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Skin Care Academy

Fractional Laser Resurfacing: A Quick Guide

January 22, 2024

Have you heard about fractional lasers? They’re a celebrity go-to treatment that keeps the skin smooth, youthful, and clear of imperfections. This ultra-versatile category of laser facials makes it possible to radically rejuvenate all layers of the skin, for precise results. 

Whether you’re hoping for a non-surgical facelift or you want a refresh that will clear away fine lines and scars, this post is for you! 


What Is Fractional Laser?

Laser is a powerful, concentrated beam of light with a very stable wavelength. The term “fractional” means that the laser’s beam is split into deep-penetrating columns of light spaced out in an even pattern. As a facial treatment, this allows for a broader treatment area and an overall gentler treatment compared to the laser treatments of the past. 

During a fractional laser resurfacing treatment, the beams of light penetrate through to the lower levels of the skin, where it generates a coagulation response, resulting in increased collagen and elastin production. This is essential for correcting all major skin concerns, from premature aging to hyperpigmentation. 

The fractional nature of the light allows for a gentler treatment over a wider area. It’s the most advanced skin rejuvenating laser treatment available on the market today. 


Fractional Laser Benefits

Fractional laser treatments have a lot of benefits, thanks to their ability to remove damaged skin while also boosting the skin’s healing and renewal processes. Here are some key benefits and effects: 


  • Stimulate better collagen and elastin production 
  • Remove layers of photoaged or damaged skin 
  • Fade and even erase fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improve skin texture 
  • Fade acne scars and dark spots 
  • In the case of more powerful fractional lasers such as CO2 laser, you can also expect significant skin tightening and reduction in deeper scars


Types of Fractional Laser 

There are two main types of fractional laser skin resurfacing treatments: ablative and non-ablative

Non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing is the more surface-level of the two treatments, primarily targeting the epidermis. It’s a less invasive option with faster recovery, but its impact on the skin is also less dramatic. The most well-known non-ablative fractional laser machine is the Fraxel, but it can also be done with CO2 fractional lasers. 

The fully ablative treatment reaches the dermis to impact more deep-seated issues like scarring or severe loss of tone. It removes a lot more of the top layer of the skin, triggering more intense renewal on the surface. Recovery from a fully ablative CO2 laser treatment takes longer, but no other treatment matches its powerful effects on the skin. 


Fractional Laser Side Effects

The extent of the side effects from fractional laser treatments depends on the level of intensity. The side effects are more long-lasting with ablative lasers, which is in line with their more dramatic effects.

In general, the fractional laser side effects you can expect include redness, stinging or soreness, swelling, and itchiness. A little bit of flakiness or peeling may also occur. If you underwent an ablative fractional laser treatment, you can expect side effects to last for up to two weeks and also include some scabbing and more intense peeling. 


Fractional Laser Before and After 

fractional laser before and after results fractional laser before and after results acne scars fractional laser before and after anti-aging


 How you treat your skin before and after your fractional laser treatment is important for your recovery and results. Avoid harsh skincare products and to stay away from the sun before your fractional laser resurfacing treatment. On the day of your appointment, come well-rested and hydrated. 

After your treatment, your skin might be a little tender, and you may develop some of the common side effects. Keeping the skin moisturized and protected from the sun will help to facilitate healing. Avoid sun exposure, saunas, hot yoga, or any other activities in high temperatures. 

You should be able to see the difference in your fractional laser before and after appearance at least a couple of weeks after the treatment, once side effects subside. However, the fractional laser’s ability to induce collagen production means that improvements will continue in the months after treatment. 

If you get your treatment at Discovery Laser, we’ll provide full aftercare instructions that you can easily follow at home. 


How Much Does CO2 Fractional Laser Cost? 

The cost of a fractional laser treatment can vary based on the type of treatment and target area. Mild, non-ablative treatments or treatments to smaller body parts will usually cost in the hundreds. Ablative CO2 fractional laser can cost up to several thousand dollars. At Discovery Laser, we always conduct a consultation where we can give you a quote based on your specific needs and goals. 


Fractional Laser at Discovery Laser

You can experience both ablative and non-ablative fractional lasers at Discovery Laser. Creating skin transformations with laser technology is one of our key specialties, and we’d love to help you achieve the smoother, firmer skin you’ve been dreaming about. Get in touch with us if you have any questions, or book a consultation to find out if fractional laser is right for you!

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