WHAT IS FRACTIONAL CO2 LASER TREATMENT?
If you are considering Fractional CO2 Laser treatments then you need to be aware of how to prepare for this gold standard treatment and also what to expect afterward.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
A Fractional CO2 Laser treatment (Frac CO2), also known as laser resurfacing, is a treatment that can reverse 5-10 years of skin aging and dramatically reduces old acne or trauma related scars. It can also remove pre-cancerous spots on your skin, reducing your risk of skin cancer. This treatment has been used for years to treat different skin issues, including wrinkles, scars, enlarged oil glands on the nose, scars and other conditions.
The Frac CO2 laser treatment directs short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at irregular skin, precisely removing skin layer by layer. The Frac CO2 laser resurfacing uses very short pulsed light energy that are delivered in a scanning pattern to remove thin layers of skin with minimal heat damage. Recovery takes up to two weeks.
Good candidates for Frac CO2 laser treatments have fine lines or wrinkles around their eyes, mouth or forehead, shallow scars from acne, or non-responsive skin after a facelift. If you have active acne or very dark skin, you may not be a candidate.
If you are interested in learning more about the Frac CO2 treatment and finding out if you’re a candidate for this treatment then a free consultation with a laser specialist at Caddell’s is necessary. Caddell’s laser specialists have documented training and many years experience in Frac CO2 treatments. Caddell’s physician, Dr. Kaaren Nichols will also be consulted prior to treatment.
During your consultation, you will discuss the areas that will be treated, such as individual wrinkles around your eyes, mouth or forehead. You and your laser specialist may decide to treat your whole face. Smaller areas that are treated take 30 – 45 minutes, a full-face treatment can take up to two hours. Your technician will advise you on how much time to expect your treatment to take.
Be sure and mention if you get cold sores or fever blisters around your mouth. Frac CO2 treatments can trigger breakouts in patients who are at risk. 10 days to two weeks prior to treatment you will be asked to avoid taking medications or supplements that can affect clotting – such as aspirin, ibuprofen or vitamin E.
You should avoid smoking for two weeks before and after the procedure as this can prolong healing.
AFTER YOUR FRACTIONAL CO2 TREATMENT
After the first 24 hours you will need to clean the treated area four to five times a day – you’ll then need to apply an ointment to prevent scabs from forming. This treatment is intended to prevent scabs from forming. The treated area(s) will heal in 10 – 21 days, depending on the condition that was being treated.
It’s also normal to have swelling after Frac CO2 treatments. Sleeping on an extra pillow can help ease the swelling and using an ice pack on the treated area also helps in the first 24 – 48 hours after treatment.
Stinging or itching in the 12 – 72 hour range after your procedure is normal and your skin will become dry and begin to peel five to seven days post treatment. Once your skin heals you can wear makeup to minimize redness and this will fade in two – three months.
Your skin tone will probably be lighter following your Frac CO2 treatment and it is very important to protect your skin and to wear a "broad-spectrum” sunscreen, which will screen out ultraviolet B and A rays. Look for a sunscreen specially formulated for use on the face and one with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 50.
It is very important to keep your new skin well moisturized. If you use Retin A or glycolic acid products, you should be able to start reusing them in about six weeks. This is a perfect time to review your skin care techniques and skin care products such as Epionce with the Caddell’s technician; we’ll be able to help you determine the right skin products for you.
Within two to three months after your Frac CO2 treatment your skin will put on a gorgeous glow, making you look younger and happier. Your face is a window into your world – let the world see you looking your best!