Fractionated or carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers are one of the big advances in laser technology for skin rejuvenation and resurfacing in the last decade. And, the Smartskin+ fractional CO2 is one of the most reputable brands in the industry, which is why we’ve chosen it for our Vancouver area laser clinic.
While there are many machines that can be used for fractionated CO2 laser treatments, the more important thing to know is that the procedure should only be performed by trained experts. This is because of the risk of complications involved. At BC Laser and Skincare in Surrey, we have been using a variety of CO2 lasers since 2002, giving us the knowledge and experience to treat our patients safely and effectively.
Our latest machine in this technological realm is the Smartskin+ fractional CO2 laser.
What is there to love about this fractional CO2 laser?
A fractionated CO2 laser can treat skin conditions in a fraction of the time than other procedures. The Smartskin+ fractional CO2, like others of its kind, is also versatile in that it can be used on many areas of the body, including the chest, arms, legs and neck. The technology results in less downtime, with fewer wounds and less overall pain as a result.
Our fractional CO2 laser can be combined with a number of other treatments to give enhanced results for anti-aging uses. These can be in the form of dermal fillers such as Juvederm, or other lasers, such as with our Vegas laser peel.
What can Smartskin+ fractional CO2 be used for?
- Deep scarring
- Sun damaged skin
- Blotchy skin
- Deep wrinkles
Overall, the Smartskin+ fractional CO2 is used to give your skin a smoother surface and a more even colour tone. It can do this flexibly, on various skin types too.
How does the Smartskin+ fractional CO2 work?
This fractional CO2 laser works by breaking up one main CO2 beam into thousands of tiny beams. These beams penetrate into the deep layers of the skin – much deeper than a fraxel laser. In essence, it creates many many tiny ‘wounds’ in the skin, on purpose, to remove the top layers of old tissues. This laser also works by increasing collagen in the skin, providing a skin tightening treatment simultaneously with the skin resurfacing.
After treatment sessions, the skin begins to repair itself by pushing out the old skin as it heals, replacing it with new skin.
How many treatments does the Smartskin+ fractional CO2 take to achieve skin rejuvenation results?
Generally speaking you can expect your skin condition to require 1 – 2 treatments with a fractional CO2 laser. This is much quicker than with other treatments. However, keep in mind that depending on the severity of the condition you’d like to treat, the number of sessions can differ from person to person, and for each treatment area.
What is the cost of Smartskin+ fractional CO2 laser treatments at your skin clinic?
Generally speaking CO2 treatments can vary in cost between $1500 CAD to $4000 CAD. A detailed consultation at our skincare clinic in Surrey will help us give you a recommended treatment plan for your skin condition, as well as detailed costs involved.
You may notice that costs for true fractional CO2 laser treatments are higher than for other skin rejuvenation laser procedures. This is mainly for three reasons:
- The results for the patient take a fraction of the time compared to other treatment options.
- The machine itself is extremely costly to operate.
- The training and experience needed to perform the procedure is extensive.
What can I expect during a fractional CO2 treatment?
Before your treatment we apply a numbing cream on the area to be treated. This takes about 30-45 minutes in most cases. Once the numbing is complete, we use the fractional CO2 laser to create small, intentional holes in the skin. This happens in sequenced square sections at a time. Meanwhile, we cool the area as well.
The procedure time takes about 2 hours.
The discomfort can range from mild to moderate, depending on your pain tolerance levels.
Is there any downtime with a fractional CO2 treatment?
This treatment does require downtime. It can take as little as 5 days, or as long as 10 days before you are able to go out normally (depending on what you’re comfortable with). This is because your skin will be very red and swollen. It will feel and look like a bad sunburn.
During the first 24 hours after treatment your skin will feel like it is sunburned. This is normal. To compensate, we recommend using ice packs during this period.
You skin may then peel for 2 to 7 days after treatment. It can also be pink for a number of weeks as healing occurs.
The deeper the treatment, the longer you can expect the healing time will be. You should be able to use makeup to cover up the redness after about 7-10 days.
It is important to use sunscreen often after this treatment. Your skin will be ‘fresh’ during this time. Since sun exposure ages all skin, you will want to protect it more when it is in its newest state. It will also be more sensitive to light, and you will want to avoid hyper pigmentation with the use of sunscreen.
This treatment requires a much shorter recovery time than previous CO2 laser treatments as the treatment is now Fractionated!
Are there any side effects to Smartskin+ fractional CO2 treatments?
Serious complications arising from fractional CO2 laser treatments are rare when performed in a reputable, doctor-led clinic. Dr. Shah is at BC Laser and Skincare Clinic on a daily basis, and available should any issues come up during or after your treatment.
There are some common side effects that can occur with such a deep laser treatment on the skin. These are things we are prepared for at the clinic, and ready to help with. For example s pain, redness, wound healing, swelling or pigment changes.