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, a fractional CO2 results in much less downtime, compared to previous ablative options. This is why we’ve chosen it for our Vancouver area laser clinic.
Coupled with our expertise, and many other technologies like this one, we’re known for attracting clients from from all over the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, including from Vancouver, Delta (Tsawwassen and Ladner), Langley, Aldergrove, White Rock, New Westminster, Burnaby, the Tri-Cities, Richmond and even as far as Abbotsford, Whistler and Washington, USA.
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 our skin clinic 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 machines in this technological realm are the eCO2™ Plus (by Lutronic), and the Smartskin+ fractional CO2 laser.
What is there to love about a fractional CO2 laser?
A fractionated CO2 laser can treat skin conditions in a fraction of the time, compared to other procedures. They are also versatile in that they can be used on many areas of the body, including the chest, arms, legs and neck. The technology results in shorter downtime, with fewer wounds and less overall pain.
Our fractional CO2 laser options can be combined with a number of other treatments. A mixed approach can offer enhanced results for anti-aging outcomes. These can be in the form of dermal fillers such as Juvéderm®, or other laser treatments, such as with our Vegas laser peel.
What can a fractional CO2 laser be used for?
- Scar revision (such as from acne scars, or otherwise)
- Sun damaged skin
- Blotchy skin
- Deep wrinkles
Overall, a fractional CO2 treatment 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 a fractional CO2 laser work?
A 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® DUAL laser. In essence, they create many tiny ‘wounds’ in the skin, on purpose. This removes the top layers of old tissues. This type of laser also works by increasing collagen in the skin, providing a skin tightening treatment simultaneously with skin resurfacing.
After treatment sessions, the skin begins to repair itself by pushing out old skin as it heals, replacing it with new skin.
How many treatments does a fractional CO2 take to achieve skin rejuvenation results?
Generally speaking you can expect your affected skin 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 fractional CO2 laser treatments at your Vancouver-area 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 (near Vancouver) will help us give you a recommended treatment plan. Your final quote will be based on your particular skin condition. It can not be pre-determined as a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
You may notice that the price for true, fractional CO2 laser treatments are higher than for other skin rejuvenation laser procedures. This is mainly for three reasons:
- Results can be achieved in 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. We cool the treatment area simultaneously, to help with pain.
The procedure takes about 2 hours.
Discomfort can range from mild to moderate, depending on your pain tolerance levels.
Should I expect 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 afterwards. 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 afterwards. 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 non-comedogenic 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 all-the-more when it is in its newest state. Your skin will also be more sensitive to light, and you will want to avoid hyperpigmentation with the use of high-quality, broad-spectrum sunscreen. We will recommend these, and other aftercare products and procedures, during your consultation with us.
All-in-all, however, this treatment requires a much shorter recovery time than previous CO2 laser treatments, since the treatment is now fractionated, rather than ablative.
Are there any side effects with fractional CO2 treatments?
Serious complications arising from fractional CO2 laser treatments are rare, when they are performed in a reputable, doctor-led clinic. Dr. Shah is at our clinic on a daily basis. He is available for help, should any issues come up during or after your treatment.
Other than that, there are some more common side effects that can occur with such a deep laser treatment on the skin. These are things we are prepared for at our clinic, and ready to help with. For example: pain, redness, wound healing, swelling or pigment changes.
Prices on this website are to be used as a guide, and not a definite cost for your treatment. Prices can change at any time.
Procedure results are not guaranteed, and can vary from patient to patient.