along with several other non-surgical cosmetic skin therapies, injectables, and laser procedures to the residents of Portsmouth since 2002. Please fill out our new patient form to find out which skin treatment works best for you. You can also call us at (603) 319-8432 or email at hello@ballentynemedicalaesthetics.com to know more.