The fractional CO2 laser is an innovative technology in the field of aesthetic medicine and cosmetology that allows to rejuvenate and soften the skin and get rid of unpleasant-looking imperfections such as scars, scars, stretch marks.However, its use is highly controversial. This skin care method has advocates, most often between surgeons, and opponents, represented by dermatologists and cosmetologists.
What is this procedure, what effects does it cause and why does it cause these conflicting 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 a lower power level and with shorter wavelengths, and CO2 lasers, which use greater laser power and reach deeper layersof the skin.
The fractional laser treatment produces the following results:
- Improving the structure of the epidermis.
- Reduction of stretch marks, scars and scars.
- Removal of age spots.
- Reduce pores.
- Hardening of the skin.
- Skin alignment.
- Skin rejuvenation by stimulating blood circulation in the capillaries, thanks to which it receives more oxygen, which has a positive effect on its appearance.
Fractional rejuvenation with CO2 laser is the most popular and offers excellent results. Due to increased production of elastin and collagen, the skin regains firmness and elasticity, wrinkles are smoothed and the complexion is uniform. There is a lifting effect, thanks to which the anterior contours of the face return - it becomes clearer and better defined, the sagging of the chin and cheeks is removed, the nasolabial ridges are smoothed.
In the photo, you can compare the patient's skin condition before and after the fractional laser:
During the procedure, the skin is treated with laser beams, which act on 20-25% of its treated area, when a laser head is activated. The laser beams are distributed at certain distances from each other, both vertically and horizontally. The number of rays and the depth of treatment of the skin tissues depends on the settings of the laser parameters in the area of the skin and head used. They are selected according to the patient's skin characteristics, the area to be treated and the type of problem for which the procedure is performed.
The fractional wavelength of the laser is about 1550 nm. This results in the beam penetrating at a depth of 2 mm 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. In addition, as a result of the procedure, the regenerative function of the epidermis increases.
To obtain the desired result, you must go through 2 to 6 procedures, and your doctor will tell you the exact number.The duration of the procedure is 40-100 minutes (the processing time depends on many parameters).
Despite the excellent effects, the procedure still causes a lot of negativity, especially among those who were misinformed at the beginning and were disappointed with the discomfort and pain during the procedure.
Description of CO2 fractional laser operation
Fractional CO2 laser therapy works in a very similar way. The main difference is the wavelength that reaches 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 under anesthesia. To do this, an anesthetic cream is applied to the treated skin area or pain killers are administered orally.
Despite the pain relief, the patient feels little comfort when treating the skin with laser beams. The skin swells, turns red, a feeling of stiffness and dryness appears, which is often accompanied by itching. This sensation disappears after about 2 days and is replaced by exfoliation of the epidermis, which can be accompanied by a change in skin color to a darker tone.
Rosacea or redness does not disappear completely after about 2 weeks.If the recovery period with erbium laser treatment lasts 1-3 days, rehabilitation after fractional CO2 laser treatment will take 4-7 days.But in most cases, discomfort is felt for the longest time - up to 2 weeks.
It should be noted that in order to obtain the effect, it is necessary to perform 3 to 6 procedures frequently every 3-6 weeks.The results caused by the rearrangement of collagen fibers can be seen only 3-6 months after the procedure. Thus, skin rejuvenation with CO2 fractional laser is definitely only suitable for very patient people who are not looking for quick results.
Erbium Fractional Laser
The erbium fractional laser differs from the CO2 laser in lower power and shorter beams - the wavelength is 1064-2940 nm. It is safer and smoother for the skin and also provides targeted treatment for a specific area and does not affect the surrounding tissues.
It is used on areas of the body with delicate skin: neck, arms, neckline.
Rehabilitation and care after the procedure
The rehabilitation period takes 4 to 5 days. Immediately after the procedure, the skin may be red, itchy, scaly and look unattractive. Therefore, it is advisable to cancel important matters in the next few days after the session and spend at home, resting. But it must be kept in mind that all the consequences of the procedure disappear completely after only about 2 weeks.
Skin care after the procedure plays an important role in the result of fractional laser.If you want her to look good, you should pay special attention to her in the first few days after the procedure. It is necessary to guarantee the ideal level of its humidity. After the procedure, the doctor will advise the use of moisturizers 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 skin discoloration. In addition, you should not take a hot shower, go to a sauna, pool, swim in open water, sunbathe on purpose during the first month.
Another post-treatment guideline is to allow the skin to regenerate at its own pace. You should not specifically increase the peeling of the skin, remove the scaly areas - this can lead to a completely opposite effect than expected.
What are the indications and contraindications for fractional CO2 laser
The main indications for the procedure are:
- Looseness of the skin.
- Express age-related changes.
- Deterioration of facial contours.
- Large pores.
- Scars, stretch marks, acne scars.
- Pigmented spots.
- Decreases the skin's firmness.
- Benign formations.
Here are the contraindications for a fractional laser:
- Skin infections.
- Fresh tan.
- Chronic diseases in the acute stage.
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Kelloid predisposition.
Taking into account all the pros and cons, it should be emphasized that fractional laser treatment should only be performed after consulting a doctor and after you have been fully informed about the procedure.You should be fully aware of what to expect during the session and how much you will be able to improve skin imperfections.
It must be assumed that the procedure is uncomfortable and even painful, despite the use of painkillers, in addition, the result only appears after a few months. Therefore, it is not suitable for impatient people with a low pain threshold. Also considering the high cost of the procedure (depending on the area treated and the pricing policy of the cosmetology center), the decision should be made only after considering everything carefully.
Fractional CO2 laser reviews
Most reviews of the fractional laser procedure are positive. Whoever made it noticed its high effectiveness: scars and scars are eliminated, the skin is smoothed, the relief and texture of the skin is improved, pigmentation is reduced and the complexion is uniform. But at the same time, the compliment is accompanied by complaints. The very high price, the pain of the procedure, the long wait for results, intense itching and redness after the session - these are the moments that cause discontent among patients.
It is important to remember that the effect depends a lot on the professionalism of the specialist who will perform the procedure. So, if you decide to do a skin resurfacing or rejuvenation with a fractional laser, be very careful when choosing a beautician. Contacting an inexperienced doctor can have a completely opposite effect than expected - instead of improving the skin, it deteriorates and the treatment takes time.