This is a laser that plastic surgeons use to resurface an area of your skin. This is used to rejuvenate the skin or, more commonly, to combat acne scarring.
How does it work?
With a typical laser treatment, a laser beam penetrates the skin with the intent to damage the skin. This leads to potential long-term recovery time. With an ablative fractional (CO2/Erbium) laser, the beam is broken up into multiple beams that leave space in the skin that is untreated when it penetrates. These small sections of untreated skin mean that the recovery time is much shorter. Because they are ablative, they remove skin tissue to tighten the skin and remove wrinkles. This process creates microscopic holes in your skin – similar to aerating your lawn.
What is the difference between CO2 and Erbium lasers?
The CO2 lasers create more heat during the laser treatment. By doing so, the skin is tightened and texture improves as it heals. Erbium lasers are less aggressive – recovery time is shorter, and there is less redness. However, there is also less tightening of the skin.
Which type of ablative fractional laser should I choose?
If you have minor wrinkles that you wish to get rid of, the Erbium laser should do just fine. You should not have a more aggressive treatment than you need, so if your doctor feels that the Erbium laser will work, you should take it. If you have severe wrinkling or scarring that you are trying to remove, then you may need to use the CO2 laser to aggressively treat it.