Results with less downtime
The antiaging breakthrough of the decade, according to many doctors, is a skin-resurfacing treatment known as CO2 Fractional Laser Therapy. Combining the effectiveness of traditional carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers -- long thought to be the gold standard in wrinkle removal -- with a new application technique; it delivers powerful results WITHOUT the traditionally harsh side effects and downtime.
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"Essentially, you are getting all the benefits of laser resurfacing, still the best way to remove wrinkles, but you’re getting it without the downtime and without the horrendous complication rate," says David Goldberg, MD, director of Skin Laser and Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey and clinical professor of dermatology at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. With that said, plan on 2-3 weeks for being "camera ready."
How does it work?
The natural aging process, combined with exposure to sun and pollution, destroys collagen -- the main protein of connective tissue that keeps skin plump and line-free. Laser resurfacing uses beamlets of energy light to bore tiny holes in the skin, which works to put the body’s natural collagen production on fast-forward. Here’s what’s new: Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing does this in a way that prevents damage to the top layer of skin, offering maximum results with minimal recovery time.
After the initial consultation appointment, during the treatment appointment, the skin is prepared and a topical anesthetic is applied to the treatment area. Then, short pulses of laser energy from a SmartSkin CO2 Laser works to stimulate collagen production, helping reduce the appearance of fine lines, age spots, and sun damage. The treatment lasts 45–90 minutes depending on the targeted area, with little to no downtime.
According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, clients with darker complexions may be at risk for pigmentation loss with any laser treatment. Therefore, a consultation is required to determine this. Common minor side effects for CO2 Fractional Laser Resurfacing include redness and swelling that lasts a few days.
Deka Smartxide CO2 Fractional Laser System
Deka has succeeded in drastically reducing the recovery time and risks of classic CO2 laser resurfacing with its fractional laser system. The new Deka SmartXide DOT CO2 laser offers the versatility of both deep and light skin resurfacing in one single system, which allows us to service the growing demand from patients for a less invasive procedure with a shorter recovery time.
Less Downtime For Clients
The CO2 laser energy, applied in a fractional process, creates very thin and spaced columns of thermal damage, which penetrate into the dermal skin layer and stimulate new collagen production. The tissue between the columns of thermal damage is spared, resulting in a faster healing process.
Hi-Scan DOT allows a superficial laser peel to be achieved with just a few passes. The main advantage is the minimal healing time that enables patients to get back to their normal life soon (downtime is usually about 3-5 days).
Only Topical Anaesthesia Required
Most procedures can be performed with less anaesthetic, resulting in minimal post-procedure discomfort, pain, or swelling. The added benefits of an optimal and predictable recovery give the practitioner and patient security and assurance.
Further Details and FAQs
Fractionated or "pixilated" carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers are one of the latest advances in non-surgical skin rejuvenation treatments. The CO2 has the longest wavelength of all the lasers on the market and can be used safely on darker skin types with appropriate adjustments in the settings.
What is it used for?
Fractionated CO2 lasers excel at treating deeper wrinkles, more severe textural changes from sun damage, wrinkles, blotchiness, acne scars, and surgical or traumatic scars. It can be used on the delicate eyelid skin and around the mouth. It is also a very effective treatment for sun damage and precancerous growths.
It can be used to improve texture, wrinkles, and blotchiness on the neck, chest, arms and legs but this should only be done by experts because the risk of complications, including scarring, is higher in these areas.
What does it NOT do?
It does not take care of redness including- dilated blood vessels (telangectasias), or that reddish blotchy discoloration on the neck (poikiloderma). Temporarily, it can even make these problems look worse because the laser treatment itself causes some redness. For problems with red and veins, a medical (not salon) grade IPL or pulsed dye laser is more effective.
So the question of which fractionated laser system to choose is important. How do you, as a consumer, figure it out? First, find a reputable Medical Spa, cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Good equipment in incompetent hands will not help you!
What’s the difference between the fractional CO2 laser and the fractional erbium laser like the Fraxel "Restore?"
The CO2 laser goes slights deeper and has a different way of shrinking collagen than the Fraxel laser. Therefore, a CO2 laser generally gives a better result for deeper wrinkles, acne scars, upper line lines, and crepeyness around the eyes. The CO2 is best for patients who are late 40s to 70s with moderate to deep wrinkles/sun damage or with moderate to severe acne scarring. It also works well on crepey eyelid and neck skin when performed by an expert with the proper settings.
Fraxel Restore is best for younger patients (approx 30-50ish) who have early wrinkles or mild to mod acne scarring.
When selecting a service provider, the equipment is just as important as the hand using it. Bad equipment in competent hands still will not help you!
