If wrinkles, sun damage and acne scars are your main concerns, fractional laser skin resurfacing may be the answer to your prayers. The great popularity of non-ablative fractional lasers has a lot to do with the dramatic effects that can be achieved with minimal recovery and discomfort. Fractional systems offer the benefits of conventional ablative laser skin resurfacing with less downtime and fewer potential side effects. The biggest difference with fractional lasers are that they only treat certain microscopic zones like tiny pixels, leaving the other zones perfectly intact and undamaged. This allows the skin to heal much faster than if the whole area was treated at one time, and often necessitates a series of treatments to cover the whole skin area.
A typical fractional laser treatment will involve short-term redness and swelling and some dryness for a few days and up to a week. Sunscreen and makeup can be worn after the first few days so that most people can return to a normal routine pretty quickly, making fractional lasers a lot easier to tolerate than carbon dioxide and other ablative lasers that are more invasive.
There are many fractional resurfacing lasers on the market today, including Fraxel from Solta, Profractional from Sciton, and Starlux from Palomar, and others. But the newest introduction in fractional carbon dioxide lasers is the CO2RE, recently launched by Syneron and Candela syneron.com. The CO2RE features dual waves that can be adjusted to penetrate the skin at both superficial and deep levels simultaneously.
According to Newport Beach Dermatologist Vince Afsahi, MD, Director of Southcoast Dermatologist Institute, “The CO2RE is one of the most versatile lasers on the market today. It can be fine tuned based on what you want to treat so we can go deeper as needed and treat many skin conditions including lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and scars. There is also a cutting mode that can be used for excisions. You don’t have to lock yourself in to only one kind of treatment for your patients.”
Doctors and clinicians seem to greatly appreciate the fact that the CO2RE fractional carbon dixoide system can be used to treat the skin’s surface as well as middle and deeper dermal levels. According to Dermatologist David Goldberg, MD at Skin Laser and Surgery Specialists, “What is unique about the CO2RE is that it uses two types of wavelengths that penetrate to different depths at the same time. The CO2RE offers seven treatment modes to treat a wide range of skin conditions from superficial discoloration to coarse wrinkles, with less discomfort and better results after a single treatment than many other systems. We can set the depths and the spot size to target specific structures in the skin from fine lines to skin laxity. For deeper skin tightening, we can use the deeper parameters to achieve a more dramatic effect.”
Fees for fractional laser skin treatments vary depending on your location and physician, but range from $1,500 to $3,000. Treatments take from 20 minutes to 45 minutes depending on the areas to be targeted. Generally, the deeper the treatment, the more downtime you can expect.
“When a fractional ablative treatment is the best option and patients want to achieve good results in a single treatment session, CO2RE offers a distinct advantage. I have found that CO2RE offers less discomfort and dramatic results for my patients after just one treatment,” said Dr. Afsahi.