CO2 Laser Overview

Fractionated CO2 laser



Fractional CO2 is the most effective tool for resurfacing skin in order to eliminate acne scars or rejuvenate aged skin. These are before and after photos, taken four weeks apart, after one single acne scar treatment with the CO2 laser, with plans for additional treatments. call us at (949)551-1113 for a complimentary consultation to see if you are a right candidate for CO2 laser treatment and acne scar correction.

Are you overwhelmed with all the various types of laser treatments on the market?

There are many different lasers on the market including these widely known lasers used here in the U.S. such as SmartXide, ProFractional, Smartskin, Silklase, Zenpro, Pixel CO2, Deep Fx, Ultrapulse, Fraxel, Affirm CO2, Ultherapy and so many more. The CO2 laser is one of the most powerful and effective treatments, but with the fractionated features, it is able to minimize risk of complications that were associated with the “full field” CO2 lasers widely used in the past. At OC MedDerm, we ensure you are educated about your treatment options and tailor a plan that’s right for you!

CO2 laser history

The carbon dioxide (CO2) laser is one of the oldest gas lasers, invented in 1964, and is still one of the most useful lasers in the medical field.

What is a CO2 laser?

The CO2 lasers are the highest power lasers that are currently available on the market. It is utilized for many different purposes in medicine including skin resurfacing and skin rejuvenation. When this type of laser beam is introduced to the skin, it evaporates the superficial layers of the skin that have been damaged and aged over many years. In addition to evaporation, the residual heat of the laser is delivered to the deeper layers of the tissue, which stimulates skin “remodelling” by increases collagen production and leads to a tighter, rejuvenated skin. This process allows for newer and healthier skin to replace older and more damaged skin.

What is the difference between a non-fractional laser and fractional laser?

Non-fractional lasers deliver laser light and energy into the entire surface of the skin and treat the skin in a “full field”. Therefore, only one single treatment is typically needed for skin rejuvenation. This procedure is often more aggressive, requires anesthesia, has more down time after the procedure, comes at a higher cost of the single treatment, and has a greater chance of complications compared to its fractional laser counterpart. Since the introduction of fractional lasers, non-fractional laser resurfacing has diminished in popularity. Fractional lasers deliver laser energy into the skin in a fractionated or “pixelated” form, which means that the laser light and energy is introduced into only the desired areas of treatment by thousands of tiny dots, creating micro-channel injuries in the skin. The advantage of this is that each injured column in the skin is surrounded by intact skin, which aids in a faster healing period and less risk of complications. This procedure does not need full anesthesia and can usually be tolerated with topical numbing cream to control the discomfort during the procedure. Since this modality of laser treats a fraction of the skin, you benefit from repeated treatments, which eventually rejuvenate the entire skin surface after multiple treatments.

What are the benefits of CO2 laser resurfacing?

Since CO2 laser is the most powerful laser on the market, it is capable of drastically reducing common signs of aging by creating the following changes in the skin:

  • Improves skin texture and tone
  • Drastically reduces the appearance of fine line skin wrinkles by increasing collagen formation
  • Improves acne scars
  • Reduces appearance of stretch marks
  • Removes sun damaged skin and skin blemishes
  • Skin tightening if deeper treatment is intended
  • Reduces the appearance of large pores
  • Reduces uneven discoloration of the skin

How is Fractionated CO2 laser performed?

After any and all of your questions and concerns are addressed, the designated area of treatment will be cleaned with a cleanser and alcohol. Numbing cream will be applied topically on the skin and left on for approximately 30 minutes. Subsequently, numbing cream will be wiped off of the skin and the laser treatment will be performed by our physician, Dr.Shafa. Since a CO2 laser is a powerful tool, you need only one “pass” over the skin within a single treatment, as opposed to alternative, non-ablative lasers, which need several passes. After the laser is completed, a healing ointment such as Aquaphor will be applied to the entire treated area. We will provide gentle cleansers and hydrating lotions for your after care. Dr. Shafa’s assistant is present prior to, during, and after procedures should you need assistance, comfort, or if you have any further questions.

