The ability to treat scars, discoloration, wrinkles, and skin laxity with fractional lasers has grown in leaps and bounds. The minimally invasive fractional resurfacing procedure has proven to be extremely effective in treating pigmentation and skin laxity. The newest fractional CO2 laser to hit the market is the powerful yet versatile CO2RE from Syneron and Candela. The CO2RE features dual laser waves that can be adjusted to penetrate the skin at both superficial and deep levels simultaneously.
How Fractional Lasers Work
Per its namesake, fractional lasers only treat a fraction of the skin at a time with laser beams but treatment is aggressive. Essentially, the laser drills millions of tiny holes in the skin - vaporizing what it comes in contact with and creating columns into the skin. The minute damage or "wounds" created by the laser force the body to heal with new and healthy skin, after eradicating any previous pigmented or lax skin. The depth of laser penetration determines what is being treated.
"The first fractional ablatives really came out in 2007 and by the end of 2010, we're already amassing that data - on density, depth, how much coagulant needed and what is the best wound created by lasers - to make the next device and that's the only way we can push forward," says renowned dermatologist Dr. Jill Waibel, who specializes in therapy for burn scars.
How CO2RE Differs
Almost every medical spa offers a fractional resurfacing procedure - Fraxel, ActiveFX and ProFractional to name a few - but the CO2RE differs by using two types of laser beams that penetrate to different depths - simultaneously. The CO2RE has up to 7 treatment modes to treat a variety of skin issues. According to the manufacturer, the CO2RE offers less discomfort and dramatic results after just one session.
New York dermatologist and laser specialist, Dr. Lori Brightman says, "What is unique about the CO2RE is it's ability to vary the depths and the spot size to different structures of the skin. For example, to treat crepey light skin, you would create a superficial wound in the skin with the less deep parameters. If you want a deeper tightening, then you would use the deeper parameters. This allows you treat superficial and deep or vary as you like."
Dr. Waibel says, "One of the things that we do struggle with, more so with photo aging than with scars (with scars, you have go deep) is with photo aging, it's just as important to stay superficial but superficial won't address a deep wrinkle. The CO2RE really combines both of those in one pulse. Some of the devices you can't do that. You can only go certain depth and with others, you can change hand pieces for a different depth."
Since the CO2RE recently made it's debut at the annual American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) this year, results and more details are pending. Physicians and dermatologists are however, excited and intrigued by the possibilities this technology may bring to the aesthetic industry.
For a more comprehensive look at fractional resurfacing technology: American Health and Beauty's Beauty Tech Review on Fractional Resurfacing.
Leading Dermatologists Discuss the CO2RE Fractional Resurfacing Device: