During the late 1990’s and early 2000s, the gold standard for the treatment of facial lines & wrinkles as well as acne and traumatic scars, at least from a laser point of view, was the CO2 laser system. The C02 laser by definition has a wavelength of 10,600 nm, an absorbing chromophore of water, and is used to vaporize tissue. The term ablative refers to removing epidermis. Continuous mode- ablative refers to removing all of the epidermis. Historically, the CO2 laser was used in a continuous mode-ablative setting – removing all of the epidermis and a portion of the dermis. Downtime with the CO2 laser typically lasted several weeks, and potential adverse effects were increasingly reported. These potential adverse effects included pain, edema, erythema, infections, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and the most problematic of all, hypopigmentation seen in some patients two years following the laser procedure. Due to these problems, CO2 laser resurfacing using the continuous- ablative mode fell out of favor among many laser physicians.
In 2004, the concept of fractional thermolysis was introduced, and subsequently the fractional CO2 laser emerged. According to many doctors, the fractional CO2 laser is the antiaging breakthrough of the decade, and ablative-fractional CO2 continues to be the gold standard for all facialrejuvenation procedures aimed at improving skin quality. The ablative – fractional CO2 Laser was developed as a way for laser physicians to get closer to the positive clinical results produced by using the “traditional” continuous mode ablative CO2 laser, with less patient downtime, and fewer overall adverse events. Combining the effectiveness of traditional carbon dioxide lasers – with a new application technique, ablative fractional CO2 technology delivers powerful results without the traditionally harsh side effects.
Since the introduction of the fractional CO2 laser technology, multiple variations have come and gone. The information available to the consumer/patient as well as some physicians is overwhelming, which presents a barrier in making informed choices for prospective patients. Nonablative resurfacing devices including (Fraxel re:store, Fraxel re:fine) are not as effective for skin rejuvenation as ablative fractional CO2.
Since the introduction as the gold standard in skin rejuvenation in the late 1980’s early 1990’s CO2 has certainly evolved, culminating in one of the most advanced CO2 laser system in the world- The Cynosure Smartskin Fractional CO2- an ablative device. The Smartskin is a full spectrum, highly customizable system allowing Dr. O’Connell to still use the traditional continuous- mode fully ablative technique. Additionally, the device has the capacity and the range for Dr. O’Connell to adjust the settings and to perform “fractionated” ablative treatment as well as everything in between.
How does it work?
The natural aging process, combined with exposure to sun, pollution, as well as environmental and lifestyle stressors cause collagen destruction. Collagen is the main protein of connective tissue that keeps skin plump, wrinkle & line-free, and maintains elasticity in our tissues. Ablative fractional CO2 laser resurfacing uses microscopic beams of light energy to bore tiny holes in the skin, that extend through the skin’s epidermis into the dermis while leaving the surrounding skin unharmed resulting in faster healing. This process essentially vaporizes old collagen and profoundly stimulates the body’s natural collagen production. This results in improvements in:
- Hyperpigmentation (age &sun spots)
- Loose skin
- Dull, uneven skin
- Large pores
- Dark circles beneath the eyes
- Age and sun spots
- Scars from acne or trauma
- Keratosis (tiny raised bumps on the skin)
What is the next step in proceeding with the treatment?
Call Serenity Rejuvenation Center located in Bellevue, WA to schedule your free consultation with Dr. O’Connell. At your consultation, Dr. O’Connell will determine whether or not you are a good candidate for the procedure.
How many treatments will I need?
Typically, only one treatment is needed for desired results. However, since treatments can be adjusted to your cosmetic and downtime expectations, you can opt for two or three “lighter” sessions. Dr. O’Connell & prospective patients will determine the best approach to treatment during the consultation process, based on each individual case.
What is the pre -procedural protocol?
Before your treatment, Dr. O’Connell will prescribe a prophylactic antibiotic as well as an antiviral medication to prevent infections. Dr. O’Connell will determine your pain medication needs based on the treatment plan, which usually consist of a topical anesthetic as well as oral pain medication.
What should I expect immediately following treatment?
Immediately after the treatment, your skin will feel warm and appear to be sunburned. You may also experience some swelling which is completely normal. The top layer of skin will turn brown and crusted. This layer of skin will peel off in 3-5 days, leaving smooth, pink skin underneath. After the skin sheds, you may wear makeup. Post treatment erythema (redness) is common, which fades after about 2 weeks. Subsequently, your skin will look noticeably tightened, and most patients say they look 5-10 years younger. As new collagen is created over the next few months, results improve further.
How long will the results last?
With proper skin care and protection, results often last years.
Dr. O’Connell, is one amazing person. He and his staff made me feel completely at ease and offered me the best treatment to help keep my skin healthy and youthful. Having suggested and chosen the Fractional Co2 treatment, I had one treatment with another to follow 4 weeks later.
After the first treatment my skin looked amazing. Age spots that began to appear before my treatment started to disappear, lines that were forming around my mouth and jowl areas were beginning to droop, making me feel old. In four weeks they too began to soften and the skin tighten, with many lines disappearing immediately!
I recently returned for my suggested second treatment and have already noticed my recovery has been much easier and I am healing at an even faster rate. I’m so excited to see my end results.
Dr. O’Connell informed me, it will only get better in the months to come. Who doesn’t want to hear that?
Not only, Dr. O’Connell and his staff recommend the best physician formula products that are available through them, from sunblocks to moisturizers and more.
The staff is outstanding and make you feel comfortable and walk you through the process so you are fully informed of what to expect. I highly recommend Serenity Rejuvenation Center. You will come to know that Dr. O’Connell and his staff are out to change your life and give you the best results they have to offer!
If I could, I give higher than 5 stars!!
If you are interested in Our Services, then contact Dr. Stephen M. O'Connell and Serenity Rejuvenation Center to set up free consultation.
*Results may vary from person to person