There are many forms of lasers in the market. While CO2 lasers can be the most ablative and therefore the ones that create the most results, they also cause long downtime and have higher risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. However, with the arrival of fractional CO2 lasers, it is a new technology that can reduce the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and downtime significantly. Fractional laser uses a form of delivery system where the laser minimises damage to the outer skin. Instead, it delivers laser in point form in a grid formation. This leaves areas of healthy surrounding skin and yet allows the CO2 laser to penetrate into the dermis to produce new collagen and break/soften fibrosis in depressed scars. This technology helps in reducing acne or surgical scars by penetrating the dermis to stimulate collagen remodeling. It is can deliver energies deep into the tissue and is our preferred treatment for acne and surgical scars. Read on for more on Fractional CO2 laser.
Fractional laser differs from traditional laser in their mode of delivery. While traditional older laser uses laser as a moving beam so that the surface of the skin is ablated through, Fractional CO2 laser uses new grid-like technology where laser is delivered as numerous point laser. This leaves most of the outer skin largely intact.
With significant parts of the outer skin intact, a patient can experience less sensitivity from external environmental factors such as the sun. This means the skin's healing is optimised. Because of advancements in fractional technology, the harsh effects of other traditional CO2 lasers can be avoided, yet retaining maximum results and minimal downtime. As with any procedure or treatment, downtime can vary by the individual.
Fractional CO2 Laser is our preferred treatment for acne and surgical scars. It is also beneficial for open pores and reducing fine lines. As with any procedure or treatment, results can vary by individual.
The treatment can take about 60 minutes or more, depending on the area(s) treated. A numbing cream is applied prior to the treatment. Fractional laser is then applied part by part. Thereafter, an optional post-laser mask is applied to speed up the recovery process.
Results can be seen after one treatment, depending on the individual. We recommend 3-6 courses of treatment, to be done 4-6 weeks apart. For severe scars, 6 courses are recommended.
Downtime can last about 4-5 days or more. The initial recovery can see some redness in the skin, which can gradually fade away. We recommend to avoid the use of any cosmetic products for the first 2 days of recovery, to wash with tepid water, and avoid direct and prolonged exposure to sun light for approximately 2 weeks or more.