There are two types of fractional laser:
- non-ablative lasers such as the Fraxel which simply heat the skin but are less effective than
- the ablative CO2 lasers
CO2 lasers have been used for resurfacing for many years but can have significant side-effects and require long recovery periods.
Fractional CO2 lasers are fitted with a scanner which filters the laser ray; consequently it doesn’t operate continuously but by microscopic impact points separated by healthy skin. This is its major advantage in relation to the classic CO2 laser:
- there is no need for anaesthetics, a simple anaesthetising cream is sufficient
- the intervention is short and can be completed in a surgery
- after-effects are simple involving no risk of skin discolouration
However a number of treatment sessions are required.
Approved used for fractional CO2 lasers:
- photorejuvenation by skin resurfacing: wrinkles, fine lines, dilates pores, uneven complexion, cleavage wrinkles
- acne scars
- benign skin lesions: beauty spots, warts