There are many choices in fractional lasers throughout San Francisco. Learn the benefit and drawbacks of utilizing the CO2 laser for skin resurfacing. Azala proudly presents our experiences in facial rejuvenation using all types of fractional laser technology.
The first Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser Skin Resurfacing procedure to address aging skin was performed back in 1989 and the success of that inaugural treatment paved the way for the proliferation of skin resurfacing technologies that we see today. CO2 lasers have the capability to target both superficial and deep layers of skin in one session and generally come in two varieties: fully ablative and fractional.
Both fully ablative and fractional lasers target water in the epidermis and not pigment. The main difference is that fully ablative CO2 lasers treat the entirety of the skin’s surface whereas fractional devices deploy thousands of microscopic thermal injury points while leaving areas of dermal tissue untouched. Both lasers help to build new collagen, reduce pigmentation, wrinkles and improve skin texture. CO2 Fractional Lasers are more recent, however, having been created to minimize the side-effects such as scarring and pigment problems that were occurring with full ablation.
When done in full ablation mode, CO2 Lasers can be extremely aggressive requiring general anesthesia and several weeks of downtime. Skin may be raw immediately after the procedure followed by oozing, crusting and itching for 5-7 days that requires regular cleaning through the day. There can be residual redness for 2-3 months and extreme care must be taken to avoid sun exposure of the newly resurfaced complexion. With CO2 Fractional Laser downtime is reduced from several weeks to 7-10 days; however, multiple sessions may be required for optimum results. Patients with darker skin types are not good candidates for full ablation as the intense heat can damage melanocytes (pigment producing skin cells) and contribute to hypopigmentation (permanent skin lightening) of the treated area.
There’s a new player in the arena of fractional devices that promises the impressive results of the CO2 lasers in as few as 1-2 sessions but with half the downtime. It’s called the Halo fractional laser by Sciton® and it’s the first and only hybrid device that delivers both ablative and non-ablative resurfacing at the same time, utilizing two separate lasers situated in one hand piece.
The Halo laser uses cutting-edge technology designed for busy individuals who can’t afford to take weeks out of their schedule for recovery nor do they have inclination to commit to 5-6 sessions. For patients who want tangible results quickly, without having to disrupt their lives, Halo caters to their needs. The hybrid device emits two different wavelengths to achieve specific objectives: Halo’s non-ablative 1470 nm wavelength addresses deeper issues such as sun damage, wrinkles, acne scars, pigment issues and texture irregularities. The second ablative laser at 2940 nm helps to speed up healing by removing dead tissues from the skin’s surface.
Downtime is further reduced by Halo’s unique ‘band-aids’ that are formed during treatment. These are tiny protective bandages made of one’s own tissue that help to insulate the skin from bacteria and other intruders while it’s healing. These remarkable self ‘band-aids’ reduce social downtime to just 3-5 days compared to 2-3 weeks with full ablation CO2 laser.
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Schedule your complimentary Halo consultation with Azala San Francisco today.
* Individual results may vary, and not guaranteed.