Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing in Clifton, NJ
What is Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing?
Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is a non-invasive procedure designed to reduce or erase signs of aging on the skin. The fractional laser treatment works by targeting the epidermis (uppermost layer of the skin) and the dermis (middle layer of the skin). CO2 laser resurfacing delivers light in an array of narrow, focused microbeams that create columns of heat within the skin. This heat removes thin layers of skin to initiate the body's natural healing process to form new, healthy tissue.
How Does it Work?
During a fractional CO2 laser resurfacing procedure, the doctor will use a device that delivers a laser beam divided into thousands of microscopic treatment zones that target a fraction of the skin at a time. The laser sends out brief pulses of high-energy light that water and parts of molecules in the skin called chromophores absorb. The light is changed into heat energy, and the heat then destroys thin sections of the skin, layer by layer. As the wounded skin heals, new skin grows to replace the damaged skin that was removed during the treatment.
The fractional CO2 laser is a common type of laser used for resurfacing. This procedure helps reduce age spots, including:
Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is very precise and causes little damage to the surrounding skin and tissue. It is mostly used to reduce signs of aging on the face, but it can be used on skin on other areas of the body. The hands, neck and chest may be avoided because skin in these areas does not heal as well as in other areas—it tends to thicken and scar as a result of laser treatment.
How is Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing Performed?
Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is an in-office procedure that requires pre- and post-treatment medications to ensure proper healing and comfort. Before the procedure starts, the physician will clean the area and apply a nerve block with a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area.
Next, the laser is passed over the skin, sending out pulses that lasts less than a millisecond. Between passes with the laser, the skin is wiped with a water or saline solution to cool the skin and remove the tissue that the laser destroyed. The number of passes required depends on how large the area is and what type of condition is being treated. The pulses from the laser may sting or burn slightly, but there is typically no bleeding. When the treatment is finished, the area is covered with a clean dressing or ointment.
The healing and recovery time after laser resurfacing varies according to the size and depth of the treated area. Following the procedure, the wounded area will be pink, tender, and swollen for two to three days. Cold packs and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen may help reduce swelling and pain. After skin regrowth occurs, the skin remains red for several weeks.
Proper care of the treated area while the skin is healing is extremely important. Some of the best practices following fractional CO2 laser resurfacing include:
- Being clean: By rinsing the skin several times a day with cool tap water, patients can avoid infection and remove any crusting that may develop. It's important to avoid soaps and perfumes during recovery time.
- Dressing changes: It's important to change any dressings regularly and apply ointment to keep the treated area moist to promote healing.
- Avoiding the sun: New skin is more susceptible to sun damage, so avoiding the sun or using proper sun block protection are key to achieving the best results.
Within 24 hours of the procedure, new skin develops, and it may have a bronze appearance that can last about three to 14 days. Flaking of the skin may occur as new skin replaces dead skin tissue. Several follow-up visits with your physician will be needed to monitor the skin's healing and regrowth, and to identify and treat early signs of infection or other complications.
Request more information about fractional CO2 laser resurfacing treatment today. Call (973) 777-3711 or contact Dr. Maged Boutros online.
Clifton, NJ 07013