The CO2 laser is widely considered to be the most versatile laser system because it can be used to treat multiple degrees of scarring and visible signs of aging and will give a more dramatic response in a single treatment. However, because there is usually significant downtime and higher risks associated with ablative or deep resurfacing, not everyone can tolerate the treatment.
The adverse events vary based on the treatment modality chosen. With any injury to the skin you must be concerned about initiating an infectious process. Ablative resurfacing is more likely to cause changes in the pigmentation of the skin that is less frequent with a non-ablative treatment.
Many dermatologists and plastic surgeons have chosen to offer non-ablative laser skin resurfacing for this reason. Non-ablative devices can be very effective and over time, you may achieve the same results as with deeper treatments if you have several sessions.
For example, one very popular technology is Fraxel® for non-ablative skin resurfacing. Among the many benefits are the significant improvements in skin tone and texture that can be achieved. The dual wavelength of the Fraxel technology can also be used to treat dark blotches and sunspots.
When undergoing fractionated CO2 laser treatment, you can expect to have about five days of downtime. Most doctors will recommend using an occlusive ointment for the first several days while they are peeling. The ZO® Post Procedure Recovery System can greatly improve the post-laser experience. It contains three key products formulated to synergistically deliver the most advanced technology to protect and soothe skin. The products were designed to help prevent scabbing and restore the skin’s barrier to speed up the skin’s natural regenerative process.
Around day five after Fraxel, you will have completed the peeling and your doctor may allow you to apply camouflage makeup. Your skin will be slightly pink which gradually fades. Some fair skinned individuals may be pink for several weeks or longer, depending on how aggressively the treatment was performed.
Wrinkle-reducing results can be dramatic with Fraxel after a series of 3 – 5 treatments based on your skin type and concerns.