Fractional CO2 laser is an innovative technology in the field of aesthetic medicine and cosmetology, which allows you to rejuvenate and smooth the skin and get rid of such unpleasant external imperfections as scars, scars, stretch marks.However, its use is highly controversial. This method of skin care has both supporters, most often among surgeons, and opponents, represented by dermatologists and cosmetologists.
What is this procedure, what effects does it give and why does it provoke such contradictory opinions? We will tell you everything in detail and answer all your questions.
Fractional laser: description of the procedure and its characteristics
In cosmetology and aesthetic medicine, 2 types of fractional lasers are used: erbium, with lower power levels and shorter wavelengths, and CO2 lasers, which use higher laser power and reach moredeep layers of skin.
Fractional laser treatment gives the following results:
- Improving the structure of the epidermis.
- Reduce stretch marks, scars and scars.
- Remove age spots.
- Shrinking pores.
- Skin tightening.
- Evening the complexion.
- Rejuvenation of the skin by stimulating the blood circulation in the capillaries, thanks to which it receives more oxygen, which has a positive effect on its appearance.
The most popular is the fractional rejuvenation with CO2 laser, which gives excellent results. Thanks to the increased production of elastin and collagen, the skin regains firmness and elasticity, wrinkles are smoothed and the complexion is evened out. It has a lifting effect, thanks to which the previous contours of the face are returned - it becomes clearer and better defined, the relaxation of the chin and cheeks is removed, the nasolabial folds are smoothed.
In the picture you can compare the condition of the patient's skin before and after the fractional laser:
During the procedure, the skin is treated with laser beams that work on 20-25% of its treated area when a laser head is activated. The laser beams are distributed at a certain distance from each other, equally vertically and horizontally. The number of rays and the depth of treatment of the skin tissues depend on the settings of the laser parameters in the given area of the skin and the head used. They are selected depending on the characteristics of the patient's skin, the area of treatment and the type of problem for the solution of which the procedure is performed.
The fractional laser wavelength is about 1550 nm. This causes the beam to penetrate 2 mm deep into the skin. It stimulates the production of collagen and elastin in the skin tissues, which leads to a rejuvenating effect and reduction of scars and scars. Also, as a result of the procedure, the regenerative function of the epidermis increases.
To get the desired result, you need to go through a course of 2-6 procedures, your doctor will tell you the exact number.The duration of the procedure is 40-100 minutes (processing time depends on many parameters).
Despite the excellent effects, the procedure still causes a lot of negativity, especially among those who were poorly informed at the beginning and were disappointed due to the discomfort and pain during the procedure.
Description of the fractional operation of CO2 with a laser
Fractional CO2 laser therapy works very similarly. The main difference is the wavelength, reaching about 10, 000 nm.This is an ablative technique used to reduce large scars or age spots and for a strong facelift.
The procedure is performed with the help of anesthesia. To do this, an anesthetic cream is applied to the treated area of the skin or analgesics are taken orally.
Despite the pain relief, the patient feels little comfort while treating the skin with laser beams. The skin swells, reddens, there is a feeling of tightness and dryness, which is often accompanied by itching. This sensation disappears after about 2 days and is replaced by exfoliation of the epidermis, which may be accompanied by a change in skin color to a darker shade.
Rosacea or redness does not go away completely after about 2 weeks.If the recovery period with erbium laser treatment lasts 1-3 days, then rehabilitation after fractional laser treatment with CO2 takes 4-7 days.But in most cases the discomfort lasts longer - up to 2 weeks.
It should be noted that to achieve the effect it is necessary to perform 3 to 6 procedures with a frequency of every 3-6 weeks.The results caused by the rearrangement of collagen fibers can be observed only 3-6 months after the procedure. Thus, partial laser skin rejuvenation with CO2 is definitely only suitable for very patient people who do not pursue fast results.
Erbium fractional laser
The erbium fractional laser differs from the CO2 laser with lower power and shorter beams - the wavelength is 1064-2940 nm. It is safer and more gentle on the skin, as well as provides targeted treatment of a specific area and does not affect the surrounding tissues.
Used on areas of the body with delicate skin: neck, arms, décolleté.
Rehabilitation and post-procedure care
The rehabilitation period takes 4-5 days. Immediately after the procedure, the skin may be red, itchy, flaky and unattractive. It is therefore advisable to cancel important questions for the next few days after the session and take them home at rest. But it should be borne in mind that all the consequences of the procedure completely disappear only after about 2 weeks.
Skin care after the procedure plays an important role in the result of the fractional laser.If you want her to look good, you should pay special attention to her in the first days after the procedure. It is necessary to ensure the optimal level of its moisture. After the procedure, your doctor will give you tips on moisturizers to use after the procedure.
It is important to remember that in the first days after the session, the sun's rays should be avoided, as they can have a destructive effect on new cells and cause discoloration of the skin. Also, you should not take a hot bath, visit a sauna, swimming pool, swim in open water, sunbathe purposefully during the first month.
Another direction after treatment is to allow the skin to regenerate at its own pace. You do not need to specifically increase the peeling of the skin, to tear off the scaly areas - this can lead to a completely opposite effect than expected.
What are the indications and contraindications for CO2 fractional laser
The main indications for the procedure are:
- Skin sagging.
- Significant age-related changes.
- Deterioration of facial contours.
- Enlarged pores.
- Scars, stretch marks, acne scars.
- Pigmented spots.
- Reduce skin tightness.
- Benign entities.
Here are the contraindications for fractional laser:
- Skin infections.
- Fresh complexion.
- Chronic diseases in the acute stage.
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Predisposition to keloids.
Taking into account all the pros and cons, it should be emphasized that fractional laser treatment should be carried out only after consultation with a doctor and after you have been informed in detail about the procedure.You need to be fully aware of what awaits you during the session and how much you can improve skin imperfections.
It must be assumed that the procedure is uncomfortable and even painful, despite the use of painkillers, in addition, the result appears only after a few months. Therefore, it is not suitable for people who are impatient and have a low pain threshold. Given the high cost of the procedure (depending on the treated area and the pricing policy of the cosmetology center), the decision should be made only after careful consideration of everything.
CO2 fractional laser examinations
Most reviews of the fractional laser procedure are positive. Those who have done it note its high efficiency: scars and scars are removed, the skin is smoothed, the relief and texture of the skin is improved, pigmentation is reduced and the complexion is evened out. But at the same time, the praise is parallel to the complaints. The very high cost, the pain of the procedure, the long wait for the results, severe itching and redness after the session - these are the moments that cause dissatisfaction among patients.
It should be remembered that the effect depends a lot on the professionalism of the specialist who will perform the procedure. Therefore, if you decide to do skin restoration or rejuvenation with a fractional laser, be very careful when choosing a beautician. Contacting an inexperienced doctor can have the opposite effect - instead of improving the skin, it will deteriorate and take a long time to heal.