When walking into a beauty store today, you can’t miss the endless shelves of beauty and skin products, all promising rejuvenated appearances through instant results. As a consumer, it is difficult to tell one product from the other, and for most of us, the effectiveness of these products is not easy to detect with the naked eye. So for all of us who want measureable and quick results without having to spend six months trying and testing a skin cream that might work for you, there are other possibilities. Today, the dermatology market is booming with anti-aging skin care technologies that have proven results.
One of the relatively new anti-aging procedures on the market is the CO2 fractional laser skin resurfacing. According to many dermatologists, this is one of the anti aging breakthroughs of the last decade. To test the results of this “miracle procedure”, Novasans turns to the prestigious Genesis Skin Klinik in Bangkok, whose founder, Dr. Rujirat Vongtonsri has perfected the treatment for the last years. After a thorough skin examination both with the visual eye and through a Visia Skin Analysis, Dr. Rujirat recommends this effective and painless treatment to enhance my facial skin and appearance.
What is CO2 Fractional Laser?
Fractional CO2 Laser is a new technology that corrects many dermatological and cosmetic skin conditions through one procedure. The procedure corrects conditions such as superficial lesions, scars, skin texture, wrinkles, As the laser scans the surface of the patient’s skin, it will create thousands of micro-thermal zones in the treated areas which will promote the production of new collagen, resulting in healthier, smoother and younger-looking skin.
How long does the CO2 Fractional Laser procedure take?
The actual CO2 Fractional Laser procedure doesn’t take more than about 20 minutes, but in total you should expect to spend about 1.5 hours in the treatment room in order for the therapist to add the topical numbing cream and for it to work. After the laser session is over, you will be asked to stay for another 20 minutes to cool down the skin through a cooling treatment.
How is the CO2 Fractional laser procedure performed?
A fractional CO2 Laser is exactly what it sounds like – fractional. This means that the tiny but intense laser energy micro beams create areas of treated tissue surrounded by untreated, healthy tissue. Over the coming days, weeks and moths, the body’s own healing process will create new, healthy tissue to replace the areas of affected tissue – thus improving the skin condition being treated.
Through my line of work, I’ve tried similar procedures before, such as Fractional Radiofrequency and Ultherapy by Ulthera. When starting the session, I’m convinced that this will be just as painful as the treatments mentioned above. To my relief I’m happily surprised about the CO2 Fractional Laser not being at all as painful as expected. I can definitely feel the minor “buzz” when the laser is projected through my skin, however the laser feels more like a tingling sensation than as pain. The smell of burnt hair (when the laser burns the tiny facial hairs) is actually more apparent than any pain from the laser. A great help for this is undoubtedly the facial numbing cream applied to my face 30 minute prior to the session. Dr. Rujirat is also extremely gentle and careful, constantly asking if I feel all right or need a small break, which is not needed.
To cool my face, an assisting skin therapist is holding a cooling handle, blowing soothing cold air around my face. After 30 minutes, most of the pain is gone even though it still feels slightly warm, and after two hours, I don’t feel any pain at all.
A fractional laser skin treatment is far more comfortable than traditional laser treatments and you will most likely feel like you’ve gotten a bad sunburn, which will pass within the first couple of hours.
CO2 Fractional Laser Results
The results from a Fractional CO2 Laser will be visible after about one week, once the treated area of the skin (little brown scabs) will peel off. For me, this took about one week. After that, I was able to see my new, fresh skin underneath. Although seeing apparent differences after 1-2 weeks, the full results came about a month after the procedure. My skin got a new healthy glow, the overall skin texture was improved, my pores were diminished and some fine lines under the eyes decreased. Along with the above, the treatment also took years of sun damage off my face allowing me to go without makeup and look more youthful with an even skin tone.
How many sessions of CO2 Fractional Laser are needed to obtain results?
Once the outer skin has peeled off in about a week, you will be able to see the instant results. Even though one treatment is enough to view apparent results, you will benefit from having the treatment done once every month or once every two months (depending on your skin type and condition) for about three times. According to some dermatologists, the effects are thought to lasts up to 8-10 years.
Benefits of CO2 Fractional Laser
One of the great advantages with CO2 Fractional Laser is the fact that the downtime is minimal. Straight after surgery, the treated area will be swollen and red, but in comparison to similar fractional procedures, the downtime is significantly minimized due to the laser beam being microscopic.
Another benefit is the increased comfort using Fractional CO2 Laser. The fractional array of micro beams will not cause bulk damage to the skin as traditional ablative skin treatments will. Through this, the fractional CO2 Laser is much gentler and the only anesthesia you will need is through applying a topical numbing cream.
The third benefit of Fractional CO2 Laser has to do with the increased safety using this skin procedure. Following the procedure, each tiny fractional column leaving a tiny scar re-epithelializes within a day or two. This minimizes the risk of infection, scarring or any long-term pigmentation changes.
Side Effects of CO2 Fractional Laser
Common but minor side effects from a fractional laser resurfacing include swelling and redness, which lasts for about two days. In my case it lasted for about one day. When leaving Genesis Skin Klinik, the treatment area is very red and hot. The nurse informs me that I should expect to be red until the next morning and that I might need an ice pack to cool down the face when going to bed at night. However, in my case, the redness fades away after about four hours, and so does the pain.
As with any laser surgery or laser treatment, patients with darker complexions may be at risk for pigmentation loss.
CO2 Fractional Laser treatment areas
A Fractional CO2 Laser procedure is most commonly used on the face, neck, chest, hands and arms however generally the greatest results will be seen in the face, as this is generally where we have the largest pores and prominent wrinkles.
In summary, CO2 Fractional Laser proved very effective on my skin, leaving it with a healthy, youthful look and less apparent wrinkles. I would recommend anyone wanting a safe effective skin rejuvenating treatment to try CO2 Fractional Laser. Before having the treatment done, consult with your dermatologist to make sure that the CO2 Fractional Laser suits your skin type and condition.
Find a Skin Clinic for CO2 Fractional Laser through Novasans
The Novasans international directory to skin clinics and dermatology centers across the world can help you find a clinic and physician in your area. For more information on Fractional CO2 Laser and Genesis Klinik, visit the Novasans website.
For a booking of a CO2 Fractional Laser in Bangkok, contact Novasans directly!
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