If you’re looking into laser skin resurfacing or rejuvenation of some kind, first take into account the different types. Laser resurfacing is actually slightly different than rejuvenation, but at WIFH we prefer to divide them into these two categories: ablative (downtime) and non-ablative (no downtime). Both offer amazing results for your skin but could differ based on what you are willing to endure in terms of downtime and what your skin needs.
Fractional CO2: Ablative (Downtime)
At WIFH, we consider Fractional CO2 a skin resurfacing laser treatment, because the procedure works by making micro-cuts in the skin. Don’t worry though—Fractional CO2 is NOT like old-school CO2 (where your face looks like raw hamburger meat). Instead, the procedure only wounds some of the skin so the old and the new skin can grow together. You can think of it in a similar way to aerating your lawn, actually. This process triggers our bodies’ wound-healing response, so the body begins to over-produce collagen and elastin, which are the important building blocks for skin tissue.
Keep in mind—you do have some downtime with CO2, but it’s not bad at all, and it’s usually only requires a single treatment (depending on what skin concern you are trying to correct). You might experience some minor pinpoint bleeding during treatment. Your skin will be red, and you won’t be able to wear make up for several days afterwards. However, we will supply you with post-treatment products to aid in the healing process. Also keep in mind that Fractional CO2 is only safe for lighter skin tones. You cannot have any sun exposure prior to treatment, since we need for your skin to be as close to your natural color as possible.
Fractional CO2 is so effective for treating acne scars, pigmentation issues, lines and wrinkles, and issues with skin tone and texture. The cost of Fractional CO2 can range between $1,800 to $3,000, but most patients will only need one treatment depending on what skin condition you are trying to correct. That’s not to say you won’t want to do another treatment a couple years down the road, because let’s face it we can’t stop time.
Affirm: Non-Ablative (No Downtime)
We also have a non-ablative treatment at WIFH called Affirm. Many would consider Affirm a rejuvenation procedure verses a skin resurfacing procedure, because Affirm does not require making any cuts or abrasions in the skin. The Affirm treatment works by delivering thermal energy to the skin tissue, which stimulates collagen production to help plump and rejuvenate the skin.
Unlike Fractional CO2, Affirm is safe for all skin types, including dark skin tones. Affirm laser skin resurfacing is great for overall improvement in skin tone and texture, getting rid of acne scars, decreasing pore size, and more. In fact, when you choose Affirm, you can achieve similar results to Fractional CO2, but it will require a series of treatments rather than just one. In fact, we recommend a series of 8 treatments for the best results. At WIFH, the cost of Affirm ranges from $1,500 to $2,000 for the entire series.
Which Treatment Should I Choose?
If you’re still on the fence between Fractional CO2 and Affirm, you can always call our office or come in for a free consultation. Our experts will help you make the best decision for you and your skin!