The various methods and technologies of reversing the aging process have been growing in leaps and bounds in the last few decades. Everyone wants to look a little bit younger and scientists and doctors are working hard to make those desires into a reality. Laser resurfacing is widely seen as one of the best ways to achieve younger skin, but traditional laser treatments created a host of side effects and often took weeks and even months to heal from. The new fractional CO2 laser resurfacing method is a potential solution to this problem – one that doctors are raving about.
A New Technique in Laser Resurfacing
This new technique uses the same basic technology as traditional ablative resurfacing, but instead of burning off a large section of skin, the fractional approach burns only selected sections of skin. Since the skin between the burned areas is still healthy, healing times are greatly improved. Thus, there is less downtime and a much lower complication rate. A fractional laser treatment is also convenient, requiring a minimum of anesthesia and usually taking only one session.
The destruction of collagen due to time and environmental factors is the main reason that wrinkles form. The burning action of the lasers stimulates collagen production in the skin overall, causing it to plump up and remove wrinkles. Fractional CO2 laser treatments are not only for wrinkles, however. Other conditions, such as freckles, age spots, acne scars and other discoloration can all be improved through laser therapy. Treatment can be performed anywhere on the face, neck, chest and hands.
What to Expect from CO2 Fractional Laser Resurfacing
A typical treatment is relatively quick. Afterwards, there is typically about four to six days of downtime, compared to the three weeks that older resurfacing methods require. Due to the fact that the lasers reach deeper into the skin than other methods, they are more effective and the results of fractional resurfacing are estimated to last between eight and ten years (though results vary from patient to patient).
One of the main advantages to the fractional CO2 method is that side effects are greatly reduced from previous techniques. Redness and swelling may occur, as with all laser surgeries, but generally these only last a few days. There is also a chance that the skin may begin to peel and feel like it has been sunburned, but again this is only temporary. A very small percentage of people may experience a brief outbreak of acne or cold sores as well. The risk of complications increases for those who have had beauty treatments like resurfacing or face-lifts previously, so a doctor should be consulted if this is the case.