Fractional co2 laser is the latest in skincare technology. Conventional Lasers or Intense Pulse Light (IPL) targets a large portion of the skin (about 1 cm-2 cm diameter) in a single Laser beam. Fractional Laser, on the other hand, uses numerous microscopic Laser beams, which create tiny Laser “punctures”(each of about 0.05 mm in diameter) into the skin while leaving the untreated surrounding areas intact. The untreated tissue helps to accelerate the healing process and rejuvenate the skin by promoting microcirculation and new cell genesis.
Fractional co2 Laser is a well-tolerated and safe procedure. An anesthetic cream can be applied to make the treatment more comfortable. Immediately after the treatment the skin will appear red and in rare cases, minimally swollen. There will be numerous microscopic dots on the treated area, which will develop into fine scabs within a day, or two. The scabs will disappear within 3-4 days, after which the skin is smoother and clearer. The entire recovery process takes about 3-5 days.
Fractional Co2 Laser safety, risks and side effects
The common side effects are pain, itching, redness and/or swelling for few days. In rare cases, some patients may experience scab formation, bruises, infection and temporary hypo or hyper-pigmentation. There is no restriction of daily activities after the treatment. However, it is advisable to apply more moisturizer and sun block to soothe the skin and stay away from excessive sun exposure during the recovery period.
Treatment of Fractional Co2 Laser
Fractional Co2 Laser Post-Operative instructions
What to expect after Fractional Co2 Laser treatment?
- The local anesthetic and the laser treatment may cause swelling to treated area for several hours or even days.
- If the treated area is near your eyes or near your forehead, your eye lid may become swollen and you may develop a mild “black eye”.
- You may experience some discomfort after the Co2 laser treatment. For adults, take two tablets of paracetamol (e.g. Panadol) every six hours when needed for pain (if you are not allergic to it).
- During the first few weeks, the Co2 laser treated area may be wet but ultimately a day scab will form. The edges of the wound may become reddened and you may see some yellowish crust in the wound. This is the normal appearance of a healing wound. These are not the signs of infection.
- The wound will heal spontaneously.
- If bleeding occurs, apply continuous pressure directly to wound with your hand for 20 minutes. If the bleeding continues after 20 minutes of pressure, notify your doctor at the National Skin Centre. If he cannot be reached, go to the nearest general practitioner or hospital advice.
Home Care Dressing For Carbon Dioxide Laser Treatment Wound
- Keep the treated areas dry 24 hours following the Co2 Laser treatment.
- Remove the dressing after 24 hours.
- If the dressing is stuck to the wound, soak dressing in saline solution to loosen.
- Clean the wound either using cotton applicators (cotton bud) or cotton balls with prescribed cleansing solution, applying gentle pressure and cleansing edges and inside the wound.
- After cleansing the wound, dry the wound.
- Apply antibiotic ointment with cotton applicators.
- Cover the wound with non-adherent dressing e.g. Airstrip or Melolin (this will prevent the dressing from adhering to the wound) and secure the dressing with tape.
- Wound dressings may be changed daily or twice a day (morning and evening) depending on the cleanliness of wound.
- Do not use any cosmetic or cover-up on laser wound until the skin has totally healed.