How does the fractional CO2 laser work?
The fractional CO2 laser takes the CO2 laser beam and fractionates, or pixellates that beam into thousands of tiny little shafts of light. These tiny shafts of light penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. The skin then repairs those tiny shafts by pushing out the old sun damaged skin and replacing it with new skin. The "collateral" heat damage also helps to shrink existing collagen.Can I do the fractional CO2 laser with other cosmetic treatments?
Not the same day generally. The CO2 laser is compatible long term with Botox, Juvederm, Restylane, Sculptra and other laser based technologies like hair removal, Fraxel Restore, IPL, etc.
How long do the effects of a fractional CO2 resurfacing laser treatment last?
That depends on how well you protect your skin from the sun and other factors that cause aging like your general health, smoking, changes in weight, etc. If you apply sunscreen and wear brimmed hats, you can maintain the good effects of your CO2 laser treatment for several years.
How long does the fractional CO2 laser take to work? When will I see results?
Bear in mind that the fractional CO2 laser can be customized. Treatments can be deeper, with more healing and downtime, or shallower, with less healing time. The deeper the treatment, the better the results generally. But some patients prefer to have two treatments that aren’t as deep so they can avoid a lot of downtime.
You will see some immediate results but you won’t see the full results for 3-6 months. After your skin heals, which may take up to 3-14 days, there will be a period of 4 to 6 weeks after that when your skin might be slightly pink. During this period, your skin will feel smoother and looks less blotchy. As the color returns to normal, you will see fewer lines, less blotchiness, and more glow.
How are fractional CO2 laser treatments performed?
You need to arrive 1 hours before your treatment. You or a technician will cleanse the treatment area and then apply a numbing cream to the area to be treated. Then you just relax, read, and listen to music, while the numbing cream takes effect.
After you numb for about 30 minutes, the numbing gel will be removed. The treatment takes about an hour for a full face and feels a little like a "pins and needles" sensation. The discomfort ranges from mild to moderate (2-4/10). Plan on being in the office for 1 ½ to 2 hours total.
How does this laser work for acne scars and other scars?
CO2 lasers have always been very effective for acne and other scars and the fractionated CO2 is no exception. It remains to be seen if it is as effective as the traditional CO2. However, as the settings for the "DOT" or "Deep Fx" for both acne, surgical and traumatic scars keep being improved, many of us think that results will be as good without many of the risks with the older forms of this laser.
Are treatments on the eyelids safe?
Yes, because special laser "contact lenses" are used to protect the eye. Don’t let anyone do treatments directly on the eyelids without these. Numbing eye drops are placed in the eye before insertion of a contact lens-like eye shield. A protective ointment on the side next the eye cushions the special shield. The shield fits comfortably within the eye and is easily removed at the end of the treatment. Even our patients who don’t wear contact lenses have been comfortable.
The eye treatment is then performed on the upper & lower eyelids. It is normal (as with all areas treated with the fractional CO2 laser) to have swelling and redness for 2-4 days after the treatment. You also have to avoid all sun exposure during the healing time. Plan on 2-3 weeks for being "camera ready."
What will I look like right after the treatment and what is the healing time?
During the first 24 hours after treatment, your skin may feel as though it is sunburned.
Your skin will peel for 2-7 days and will be pink for 3 to 6 weeks. This healing all depends on how deep your treatment is. After a few days, you can wear make-up to cover the pink. Rarely, bruising may develop, which can take up to two weeks to resolve. Allow 2-4 weeks for weddings, reunions, family pictures, etc. just to be safe. Allow longer for body sites like arms or legs.
Can I go back to work and activities immediately?
No, you will need to take the rest of that day off to care for the treated area. For the lighter fractional CO2 treatments, you will need 3-5 days of downtime. For the deeper treatments, plan on 7-10 days of healing.
How many treatments will I need?
The number depends on the extent of your sun damage, scarring or wrinkles, and on how much downtime you can accept. If you can tolerate 7 days of downtime, you would generally need only 1 or 2 fractional CO2 treatment.
Are there any reasons not to be treated with these lasers?
Reasons not to do a fractional laser treatment may include use of medications that increase photosensitivity, use of anticoagulants (some are fine), use of Accutane in the last year (vs. 6 months), chemotherapy, history of difficulty healing or scarring, history of bleeding disorders, and pregnancy.
Are there any medical or cosmetic side effects?
A good office with experience in lasers is your best way to avoid any complications. And complications are rare. But here is a list of some of the possible complications of fractional CO2 laser treatments:
The Queens Quay MedSpa in Toronto, uses the newest and safest technology to give you a non surgical face lift with a CO2 Fractional Laser.