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Fractional CO2 laser: pros and cons of treatment that eliminates wrinkles and skin blemishes

Fractional CO2 laser: pros and cons of treatment that eliminates wrinkles and skin blemishes

The CO2 laser is an ablasive, that is, that causes a burn in the skin, which on healing, stimulates the production of collagen and also a retraction of the skin, causing stretching and improvement of fine wrinkles. However, as its target is water, there is less risk that it will reach the dermis, concentrating on the epidermis (the most superficial layer of the skin). In short, it removes entire layers of the skin at a depth programmed by the operator.

However, since its recovery is very slow, after all a large area of ​​skin is injured, and the chance of causing blemishes is much greater, have created the technology of fractionated CO2 laser, in which the single ray is divided into several micro-rays, reaching the skin more deeply and in smaller regions. In this way, it makes small lesions, leaving intact micro areas of skin mixed with areas where the laser acted, causing less aggression to the skin and bringing about a much faster recovery.

Fractional CO2 Laser Indications

Fractional CO2 Laser is indicated for people who seek rejuvenation of the skin, removal of scars in general (as of acne) and stretch marks, or the end of sagging. It is excellent for wrinkles, as it can reach several surfaces of the skin, leveling its structure. In addition, like total CO2 laser, it stimulates the production of collagen in areas where it harms the skin, giving it a younger appearance.

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This can be used for aesthetic surgeries such as ninfoplasty (intima surgery that changes the appearance of the vulva) and laser blepharoplasty (eye and eyelid correction surgery).

This device also has therapeutic uses, such as in seborrheic keratoses (benign pints) and actinic keratoses (pre-malignant lesions). It can also be used on viral warts and blemishes and to improve the appearance of surgical scars, including keloid, atrophic streaks and other skin lesions.

How fractioned CO2 laser is used

The treatment is necessarily in the office. Sometimes anesthetic creams are used in the region that will be treated thirty minutes before, so that they take effect until the moment of the application of the laser. The patient's eyes are protected and the session begins. It treats the skin completely, leaving no area untreated.


The number of sessions varies according to the patient's goals, and can be from two to five sessions. The periodicity also varies according to the indication, and ranges from 45 days to three months, according to the doctor's guidance.

Overall, the improvement in skin caused by the CO2 laser is long-lasting, but as aging is a procedure, it is usually necessary to re-evaluate with the doctor annually or even every six months to check the need for re-application of this laser.

Each session lasts from 20 to 30 minutes, and if contact time is anesthetic creams, it takes an hour in total.

Professionals who can do

Because it is an ablasive laser, that is, that can cause damage to the skin, the ideal is for the procedure to be done by a doctor dermatologist, or plastic surgeon who will be better able to handle this technology.

Preventive care CO2 laser

Sometimes it is necessary to take preventive treatment with your dermatologist for herpes and bacteria seven days before the laser application. Before the session, the skin needs to be complete clean and degreased. It is also important that the skin is not tanned. The use of acids and creams is allowed up to 2 days before the procedure.

Care after the use of the fractioned CO2 laser

It is very common for the patient to present erythema (ie, redness) and swelling of the skin after the use of the fractionated CO2 laser. The edema can last up to 15 days, while the red color can last up to 45 days. For this reason, one can make use of LED for better healing and faster recovery.

As the skin is more sensitive, one should not forget to use sunscreen routinely, with a minimum protection factor 30 that should be reapplied every 3 hours.


Fractional CO2 laser is contraindicated in patients with black skin or a tendency to keloid scars, people with vitiligo, lupus and other photosensitive diseases, active herpes or other skin infections. In addition, it should not be done in people who use photosensitizing medications, oral anticoagulants and isotretinoin for the treatment of acne. Patients with a problem of hyperchromic (dark scars) or hypochromic scarring (clear scars) should also be evaluated.

Pregnant can do?

The procedure is not indicated for pregnant women as there are no studies that prove the safety for them .

Possible Complications

As the skin becomes sensitive to this type of treatment, there is a risk of infections. In addition, the process can often generate scarring, keloids or even blemishes - as Brazilian skin is a mixture of European with African and Indian, even when it is white, has a large pigmentation capacity, which makes it last common problem. In addition, another possible complication is persistent redness (erythema) in the skin.

Before and after the fractioned CO2 laser

It is possible to notice that the skin gets more and more, reducing the pores and improving the texture. Over time, you notice improvement in wrinkles and skin blemishes, but the improvement is not as visible as the cause of the total CO2 laser.

Combine the CO2 laser fractionated with ...

Protein rich food Proteins with a high biological value help to stimulate the formation of collagen in the skin.

Daily sun protection Using SPF protection above 30 helps to minimize the effects of sun radiation on the skin, which can cause aging and spots, in addition to skin cancer!

Stop smoking The cigarette clogs the micro-vessels of the skin, which reduces the supply of oxygen and nutrients and the consequent decrease in the life of the cells that produce the collagen fibers.

Botox The toxin butolynic allied with total CO2 causes a lifting effect on the skin, greatly increasing rejuvenation, especially in the eye area.

Hyaluronic Acid Fill Both treatments assist in smoothing deeper wrinkles of the skin.

Light intense pulsation to Helps the CO2 laser reduce skin blemishes more efficiently

LED After treatment with the CO2 laser, it helps reduce skin redness and other problems.

Acid Retinoic Creams with this acid in the composition help to prepare the skin for the procedure and can boost results later. Dermatologist Daniela Lemes (CRM-RJ 69,296), medical director of Slim Clinique

Dermatologist Cibele Caminha Tokarski (CRM-RJ 69,296), medical director of Slim Clinique

DF 8,894), Department of Laser and Dermatology, Daher Hospital

Dermatologist Cristiano Velasco (CRM-DF 13.730), Department of Laser and Dermatology, Hospital Daher

Dermatologist Isabel Martinez (CRM-SP 115.398), member of American Academy of Laser and Surgery, International Academy of Dermatology Cosmetology and Laser Update by Harvard University

Dermatologist Abdo Salomão Junior (CRM-SP 91,536), member of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology

Dermatologist Valéria Campos (CRM-SP 73.176), member of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology

Know the causes of rhinoplasty errors

Know the causes of rhinoplasty errors

Professional error Inability by the doctor to diagnose the functional and / or aesthetic problems of the patient's nose. In addition to the aesthetic function, rhinoplasty can correct breathing problems, so the practitioner needs to make a thorough assessment of the patient's problems. There are people with characteristics unfavorable to the procedure that need to be taken into account for the surgery to be satisfactory.


Learn more about nymphoplasty care

Learn more about nymphoplasty care

Because it is a surgery done in such a delicate region, causing prolonged swelling and tenderness in the region, the postoperative demands more care, mainly to avoid the friction in the region. Rest Patient needs to rest for one to two days, after which she can go back to work, even if there is no intercurrence.