A member asked:

What is the difference between co2 and fractional co2 laser?

8 doctors weighed in across 4 answers
Dr. Steven Zimmet answered

Specializes in Aesthetic Medicine

% of area treated: Co2 laser is treatment of the entire surface of the skin of an area. While it yields the most dramatic improvement it also has the longest recovery and risk for complications such as scarring, infection and pigmentation changes. Fractionated co2 laser delivers laser light in columns, and thus only treats a percentage of the skin. Results are usually good, with much less recovery and risk.

Answered 4/4/2016



Lasers: Basically the difference is the depth the laser will perform on your skin the regular co2 goes deeper and the fractional laser is more surface effective.

Answered 4/30/2013


Dr. Thomas Fiala answered

Specializes in Plastic Surgery

The pattern: Both lasers use the same wavelength beam. Standard co2 treats 100% of the skin surface, and fractional treats... A fraction of it. Fractional lasers have a computerized pattern generator ("scanner") that creates a polka-dot type pattern on the skin, skipping over areas. This leaves normal, untreated skin in between the laser "dots".

Answered 10/7/2020



% of skin treated: Classical CO2 skin resurfacing treats 100% of the skin. This type of treatment gave great results but also induced some problems like prolonged healing, permanent lighter color skin in the area treated, scaring and infections. Fractional resurfacing works by treating only a fraction of the skin, not the entire skin. This treatment usually gives=s a similar result without the big complications.

Answered 1/28/2016



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