Fractional or fractionated laser treatments give you the beautiful, natural-looking results of the original CO2 laser resurfacing without the two-week recovery period.
The fractional laser leaves tiny "bridges" of untouched skin between the treated areas. Recovery is faster because less skin is affected. You can return to your regular routine in four to seven days. And, unlike the CO2 laser, which treats only the face, the fractional laser can be applied to treatment sites all over your body.
Aging or scarred skin, wrinkles, fine lines, uneven texture, discoloration, sun damage, laxity, and scars on the face, neck, chest, arms, hands, and legs
We treat superficial imperfections such as blotchy pigmentation and fine lines with ActiveFX, sending a high-energy laser beam in a broad pattern onto the skin's surface. For more pronounced wrinkles, excessive laxity, and scars we use DeepFX. It directs a narrow beam of energy into the deeper skin layers, where it stimulates collagen growth to soften and smooth the surface.
When we use both broad and narrow beams sequentially in the same treatment session, it is called TotalFX.
BEFORE ACTIVEFX, DEEPFX, OR TOTALFX
Stock up on home care supplies Make your recovery easier by having everything you need well in advance.
One day before the procedure Take the oral medications the doctor prescribes.
DURING ACTIVEFX, DEEPFX, OR TOTALFX
Your appointment takes approximately one hour. We give you topical anesthetic (and, if necessary, nerve blocks or oral sedation) before beginning treatment. During treatment, you will feel a warm sensation or a slight sting as the laser passes over your skin. When the treatment is over, we will apply Vaseline or Aquaphor and you will be ready to go home and begin recovery.
AFTER ACTIVEFX, DEEPFX, OR TOTALFX
When you leave our office your skin will be red and swollen and feel like a deep sunburn. If you had DeepFX you may have some pinpoint bleeding. Post-operative care is simple — just cool soaks and Vaseline or Aquaphor applied to keep the skin moist. (Follow the instructions in our post-operative handout.) Your skin will flake off over the next five to seven days as it heals. (We can adjust the length of your recovery period by adjusting the intensity of the laser.)
As the swelling subsides you may notice wrinkles reappearing. This is normal. Many of these wrinkles will disappear completely or improve dramatically as new collagen forms. Deeper wrinkles and scars will improve over the next several months. Some patients require more than one treatment to achieve their desired effect.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen for three months after treatment. With proper care, your results will last for many years.
Risks and side effects include pain (usually controlled with Extra Strength Tylenol or Motrin), infection, scarring, and redness.Temporary darkening of the skin is possible, particularly in darker-skinned individuals. This almost always fades away completely.
Dr. Ramsdell has written on Fractionated CO2 lasers like ActiveFX and DeepFX. Read his contribution to this field here: