Micro Fractional co2 Skin Resurfacing

Micro Fractional cO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing

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Micro Fractional co2 Skin Resurfacing

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    What is Fractional cO2?

    Micro Fractional CO2 is a skin resurfacing procedure offered at WIFH in Atlanta.

    Skin resurfacing has always been a confusing subject for many patients. We like to look at skin resurfacing procedures in two categories: downtime procedures and no downtime procedures. Micro Fractional CO2 is considered a ‘downtime’ procedure that resurfaces the skin.

    Most of our patients considering micro fractional CO2 are concerned with the same issues: large pore size, sun damage, acne scars, fine lines/wrinkles, and loose skin. This treatment can address all of these issues1.

    It is important to note that this treatment is only appropriate for those with light skin tones.

    CO2 Laser can improve:

    • Skin texture
    • Loose skin
    • Fine lines/wrinkles
    • Enlarged pores
    • Collagen production
    • Sun damage
    • Appearance of acne scars
    • Overall anti-aging

    Micro Fractional CO2 is different from a traditional CO2 laser, which wounds 100% of the skin’s surface, requiring weeks of recovery and downtime. Micro Fractional CO2 only requires wounding 20% of the skin’s surface2. It’s similar to aerating the lawn. By wounding only a fraction of the surface, it allows the new skin and collagen fibers to blend and strengthen the unwounded tissue. This allows for only a few days of downtime.

    1. Alexiades-Armenakas, MR (2008). The spectrum of laser skin resurfacing: nonablative, fractional, and ablative laser resurfacing. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2008; 58(5): Pages 738-740. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18423256
    2. Omi, T (2014). The Role of the CO2 Laser and Fractional CO2 Laser in Dermatology. Laser Therapy. 2014; 23(1): Pages 49-60. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24771971

    How Does Fractional cO2 Work?

    The micro fractional CO2 device uses a computer guided laser to deliver the energy in a grid-like pattern which creates “micro wounds” in the skin.

    Heat from the laser enters these wounds stimulating new collagen to be produced, resulting in younger, more vibrant looking skin.

    This new technology allows us to wound only about 20% of the skin’s surface, the benefit is having only a few days of downtime and rapid healing. The laser also remodels the existing collagen making the skin much smoother.

    The result: It diminishes the appearance of scarring, improves texture, reduces pore size, eliminates sun damage and tightens the skin3.

    3. Jalaly NY (2014). Low-power fractional CO₂ laser versus low-fluence Q-switch 1,064 nm Nd:YAG laser for treatment of melasma: a randomized, controlled, split-face study. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2014; 15(4): Pages 357-363. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24858737

    What are the Risks/Side Effects?

    This procedure is only safe for light skin types/tones and is only performed by Dr. Cox.

    Traditional CO2 skin resurfacing carries the risk of pigmentation abnormalities; however, these are far less common with micro fractional CO2 treatments. It is imperative that patients refrain from sun exposure at least 4-weeks prior to treatment. For this reason, many of our patients choose to have this procedure in the fall and winter months4.

    Pregnant women should not have micro fractional CO2 laser treatments.

    4. Duplechain JK (2013). Fractional CO2 resurfacing: has it replaced ablative resurfacing techniques? Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2013; 21(2): Pages 213-227.

    Preparing for Fractional cO2

    We have our patients pre-treat their skin prior to having their CO2 treatment. Patients will use the Obagi Nu Derm System for 4-6 weeks to prep their skin. This combination of products strengthens the skin which ensures better and faster healing and it also lessens the risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

    The Week Before The Procedure

    • 3-5 days before CO2 treatment patients will discontinue the Obagi Exfoderm and tretinoin. They will continue use of all of the other products in the Nu Derm system.
    • Refrain from sun exposure and self-tanners at least 2 weeks prior to treatment. If patients have had recent sun exposure, they will need to reschedule the procedure.
    • Do not wax or have a skin treatment like a chemical peel or IPL 4 weeks prior to the procedure.
    • The day before treatment all patients will start a prophylactic dose of Valtrex to prevent a cold sore outbreak. This protocol is used even for patients that have never experienced a cold sore in the past.
    • Micro Fractional CO2 cannot be done if patients have active acne, cold sores or open lesions.

    The Day of Treatment

    There is no real prep involved on the day of treatment. It is always preferred that patients come in with a clean face (no make-up), however if they are coming from work, we will have patients cleanse the face once they arrive.

    If patients typically exercise, we recommend doing that before coming in for the appointment as rigorous exercise is not recommended for the rest of the day.

    What to Expect During the Procedure

    A numbing cream will be applied to the face and left to take effect for one hour to prevent any discomfort. Our patients find that this works extremely well.

