Fractional CO2 lasers are one of the latest skin resurfacing solutions to rid your skin of wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and blemishes. This laser method involves directing a CO2 laser beam that is further divided into several micro-beams. These create columns in the skin, essentially without damaging the surrounding skin. This laser impact causes micro-inflammation necessary to enhance collagen production, helping you achieve your aesthetic goals.
According to research published in the National Library of Medicine, fractional CO2 laser resurfacing can help increase dermal density, adding firmness to the skin. This research also suggests fractional CO2 laser resurfacing to be a viable treatment for wrinkles, fine lines, and mottled pigmentation.
In general, this laser treatment is minimally invasive, meaning that it oughtn’t to leave much of an impact on your routine. Still, dermatologists advise their patients to adhere to post-operative care instructions to avoid complications. So, in the rest of this blog post, we will discuss some of those instructions to help you steer clear of any mishap.
Fractional Co2 Laser Post-Op Instructions
As mentioned above, fractional CO2 laser resurfacing causes micro-inflammation in the skin tissues. Therefore, you will need some time to heal. Healing time varies from person to person depending on the depth of the procedure and the area of treatment. Generally, the face recovers within 5 to 7 days, the neck takes 7 to 10 days, whereas the chest area needs a recovery time of 10 to 14 days.
Follow your physician’s post-procedure instructions carefully to avoid undesired side effects, such as textural irregularities, deep scarring, or uneven skin coloration. Here are some tips to help you recover from Fractional CO2 quickly and adequately.
Sleep with your head elevated:
Swelling and redness of the face/treated area is a common and immediately visible side-effect of Fractional CO2 laser treatment. Fortunately, these complications tend to subside on their own after 36 to 48 hours. Sleeping with your head elevated also helps reduce the swelling and prevents your face from unwanted rubbing and scratching with the pillow. Your clinician may also recommend you an antibiotic ointment that you will need to apply to the treated area according to instructions.
Do not scratch your skin even if it itches:
Almost everyone experiences mild to moderate itching in the treated areas. This itchiness increases the urge to scratch and scrap, which can cause complications. If you experience intense itching, discuss with your doctor, and they might suggest oral or topical medications to reduce this side-effect. You can press the treated area gently with a clean Q-tip if itchiness is bearable. This condition usually goes away in three to four days.
Cleanse your skin regularly.
It is imperative to cleanse the treated areas regularly and adequately. However, be sure not to exfoliate the treated site. Plain water is usually the best cleanser to use after this treatment. You can also use a saline solution for this purpose. When cleansing your skin, move your hands gently in circular motions at least four times a day. This step will help remove creams and ointments that you will be applying to the treated areas.
Never pick at the peeling skin.
Peeling is part of fractional CO2 treatment. Your skin will begin to peel off after seven days. At that point, ensure not to pull, peel or scrape the skin as it can cause complications. Instead, let it come off in the cleansing process.
Fractional CO2 laser treatment is an effective skin resurfacing solution that gives you a rejuvenated skin appearance. While the side effects of this treatment are rare and minor, it is vital to remain vigilant with aftercare to avoid undesirable consequences.
And it goes without saying that the success of fractional CO2 laser treatment depends heavily on your choice of the dermatologist. So, make sure you contact a reputable clinic for your treatment.