Fractional Laser Resurfacing

What is fractional laser skin treatment?

Fractional laser skin treatment is a technology that successfully corrects many dermatological and cosmetic skin conditions, with increased comfort and minimal post-treatment pain and care. Fractional CO2 laser skin treatments give excellent results for skin resurfacing and when correcting skin conditions including scars, uneven, dull skin and fine lines.

How do fractional laser skin treatments work?

Fractional laser skin treatments create areas of treated tissue surrounded by untreated, healthy tissue. Some fractional skin treatments create narrow, deep columns that extend through the epidermis into the dermis through an array of intense laser energy microbeams. These columns can either be “non-ablative” (the laser beams coagulate the affected tissue) or “ablative” (the laser beams vaporize the affected tissue). The body’s natural healing process creates new, healthy tissue to replace the columns of affected tissue – improving the skin condition being treated.

What are the benefits of fractional laser skin treatments?

Fractional laser skin treatments have three significant benefits as compared to traditional laser skin treatments:

Increased Comfort – The fractional array of microbeams does not cause bulk damage as traditional ablative treatments do but instead cause small areas of damage each surrounded by undamaged tissue. As a result, fractional treatments are a much gentler laser treatment. Many patients tolerate the treatment well without anesthesia; other patients may opt for a light topical anesthetic.

Increased Safety – Following a fractional ablative procedure, each tiny fractional column re-epithelializes (i.e., regrows the missing tissue and closes over) typically within one day. This minimizes the risk of scarring, infection, or long-term pigmentation changes.

Decreased Downtime – Depending on the type of procedure, most fractional patients can return to normal daily activities immediately.

What is “re-epithelialization” and why is it important for ablative procedures?

Re-epithelialization refers to the body’s natural process of wound healing. During re-epithelialization, intact stems cells create new cells that multiply, migrate, and cover over a wound in the skin – in this case, areas of tissue affected by a laser treatment. The fractional approach leaves the laser-affected areas surrounded by healthy cells which help re-epithelialization happen quickly.

A rapid re-epithelialization helps reduce the chance of infection and minimize complications by quickly protecting the treated tissue while it continues to heal. The fractional approach to laser skin treatment results in re-epithelialization typically within one day, helping to minimize patient risk.

Are fractional laser skin treatments comfortable?

Fractional laser skin treatments are far more comfortable than traditional laser treatments. Some patients have described the feeling following a non-ablative procedure as a mild “sting,” not unlike sunburn, that diminishes following the treatment. Ablative treatments typically require a light topical anesthetic before the procedure and mild post-treatment pain management.

How many fractional laser skin treatments will you need?

The number of treatments necessary will depend on the condition being treated, and if it is an ablative or non-ablative procedure. It may take 6 non-ablative treatments to achieve the best results. Patients should consider how quickly they would like to see results and how much downtime they are willing to experience when deciding on what type of treatments to have.

What should you expect after treatment?

Immediately following the treatment, skin may be mildly red (erythema). These effects are normal, and indicate a successful treatment. Any swelling typically subsides within a day, and most redness dissipates within a few days. As the redness and swelling subside, a tanned look t will become visible. The tanned appearance will fade over the next few days as new, healthy skin replaces the laser-treated tissue. The skin will be back to normal in less than a week.

What precautions should you follow after treatment?

To prevent complications, all patients should s follow their post-treatment care protocol. Post laser serum applied immediately post-treatment may soothe the treated skin. For 1-2 weeks following treatment, avoiding sun exposure is important. Use a sunscreen at least twice a day for the next 1 week.

How long will it take before you can go out in public, go to work, the gym, etc?

With a fractional non-ablative treatment, there’s little to no downtime – most patients may resume their daily activities immediately. You may use makeup or concealer after treatment if you wish to.

Always follow post care protocol as it was designed specifically for you to achieve optimal results.


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