Now a great new treatment has arrived, fractional CO2 resurfacing. Fractional resurfacing started with the Fraxel technology. Unlike fraxel, however, which uses the erbium laser, a far weaker laser, the CO2 Fx by Luminus uses fractionated Co2.
This fractional CO2 works somewhat similarly to areating a lawn in that it punches thousands of microscopic holes into the skin, causing the skin to grow into holes which makes new skin that is younger looking, has fewer wrinkles and lines and is thicker. Our skin loses 1% of its thickness per year and the CO2 fx reverses some of this thinning by creating new collagen growth. Again, Fraxel works similarly but because it is erbium, Fraxel"s results are far less impressive than fractional CO2.
In our office we use the Total Fx and the Active Fx by Luminus as our fractional CO2 laser. We chose the Luminus Total Fx because Luminus has by far the greatest experience in producing CO2 lasers. The Total Fx has great versatility and works for many conditions in many skin types. By varying the settings, depth of penetration, size of the tiny holes it creates, and density of fractionated CO2 we can customize for exactly your condition and skin type.
For example patients with purely surface aging and fine lines can undeergo Active Fx which is a lighter version of the Total Fx with a faster recovery time and less downtime. This Active Fx treatment, like Fraxel, reduces brown spots but unlike Fraxel it does it in just one treatment! It also improves fine lines and wrinkles much more affectively than Fraxel. Settings are varied for skin type and depth of fine lines and severity of photodamage.
Total Fx is for patients with more severe photodamage, as well as deeper fine lines, and it also actually tightens skin. Compared to other CO2 lasers the Luminis Total Fx is more powerful and this adds to its versatility and ability to achieve excellent results. It is our most popular treatment for reducing fine lines, brown spots, age spots, skin color irregulatities, and for tightening the skin in general. It is actually 2 passes, first using a deep pass that penetrates the skin with a very narrow beam of laser. We follow this with wider beams of more superficially penetrating laser.
Recovery time varies from patient, but generally there can be from 2 to 3 days of redness and swelling, followed by 2 to 4 more days of lighter redness depending on the type of treatment prerformed. Patients can wear make-up to disguise the redness after the third day. Patients see improvement in their skin and appearance within a week, but the great thing about fractional CO2 is that ones appearance gets better and better every month over the next 6 months as the collagen grows, smoothing and tightening the skin. Results last years.
Like Fraxel, but unlike many other CO2 lasers, the Luminus Active Fx is safe to use on virtually all body parts and we have experience using it from head to toe. It is particularly great for the neck and chest for reducing the crapy-ness of the skin and improving color and texture. We have used many modalities on the chest for this purpose and nothing works like CO2 Active Fx.
The Total Fx is great for tightening the upper and lower eyelids and for those smoker and water-bottle lines around the lips. In our experience this technology is a far advance over technology available in previous years.
What about acne scars? Yes, this technology works well for many types of acne scars. The Total Fx fractional CO2 reduces brown and red pigmentation from acne and helps fill in divots and craters from previous acne.
Fractional can also be used on burn scars and other scars as well. In fact Luminus has sponsored far more studies on burn scar treatment than any other CO 2 laser company as the writing of this material.