CO2 laser skin resurfacing was the Gold Standard in skin rejuvenation for many, many years. Now, with the availability of a fractionated CO2 laser, similar results are obtained with a much faster recovery, so our Boca Raton laser resurfacing patients no longer have to “hide out” for weeks on end before showing off their younger looking skin! South Florida patients with sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines and acne scarring now have a faster method for more youthful, smoother skin!
The Problem with Traditional CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing
In the past, CO2 laser resurfacing essentially removed the entire surface of the treated area, as in the illustration at left. While it produced dramatic results, it came with dramatic risks: the potential for skin damage and damage to surrounding tissues as well as the potential for scarring and infection, not to mention the discomfort and the very long recovery period. Today’s patients have no time to sit at home, away from work and social activities, to heal from a CO2 laser resurfacing treatment. For that reason, the invention of fractional CO2 laser resurfacing has been a boon to our laser resurfacing patients from Miami, West Palm, Delray Beach, Wellington and Boca Raton.
What is Fractional CO2 Resurfacing?
Fractional CO2 resurfacing delivers the benefits of traditional CO2 treatments without the drawbacks. Rather than treating entire sections of skin surface, the fractional laser method deploys the laser energy in “columns,” similar to the photo at right. You can see the dots on the skin’s surface, as well as areas of the skin that are left untreated. The result is much faster healing. Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing here at our Boca Raton plastic surgery practice can give approximately the same results as the original CO2 treatment.
How Does Fractional CO2 Lasering Work?
The laser energy delivered by the fractional laser creates tiny wounds in the skin. The body immediately goes to work to heal these tiny wounds and, in the process, produces new collagen and elastin, the building blocks of young skin. This increased production of collagen and elastin improves wrinkles, skin discoloration and scarring, and results in skin tightening. Skin will also become firmer and tighter, due to the increase in elastin.
How Painful is Fractional CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Unless performed during a face lift or eyelid surgery here in our accredited Boca Raton plastic surgery suite, Dr. Berman will prescribe oral pain and sedation medication to be taken about an hour before the laser treatment. A topical cream anesthetic is then applied to the skin for 30 minutes. Because of this combination, Dr. Berman’s patients report that they feel only minimal discomfort during laser resurfacing.
Recovery from Fractional CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing
As the level of correction, which will be discussed with you at your private consultation with Dr. Berman, varies among patients, so does the recovery period. In general, patients who opt for minimal correction will have tender skin that looks and feels like a sunburn, with some slight facial swelling. Dr. Berman will give you ointment to apply to the skin along with daily skin care instructions, as well as oral medication for discomfort. Patients with a lighter laser treatment experience peeling that lasts approximately 5 to 7 days. Most patients find they can apply makeup by day 5, and many have the procedure performed on Friday and return to work on Monday.
Patients who elect a deeper fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing treatment will be covered in ointment after their treatment. The skin will be raw and oozing. Dr. Berman will prescribe medication for discomfort and instruct the patient about post-laser care at home. During the first week post-laser treatment, a crust will form over the healing skin. Complete healing will occur within 2-4 weeks, but some redness can remain up to three months. Once recovery is complete, our Boca Raton fractional laser patients see a significant improvement in wrinkles, skin tightness, and discoloration.
Many patients who opt for the deepest fractional CO2 laser treatment often combine it with a facelift procedure. Miami, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach and Boca Raton facelift patients find this to be a very convenient way to obtain the most complete facial rejuvenation.
If you live in South Florida near Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale or Miami, call Dr. Berman today at 561-417-0171 to schedule a laser skin rejuvenation consultation. After his examination, Dr. Berman will advise you as to the best course of action for your particular skin condition.