1.How long do the effects of a fractional CO2 resurfacing laser
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.
2.How long does the fractional CO2 laser take to work? When will I
Bear in mind that the fractional CO2 laser 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 two
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 to 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.
3.How are fractional CO2 laser treatments performed?
You need to arrive 1 hours before your treatment. You or a
technician will cleanse the treatment area and then apply a numbing
cream to the area to be treated. Then you just relax, read, and
listen to music, while the numbing cream takes effect.
After you numb for about 30 minutes, the numbing gel will be
removed. The treatment takes about an hour for a full face and
feels a little like a "pins and needles" sensation. The discomfort
ranges from mild to moderate (2-4/10). Plan on being in the office
for 1 ½ to 2 hours total.
4.How does this laser work for acne scars and other scars?
CO2 lasers have always been very effective for acne and other scars
and the fractionated CO2 is no exception. It remains to be seen if
it is as effective as the traditional CO2. However, as the settings
for the "DOT" or "Deep Fx" for both acne, surgical and traumatic
scars keep being improved, many of us think that results will be as
good without many of the risks with the older forms of this laser.
8.Are treatments on the eyelids safe?
Yes, because special laser "contact lenses" are used to protect the
eye. Don't let anyone do treatments directly on the eyelids without
these. Numbing eye drops are placed in the eye before insertion of
a contact lens-like eye shield. A protective ointment on the side
next the eye cushions the special shield. The shield fits
comfortably within the eye and is easily removed at the end of the
treatment. Even our patients who don't wear contact lenses have
The eye treatment is then performed on the upper & lower
eyelids. It is normal (as with all areas treated with the
fractional CO2 laser) to have swelling and redness for 2-4 days
after the treatment. You also have to avoid all sun exposure during
the healing time. Plan on 2-3 weeks for being "camera ready."
5.What will I look like right after the treatment and what is the
During the first 24 hours after treatment, your skin may feel as
though it is sunburned.
Your skin will peel for 2-7 days and will be pink for 3 to 6 weeks.
This healing all depends on how deep your treatment is. After a few
days, you can wear make-up to cover the pink. Rarely, bruising may
develop, which can take up to two weeks to resolve. Allow 2-4 weeks
for weddings, reunions, family pictures, etc. just to be safe.
Allow longer for body sites like arms or legs.
6.Can I go back to work and activities immediately?
No, you will need to take the rest of that day off to care for the
treated area. For the lighter fractional CO2 treatments, you will
need 3-5 days of downtime. For the deeper treatments, plan on 7-10
days of healing.