Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing
How it works: Fractional carbon dioxide (CO2) laser resurfacing devices utilize infrared light delivered through a carbon dioxide-filled tube to create microthermal wounds in targeted tissue. As the light is absorbed by the skin, tissue is vaporized, leading to the removal of aged and damaged skin cells from the outer layer of the treated area. Thermal damage caused by the laser also contracts existing collagen, which firms up skin and boosts new collagen production alongside a spike in healthy cell renewal.
Pros and cons: While non-surgical, this treatment modality is more invasive than many other skin resurfacing treatments, which can translate to more noticeable results. That being said, the fact that it is more invasive also means that partial or complete sedation may be necessary for patient comfort and treatment times often average between 60 to 90 minutes. Skin will be red and warm to the touch, and at least one week of downtime is expected.
Contraindications: There are several standard contraindications, such as active infections in the desired treatment area. In addition, patients who have used isotretinoin in the past six months should wait to be treated. CO2 laser resurfacing is also not recommended for darker skin types.
Fractional Erbium Laser Resurfacing
How it works: Erbium, or YAG, lasers utilize infrared light to deliver thermal energy deep below the skin’s surface. Fractional erbium laser resurfacing creates tiny microthermal patches (injuries) in the dermis, the middle layer of skin, damaging collagen and aged skin cells and prompting the production of new collagen and healthy cell renewal. In other words, this treatment modality performs a sort of controlled tissue vaporization to treat and heal damaged skin for an improvement in skin’s texture, tone, and elasticity.
Pros and cons: Fractional erbium laser treatments are better suited to older patients, since, compared to microneedling, they target tissue that is deeper below the surface for an improved boost in collagen production. However, there isn’t a firm guideline to determine who may be too young for these particular treatments. This treatment also requires significant downtime with redness lasting for several days. Erbium fractional laser treatments are not ideal for darker skin tones due to a high risk of discoloration.
Contraindications: Because lasers heat the skin, there are more side effects to consider, including concerns regarding post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, alongside a longer downtime and post-treatment care.
Post time: Oct-20-2020