    We will then cleanse the numbing cream from the face and the skin will be prepped for treatment. Eye protection will be placed, and treatment is ready to begin. A single pass will be made over the entire face ensuring coverage.

    Once the treatment is complete, the skin will be cleansed and Aquaphor and sunscreen will be applied.

    Patients will be sent home with post care products and detailed instructions to promote rapid healing.


    The numbing cream used prior to treatment is very effective, so patients should not feel any discomfort during treatment.

    Treatment Duration/Frequency

    The actual micro fractional CO2 treatment will only take approximately 30 minutes to complete, but when numbing time is factored in, patients will be with us for about 1.5 hours.

    The frequency of treatment will vary based on the skin concern patients are looking to correct. Those trying to diminish acne scars may need to return for another treatment in 3-6 months in order to achieve the best results. For those looking for anti-aging one treatment every 3-4 years may be sufficient to maintain skin laxity and tone.

    Fractional cO2 Recovery Time

    Patients will have immediate redness, swelling, and pinpoint bleeding.

    Patients can experience some mild peeling for the first few days.

    Patients should anticipate some redness (like sunburn) to last up to seven days after the procedure.

    We provide all patients post-procedure skin care products to be used for the week following treatment. They will apply Aquaphor (similar to Vaseline) to the face for the first 2-3 days and then will switch to prescribed Bactroban for another 2-3 days. Many of our patients are able to apply make-up as early as three days after the procedure, but be prepared to spend 4-5 days without make-up.

    Because the skin is responding like it would to a wound, patients will continue to see plumping and smoothing of the skin for up to six months following treatment.

    While the downtime may seem significant, be assured there is no pain associated with this procedure and our patients have been thrilled with the results. Sun damage reduction has been quite dramatic.

    Fractional cO2 Consultations

    We believe consultations are very important when considering a resurfacing procedure like micro fractional CO2. Our consultations give us the opportunity to get to know patients and understand exactly what they are looking to achieve with their skin. At the consultation, patients will meet with Dr. Cox discuss this procedure and what it can do for their skin.

    Fractional cO2 Pricing

    The cost of a CO2 Skin Resurfacing treatment depends upon the number of treatments a patient may require. Many patients will only need a single treatment to achieve their desired results. At WIFH, single treatment is $1,800, a second treatment is $1,200.


    Fractional cO2 FAQs

    What is Micro Fractional cO2?

    It combines ablative cO2 skin resurfacing and collagen rejuvenation in a single laser, without the significant downtime that traditional cO2 has. It works to smooth away lines and wrinkles and firming and plumping the skin tissue. It’s a great option for those seeking anti-aging or resolution of acne scarring.

    How does the Fractional cO2 Laser work?

    Fractional CO2 works by wounding or cutting the skin. Unlike traditional CO2 skin resurfacing that wounds 100% of the skin’s surface, Fractional CO2 only wounds about 20% of the surface. It’s similar to aerating a lawn. The new collagen fibers and skin cells will grow into the existing skin cells strengthening and smoothing the skin.

    What does Micro Fractional CO2 treat?

    • Tightens the skin
    • Reduces sun damage
    • Shrinks pore size
    • Diminishes acne scars
    • Smoothes fine lines and wrinkles, including those around the mouth and eyes
    • Improves all over skin tone and texture

    Does the Fractional cO2 Laser hurt?

    A numbing cream will be used for Fractional CO2 so the treatment should be comfortable.

    What will my skin look like immediately following treatment?

    Skin will appear very red (similar to a sunburn). Patients may also notice some pinpoint bleeding

    Is Micro Fractional CO2 safe for all skin types?

    No. cO2 skin resurfacing is only appropriate for those with light skin types/tone.

    How much downtime do you have with Micro Fractional cO2?

    3-7 days of downtime. The skin will appear very red similar to a sunburn. You should also expect swelling.

    How long do the results from cO2 Fractional laser last?

    The results from CO2 will vary based on how well you take care of your skin following treatment. Those trying to diminish acne scars may need to return for another treatment in 3-6 months following their first procedure in order to achieve the best results. For those looking for anti-aging one treatment every 3-4 years may be sufficient to maintain skin laxity and tone.

    How many sessions of Fractional cO2 laser treatment do I need?

    Those trying to diminish acne scars may need to return for another treatment in 3-6 months following their first procedure in order to achieve the best results. For those looking for anti-aging one treatment every 3-4 years may be sufficient to maintain skin laxity and tone.

    Is Fractional cO2 laser resurfacing safe?

    It is safe, but only for those with light skin types/tones. This procedure should be done by a doctor.

    Is Fractional cO2 laser the same as Fraxel?

    No, Fractional CO2 is ablative and Fraxel is non-ablative. One is cutting or wounding the skin the other does not.

    Fractional cO2 Testimonials

    *Results vary from person to person and are not guaranteed