Fractional CO2 Laser Recovery: What to Expect

Fractionated CO2 laser offers great benefits: it uses the gold standard CO2 laser for skin rejuvenation and treats the effects of sun damage, aging facial skin, brown spots, skin discoloration and acne scars. It can tighten skin, equalize skin tone and color, remove fine lines and wrinkles, and reduce the size of large pores. One of the best things about the fractional CO2 laser: the downtime after the procedure is a fraction of that of the traditional CO2 laser.

Why is this? The traditional CO2 laser resurfaces 100 percent of the skin to which it is applied, requires a 2-week healing time, and can cause up to three months of significant redness. With modern computer technology, fractional laser procedures treat only a fraction of the skin. Because healthy, intact skin bridges remain between treated areas, downtime is significantly less. The recovery part of the peel is usually completed in about five days.

What can fractional CO2 laser patients expect in terms of recovery? Patients can go home immediately after the procedure and receive specific instructions on how to care for their skin. Many patients report that they experience a sensation similar to a sunburn for about two hours after the procedure is completed. However, once this goes away, there is usually no pain.

During the three to five days after the procedure, the skin will peel gently by peeling off. During this time, patients keep their skin moist with a petroleum jelly-like ointment. This allows for the best possible healing. After the skin has peeled off, patients can use makeup to cover up any redness. Your doctor will give you permission to do this when the time is right.

Patients should avoid strenuous exercise, squatting, squatting, heavy lifting, or straining for at least three days after the procedure. They should sleep with their face elevated above their heart for the first day after the procedure.

Immediately after the initial five-day healing phase is completed, patients see gradual improvement in the skin. This is because the laser stimulates the production of collagen in the deep layer of the skin; helping to fill in the fine lines of the face. Collagen buildup can take up to six months to complete.

Sun exposure should be avoided and sun protection used at all times after laser skin resurfacing. Discuss this with your doctor, as the amount of time will vary depending on how you recover and the type of treatment you have received.

For most patients, only one treatment is necessary and the final results are permanent.

Because each patient wants different results and everyone has different skin types, it is very important to work with a doctor who has a lot of experience with fractionated CO2 laser procedures. It is essential that the physician is experienced in using very precise movements when sequentially applying the laser to the skin of the face, neck and / or chest. Always listen to your doctor’s instructions after the laser as it will vary depending on the type of laser, the type of treatment, your cure, your skin, and the doctor’s preferences.

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