As the body ages, so does the skin. Collagen, that kept it firm and youthful, is produced in lower quantities. That is when wrinkles appear. Some patients, men and women alike, may want to reduce the appearance of skin aging or make it go altogether.
There are a few solutions for that. Some are cosmetics, some are aesthetics. We know that fractional CO2 laser works on wrinkled skin. It will help reduce the appearance of fine lines.
It is after all, in the very nature of the laser to do so.
The laser targets damaged skin and creates tiny wounds. This will boost skin rejuvenation and collagen production. The skin will look firmer, youthful and glowing. Fractional CO2 laser is effective on wrinkles and also produces great results when one wants to treat acne scars.
However, the availability of a solution does not always necessary translate into long-lasting results. Thus, one may raise the questions. Does laser actually work on wrinkles? Are the results temporary or are they short-term?
What actually is a CO2 Laser Treatment?
Fractional CO2 laser is also known as Fraxel laser, CO2 Fraxel laser or CO2 laser resurfacing. It is a service that we offer at Infinity Laser Spa. Based on the severity of the skin condition and desired results, patients will need additional sessions.
A fractional CO2 laser treatment uses top laser technology that penetrates the deep layers of the skin. That is how it can re-texturize and resurface it. Such treatments are ideal for patients who struggle with different skin conditions.
Such skin conditions include acne scars, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, dark circles, signs of aging, sun damage, fine lines, enlarged pores, stretch marks and of course, wrinkles.
Note that CO2 laser treatments must be performed by a licensed technician or board certified dermatologist. It is also FDA approved. Patients should always stay away from intense pulsed light devices.
Each laser treatment is adjusted to meet the needs of each patient. Deep treatments lead to better results. Downtime and recovery are however longer. Patients will indeed see immediate results.
Yet, skin restoration will carry on for months.
Can laser procedures actually treat wrinkles?
Like any other lasers, fractional CO2 laser produces a highly concentrated laser beam. That energy breaks into thousands of tiny light shafts. Each will penetrate the top layers of the skin, stimulating the skin to heal.
Before it penetrates the skin, the energy creates tiny wounds all over the skin. This stimulates collagen and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Dead skin cells are removed and replace by a new fresh layer of skin.
Indeed, once the skin is repaired, damaged and wrinkled skin simply shades. Laser skin resurfacing does not really have a perfect good candidate. It works on all skin tones, including patients with darker skin. Although a serious procedure, it can be used as part of one's skin care.
Now, does laser for wrinkles actually work?
Yes. Laser resurfacing is an effective long-lasting wrinkle treatment. As with any cosmetic procedures, some patients may see some drawbacks however. Studies show that CO2 laser can reduce the appearance of wrinkles by 45% more than two years after treatment.
What happens to your skin during and after fractional laser?
Skin cell regeneration, whether natural or provoked by a laser treatment, has the same results. Dead cells, damaged or aged skin cells, peel off. They shed as a new layer of skin forms.
Several types of laser treatments exist. There are non-ablative and ablative laser treatments.
The severity of the skin condition and desired results will impact how deep the laser goes. Thus, downtime and recovery will differ from one patient to another. On average, the recovery process can take up to a month.
However, the results are worth it. A fresh new layer of skin will have replaced the old one. Skin flaws will be gone too. Downtime is usually around five or seven days.
Redness may need up to two weeks to fade.
The production of collagen, boosted by the treatment, will carry on for a month after the end of the treatment. Skin improvements will start to show within a week after a session. As time goes, you will be able to notice even more striking results.
Is fractional CO2 laser painful?
Let's not go around the bush here. Yes. Yes, fractional CO2 laser is not walk in the park. The procedure is painful.
Especially as you go deeper into the layers of skin. The very point of laser for wrinkles is wounding the skin.
Those tiny wounds will then stimulate collagen production. The procedure is meant to harm the skin on purpose so that it boosts healing. It won't be pleasant and you may need local anesthesia to make the treatment more comfortable.
Fortunately, topical anesthetic gels and creams can be found at your local pharmacy. Before you buy any, do explain to your pharmacist what you want to use it for so that they are better able to recommend the right product.
Anesthetic gels and creams will help reduce the pain of the procedure. Of course, the pain you experience will also depend on your own tolerance. Some people are more sensitive than others and therefore will experience a more painful treatment.
How many treatments do I need?
The length of a Fraxel laser treatment depends on the severity of your skin condition and the results you are hoping to achieve. The laser procedure will show results after one session. However, it is the cumulative effects of several treatments that will help you achieve the best results.
While one session will results in immediate wrinkle and fine line reduction, we recommend patients to undergo a course of two to four treatments. Only then will you be able to notice a significant improvement that will last for months if not years.
To conclude, laser treatments work on wrinkles and patients see great results. However, improvements, even though somehow long-lasting, are still temporary. Skin aging cannot be stopped and eventually, the skin will wrinkle again.