Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
- Take 5-7 years off your skin—
without the harsh side-effects of traditional CO2 lasers
- Reverse sun damage, melasma and blotchiness
- Diminish fine lines, wrinkles and acne scarring
- Tighten the skin and promote new collagen growth
... All in just 1-2 office treatments and minimal downtime!
For many years, carbon dioxide or CO2 laser skin resurfacing has been considered the gold standard in wrinkle removal—but it came at a high price in terms of discomfort and downtime.
Traditional CO2 laser skin resurfacing is done under sedation and completely removes the top layer of the skin. Result: open, draining wounds and several weeks of recovery time. And traditional CO2 laser treatments have a risk of hypo-pigmentation—that is, taking color out of the skin.
Fractional lasers: CO2 laser benefits, faster healing
Today's fractional lasers have many of the benefits of traditional CO2 laser treatments, but with much less discomfort and downtime.
Dr. Parungao answers questions
about fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing
How does the fractional CO2 laser work?
Like a traditional CO2 laser, a fractional laser uses light to generate heat and ablate, or burn off, the top layers of the skin and stimulate new collagen growth. But a fractional laser leaves columns of healthy, untouched tissue between the areas that are ablated—resulting in faster healing.
What's so important about collagen?
Collagen is the main protein of connective tissue that keeps skin plump and youthful. Unfortunately, collagen is destroyed by aging, sun exposure and pollution?resulting in unattractive lines and wrinkles. A fractional CO2 laser treatment jump-starts collagen production for younger-looking, healthier skin.
How much quicker is the recovery time after a fractional CO2 treatment?
You can expect to heal in three to five days after a fractional CO2 treatment, vs. weeks for traditional CO2 laser skin resurfacing.
How many treatments are needed?
Most patients need only one or two treatments. People with extreme acne scarring may need two or three treatments—or may choose a traditional CO2 laser treatment instead. Touch-up treatments can be done very quickly and cost-effectively.
Which skin types can benefit
from fractional laser treatments?
We can treat Fitzpatrick skin types 1-4, as shown in the chart on the right. Fractional lasers cannot be used on skin types 5 and 6 because they remove melanocytes, the skin's pigment cells—thus risking a change in skin pigmentation.
Who is a candidate for fractional laser treatments?
Fractional laser treatments could be a good choice if you have:
- Blotchiness or uneven pigmentation from years of sun exposure
- Smoker's lines—those vertical lines above your upper lip
- Acne scars
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Hypertrophic (raised) scars
Which areas of the body are typically treated?
- Neck and décolletage
Can a fractional laser treatment firm the skin?
Yes. Although fractional laser treatments won't replace a surgical facelift or brow lift, they will tighten the skin to some degree. This may help stave off the need for facial surgery for several years.
What does a fractional CO2 laser treatment feel like?
A fractional CO2 laser treatment feels like a sunburn for several hours. There may be some swelling involved if you've had treatment around the eyes and mouth, as well as some bronzing.
How are fractional CO2 laser treatments performed?
Almost all fractional laser treatments are done in the office under local anesthesia with the patient awake.
How much downtime
is involved after a fractional laser treatment?
You can expect three to five days of downtime—or a week for a very intense treatment. You will be given a prescription for pain medication to make your healing more comfortable. It's very important to stay out of the sun during your recovery.
Can you vary the intensity
of fractional laser treatments?
Yes. You can have a micro-peel that removes the outer surface of the skin for a refreshed glow—or a very intense treatment that gets rid of seven to 10 years' worth of sun damage and wrinkles.
Who should not have fractional laser treatments?
- Patients with a suntan
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding women
- Patients undergoing Accutane® (isotretinoin)
treatments for acne
How long does a fractional laser treatment take?
We ask patients to come in an hour before the procedure to allow time to cleanse the skin and apply an anesthetic cream to numb the tissue in the area to be treated. Most patients get their whole face treated.
The actual time for the procedure depends on the area(s) being treated:
- Face: 30 minutes
- Upper lip: 15 minutes
- Eyes: 10 minutes
- Chest and neck: 30-40 minutes
- Hands: 20 minutes
The cost of a fractional laser treatment is similar to that of a dermal filler, but the effects are far more permanent.
How long do the results last?
A dermal filler treatment will last six months to a year. A fractional CO2 laser treatment will last five to seven years. You can help maintain the improvement in your skin by:
- Keeping your skin hydrated
- Using sunscreen
- Living a healthy lifestyle
How quickly can I apply makeup afterwards?
As soon as the skin is done peeling, you can apply a pure mineral makeup with an SPF of 30 or greater.
Can I exercise afterwards?
After a fractional CO2 laser treatment, you should refrain from exercise for a couple of days.
If I'm prone to cold sores, could a fractional laser treatment trigger an outbreak?
To help prevent a cold sore outbreak, we give patients the anti-viral drug Zovirax (acyclovir) for several days before and after a fractional laser treatment. Nearly 80% of Americans have the cold sore virus—many just don't know it until they get a wound or a treatment around their lips.
Newsletters related to “Fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing, Chicago, IL”
Erase years of sun damage with just 1-2 fractional CO2 laser treatments - July 2010
Fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing treats fine lines and wrinkles and diminishes sun damage—with recovery in days, not weeks as with traditional CO2 laser treatments.
|Skin Type||Sun Sensitivity||Appearance (example)|
|1||Highly sensitive and prone to sunburn; never tans||Red hair and freckles|
|2||Very sun-sensitive; burns easily;tans slightly||Fair-skinned, fair-haired Caucasians|
|3||Sun-sensitive skin; sometimes burns;slowly tans to light brown||Darker Caucasians|
|4||Slightly sun-sensitive; burns minimally;always tans to moderate brown||Mediterranean-type Caucasians|
|5||Sun-insensitive; rarely burns; tans well||Some Hispanics,some African-Americans|
|6||Sun-insensitive; never burns; deeply pigmented||Darker African-Americans|
This information is merely an introduction to fractional CO2 laser treatments. Your next step is to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Parungao, where he will listen to your personal goals for improving your skin, evaluate you and advise you on how you can best achieve the outcome you desire.
Questions? Call our office at 312.671.9400
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