Is CO2 laser painful?

Since this laser treatment is a fractionated laser and a fraction of the skin is being treated across numerous tiny dots, the discomfort during the procedure is usually manageable with topical numbing cream. The typical discomfort of laser treatment is described as a rubber band snapping against the skin. In case you are still sensitive to the procedure, our state of the art cooling machine is available to alleviate discomfort. Our services are provided in a comfortable and professional manner to ensure that you walk out of our facility feeling happy and with positive memories.

What is the post CO2 laser procedure care instruction?

Detailed instructions regarding the procedure will be reviewed with you prior to procedure and given to you to take home after treatment. Here is a summary of do’s and don’ts regarding after care:

  • DO rinse your skin with a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water twice a day, pat your skin dry. Do not rub.
  • DO ensure your skin is well lubricated and moist during healing phases. Keep a thick coat of Aquaphor ointment on the treated area at all the times.
  • DO Avoid scratching or peeling off the skin.
  • DO NOT apply any products that might irritate your skin for the week following treatment (such as makeup or prescription products, unless otherwise instructed by your physician). Inappropriate use of topical products can interfere with the optimal healing process of your skin.
  • If you have a history of fever blisters, DO take medication to prevent fever blister breakouts during your healing process.
  • If you have a history of acne and are being treated for acne scars, DO take antibiotics if instructed by your physician during the healing process.
  • DO strictly avoid direct sun exposure and use sunscreen especially if you have darker skin tone.
  • DO NOT perform strenuous exercise or heavy lifting the first week after procedure.

What is the down time of fractionated CO2 laser?

In general, the first 2 days following treatment, you will experience redness, swelling, and peeling for an average fractional CO2 laser. However, since this is a powerful laser, the intensity of the treatment and most of the parameters of the laser settings are under control. A skilled and experienced physician is able to individualize treatment plans per patient by adjusting the power of such a laser, the depth of laser penetration into the skin, and how densely to deliver all dots. The downtime of the laser also depends on the size of the area being treated, such as localized acne scar treatment vs the entire face, avoiding the eyes and mouth.

What is the cost of Fractional CO2 laser?

We often receive phone calls in our office inquiring about the cost of laser treatments. Imagine! You can’t call a store and ask how much is a jacket? As you know the prices of a jacket depends on the brand, style, pattern, fabric, etc. Similarly, there are many factors that dictate the cost of laser procedures that must be determined after face to face consultation. Some of the factors included but not limited are type and color of the skin, the severity of damage and aged skin, depth and type of the scar, size and location of the sacr, time frame available and many more other factors. For this reason, we offer complimentary consultations to discuss all of your concerns and address pricing. Please call us (949)551-1113 to schedule your free consultation.

Who is not a candidate for CO2 laser treatment?

Since CO2 laser is the most powerful laser on the market, it is capable of drastically reducing common signs of aging by creating the following changes in the skin:

  • People with very dark skin tones or medium-dark skin tones might need a longer pre treatment preparation of the skin.
  • If you have a history of keloid formation on face, you may be at risk of keloids from this procedure.
  • If you have active acne or infections, we advise you start by treating active breakouts and infections followed by laser.
  • If you cannot dedicate the time and effort for one week post treatment care.
  • And most importantly, if someone has unrealistic expectations of the results with such a treatment, we highly recommend you take this opportunity to see us for a complimentary consultation for fractionated CO2 laser resurfacing treatment.

If you are looking for the best Co2 Laser doctor near Irvine CA! You came to the right place.

If you want results and need an effective, intense skin resurfacing treatment, or you suffer from severe acne scars, you might be a good candidate for fractionated CO2 laser to be performed by a physician with experience since 1996. Please feel free to Ask Questions or call us (949)551-1113 to make an appointment to meet Dr. Shafa and receive a non-obligatory complimentary evaluation of your skin and to be educated extensively about your treatment options.

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