Fractional CO2 Laser Rejuvenation


In the 70’s and 80’s the CO2 laser or Carbon dioxide laser entered into the market place.  The CO2 laser revolutionized treatment options for anti-aging.  The treatment used a very hot gas that was pulsed onto the skin and caused the top layers of tissue to evaporate and exfoliate off the skin.  Patients underwent a few weeks of recovery while the skin re-grew and rejuvenated.  For those patients who could afford a few weeks of recovery, this was a good treatment option.  On the other hand, many patients could not afford the lengthy recovery or the risks associated with this degree of exfoliation.

With the advancement of modern technology and the addition of scanners to lasers, we were presented with a new technology that was re-developed.  Computer scanners were added to the traditional CO2 lasers to create fractionated or dot-like resurfacing devices.  These systems create CO2 energy in small areas that enter into the skin in a dot-like pattern.  This allows the surrounding skin that is not treated to encompass the treated area and heal it more rapidly, and helps prevent infection or scarring that was traditionally seen with traditional CO2 resurfacing treatments.   This dot pattern can be altered to place the dots close together for a more aggressive treatment or further apart for a less aggressive treatment.  Therefore, the treatment can be performed with light, medium or deep settings.   If the light setting is performed, often a series of 2 to 3 treatments are recommended to achieve the best results.

The treatment is used for a large variety of treatment options.  We often use the technology to treat signs of aging such as lines, depressions, skin laxity, brown spots and even for pre-cancers or Actinic Keratosis.  The treatment may be done on the face, scalp, neck, chest, hands and even the arms.  We use a topical anesthetic to aid in minimizing discomfort from the treatment, and at times will use local anesthesia or even oral medication to help aid in relaxation and pain relief.  Most patients require about a week of recovery time, depending on the depth and extent of the treatment. It is highly recommended to avoid sun exposure during the recovery time.  We encourage patients who are interested in the CO2 fractional laser treatment to visit our office for a consultation so we may evaluate your skin.   This allows us to determine if you are a candidate for treatment and to share additional information to help prepare you for treatment and for the recovery.

Fractional CO2 laser treatments have become a very commonly performed treatment and most patients are very happy with the improvements in their skin.  We often recommend home care products and in office treatments such as Botox and Fillers such as Juvederm or Radiesse after the CO2 laser treatment is performed to achieve the best results.

We look forward to evaluating your skin and your concerns to determine if the CO2 treatment is appropriate for your needs.