We are living longer than ever before, and most of us also want to look good along the way. Luckily, with the advent of new technologies, we now have a say on how good we want our skin to look. The CO-2 laser, work-horse of the 1990's, has been completely re-engineered with a Twenty-First Century twist – and its newest reincarnation is the "FRACTIONAL CO 2 LASER".
This breakthrough new laser is applied over the face and neck to completely remove fine lines, deeply discolored areas of hyperpigmentation, acne scars, unwanted folds and sagging skin. The same laser can also be used to remove hyperpigmentation on the backs of hands and tighten loose, flabby skin along the forearms and inner thighs. One of the most impressive results from treatment with the CO-2 fractional laser is the elimination of "smokers lines" above the upper and lower lips.
How does the laser treatment work?
The first thing that happens is the application of a numbing cream on the area that is going to be treated. This cream is then covered with a light layer of Saran Wrap for to allow the numbing agents to penetrate deeply into your skin. The cream is then removed and the skin is cleaned. If deep resurfacing with the CO-2 is planned, Demerol and other strong pain-killers can be given to make sure the procedure is painless.
After covering your eyes with small, light laser goggles, the doctor passes the laser quickly and steadily across the skin. You do not feel anything except a gentle warmth on the skin, but you can hear the slight hiss of the laser as it works its magic. The tightly controlled, fractional laser is penetrating a quarter of an inch into your skin with a narrow beam of light. The heat from the laser spreads out laterally underneath the skin and joins certain cells called fibroblasts and macrophages, responsible for skin tightening and repair. Unlike many other treatments, the C02 Laser.
After the procedure, you will look a little pink, much the same way your skin would look if you spent a few hours out in the California sun with no sunblock. Nurses bring you two small ziploks filled with ice and the ice against the forehead and cheeks feet so good. It removes the tiny bit of heat that follows the laser treatment.
That is all that constituents a laser treatment with fractional CO-2.
Over the next five days the pink skin becomes tighter and tighter. At this point, you return to the doctor's office and the nurse assists in removing the dead, brown skin with a special medical facial treatment. When you look in the mirror following the facial, you see tight, healthy-looking skin without lines and dark, hyperpigmented stains. As the days pass, the pink color goes away and, as you look in the mirror, you say to yourself, "What a difference laser therapy makes! I look 10 to 15 years younger. This is the typical experience we all share when we have CO-2 Fractional laser therapy.
How does this new, revolutionary laser differ from the old laser technology?
The previous generation of lasers caused the skin to be ablated by burning the surface whereas the new laser penetrates along a narrow column below the dermis of the skin and the spreads out laterally. This spares many of the surface cells and allows far more energy to penetrate to areas where it is needed. Here the energy literally "turns on" the dormant repair cells which begin to spin out long columns of collagen and elastin. This results in rejuvenation and tightening of the skin.
What this means absolutely is that the skin recovery time is reduced and we heal faster than we did with the older generation of lasers. The fine lines around the mouth and eyes are gone. The deep lines across the forehead and around the mouth have disappeared and, most importantly, the discomfort and redness were extremely minimal.