Fortunately, you do not have to live with unsightly acne scars, as there are already treatments nowadays that can eliminate them, and leave your face pimple-free and flawless. One such safe and effective procedure is CO2 . fractional laserIt involves removing the outer layers of the skin with a laser that reveals the glowing and radiant skin underneath. Do you want to know more about how to solve your skin problems? Here's everything you need to know about the fractional CO2 laser.
What is fractional CO2 laser therapy?
Fractional CO2 laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses a device to deliver a laser beam divided into thousands of microscopic treatment areas that target a portion of the skin at once, similar to a photograph that is enhanced or altered pixel by pixel.
This treatment successfully bridged the gap between ablative and non-ablative laser techniques used to treat sun-damaged and aging skin. Ablative laser treatments work primarily on the epidermis (superficial skin cells), while non-ablative treatments work only on dermal collagen (the middle layer of the skin), but fractional CO2 laser treatment works on all layers of the skin.
Fractional CO2 laser uses
The fractional CO2 laser is ideal for people who want to reduce the appearance of acne scars, stretch marks, fine lines, pigmentation and other skin conditions. Dermatologists also recommend this procedure if you have unresponsive skin after a bad facelift.
Fractional CO2 laser therapy can be used on any part of the body. But it is particularly useful on the neck, chest, and hands when compared to traditional ablation methods. It can also be used for all skin types and patients, but techniques vary depending on the patient's age, skin type, sun exposure, and body location. It can also be combined with surgery and other skin treatments.
Who Should Avoid Fractional CO2 Laser?
Unfortunately, the fractional CO2 laser is not suitable for everyone and people with extensive cracks, open wounds or any infection on the face are advised to stay away from this skin procedure. People taking oral isotretinoin should also avoid the procedure; Because it poses a health and safety risk. If you have chronic medical conditions (such as diabetes), you should also be extra careful and focus on consulting your doctor first.
Having said all these things, it is imperative that you make an appointment to consult a dermatologist at the Freshness Center for Dermatology, Laser and Aesthetics in Hurghada so that he can assess whether you are qualified for this procedure or not.
How does fractional CO2 laser work?
When the laser is passed through the surface of the skin, the surface layers of the skin evaporate, then the sculpting and collagen formation process takes place and continues for the months following the laser treatment. The depth of ablation in the superficial layers depends on how the device is configured. Modern machine settings can also specify desired effects, from pure ablation to preferential heating effect.
Precautions before conducting the session
Before undergoing the fractional CO2 laser procedure, it is recommended to follow these treatment rules:
- Do not use products that contain retinoids; Because it can affect the final results.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure two weeks before laser treatment.
- Stop taking medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, and even vitamin E; Because that may lead to blood clotting for a long time.
- Consult a dermatologist to see if you are a good candidate for fractional CO2 laser treatment.
Precautions on the day of the session
On the day of the laser session, patients should not wear makeup, but can use their regular moisturizer to prepare the skin for the treatment. If desired, mild sedatives may be prescribed to relax the patient within two hours prior to the laser treatment.
At the same time, the patient should apply an anesthetic cream to the face, and the cream should be applied in a thick layer and closed with a bandage. The bandage and numbing cream will be carefully removed and the skin will be cleaned at the Freshness Center for Dermatology, Laser and Aesthetics in the Red Sea Governorate.
How does the skin behave after the fractional CO2 laser procedure?
In the minutes following the treatment, the skin is covered with a thin, whitish membrane that reproduces the pattern of fragmented effects. This mesh coating looks like a very soft piece of cloth, a bit like medical gauze.
This film disappears quickly, leaving the skin looking deeply tanned on the first day with slight pigmentation and a warm sensation all over the surface of the laser treated skin. The sensation of heat can be uncomfortable. But the discomfort can be controlled by spraying pressurized spring water onto the skin several times a day, by taking oral pain relievers, or by applying moisturizing and healing creams several times a day.
Small scales may form, but within 3 to 4 days after the fractional CO2 laser treatment, the skin peels off as after a severe sunburn. On the fifth or sixth day, makeup can generally be applied to disguise the final stage of the healing process until patients can return to work.
How many sessions of fractional CO2 laser application?
The number of sessions is 1-2 sessions for light wrinkles and 3-4 sessions for deep wrinkles. The number of sessions for deep acne scars varies with superficial acne scars. Skin spots can be removed in one session or two or three sessions may be required, and the sessions are repeated every 1-1.5 months.
Side effects and complications of treatment
Fractional CO2 laser therapy appears to be well tolerated by most patients. Shaving or applying make-up can be done shortly after the treatment. Also, in most cases, patients can return to work immediately after treatment or the next day, depending on the condition and treatment of their skin.
Some of the side effects and complications that may occur after fractional CO2 laser treatments, especially on the skin of the neck, include:
- Excessive exfoliation.
- Swelling for up to 1 week after treatment. This can be helped by applying an ice pack at 10-minute intervals for the first 24 hours.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It occurs more commonly in patients with a history of melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (more common in patients with darker skin types).
- Skin rashHerpes simplex, bacterial and candida infections.
- Contact dermatitis.
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Fractional CO2 laser results
Post-treatment results are generally seen in two stages. There is a rapid initial improvement within 2 to 3 weeks after the procedure followed by a gradual improvement over the six months following treatment. The skin is tightened and a high percentage of wrinkles and acne scars disappear.
Treatment in the days following the fractional laser CCO procedure includes continued preventive treatment against attacks of cold sore sores (generally 2 to 4 days after the procedure), and a healing cream will be prescribed for 3 to 4 days after the laser treatment, followed by a restorative cream.
The skin should be generously moistened for 2 to 4 weeks after the procedure, and depending on the characteristics of the skin and the phototype of the patient, a depigmentation cream may be used for an additional few weeks. Likewise, strict sun protection measures should be taken for at least a month. This includes applying a broad-spectrum, high-protection sunscreen and staying out of the sun completely.
A follow-up visit is required at the Freshness Center for Dermatology, Laser and Aesthetics in Hurghada on the seventh day and after one month to ensure that the skin responds properly and that there are no complications. An evaluation is recommended 6 months after the laser session.
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The dermatologists at Nadara Skin, Laser and Cosmetic Center in Hurghada have high-level medical expertise and are experts in the latest technologies. Our center has achieved successful results in treatment withCO2 . fractional laser.