One of the most powerful tools in anti-aging medicine is laser light therapy, which delivers intense beams into the skin to create long-lasting changes at the cellular level. The Phoenix-15 CO2 Laser System is an upgraded fractional CO2 device that can address multiple aesthetic concerns and is now available at the Skin Chic Clinic at Waldman, Schantz, Turner Plastic Surgery and Skin Care in Lexington, KY.
- What are Fractional CO2 Laser Treatments?
- When Fractional CO2 Laser Therapy is the Ideal Solution
- Candidates for Fractional CO2 Laser Sessions
- The Consultation for the Phoenix-15 CO2 Laser System
- Preparing for a Fractional CO2 Laser Appointment
- The Phoenix-15 CO2 Laser Procedure
- Additional Uses for the Phoenix-15
- Fractional CO2 Laser Recovery
- Side Effects and Risks
- Why Should I Choose the Skin Chic Clinic?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Skin Resurfacing
What are Fractional CO2 Laser Treatments?
Cosmetic laser technology harnesses powerful beams of light emitted at various wavelengths, which change the energy output for different treatments. During fractional laser treatments, the light is split up into tiny beams to target microscopic areas of a treatment zone at a time. The device’s scanner can create small treatment areas that are 5mm to 30 mm, allowing for more targeted or more efficient treatments as needed.
The Phoenix-15 by Rohrer Aesthetics is an ablative carbon dioxide (CO2) laser that causes controlled damage to existing skin cells so that the skin can renew itself. During a fractional CO2 treatment session, the laser’s light penetrates the outer layers of the skin to reach cells at a deeper level known as the dermis.
This method causes controlled thermal injury, leaving the outer skin intact, and leading to boosted collagen production, or what is known as “collagen remodeling.” Collagen and elastin are produced at higher rates, replacing older, damaged tissue with new and improved structures. The laser can also perform tissue-cutting actions to replace scalpel incisions and vaporize lesions on the skin.
When Fractional CO2 Laser Therapy is the Ideal Solution
Fractional CO2 laser skin sessions are a non-surgical option for restoring youthful skin with a lower risk of infection, complications, or damage to the surrounding tissue. In many cases, patients choose to address their signs of aging as soon as they become noticeable, which usually leads to enhanced results.
Lines, wrinkles, mild skin laxity, and hyperpigmentation can be improved with Phoenix-15 treatments. In other cases, passes with the laser can enhance a patient’s results following facial plastic surgery or other rejuvenation procedures.
Candidates for Fractional CO2 Laser Sessions
Patients who may benefit the most from laser treatments are those who are seeking a minimally invasive option to address early to moderate signs of aging. They may have some facial wrinkling, especially around the areas of the face that show expression, like the eyes and mouth. The skin may appear looser in some areas, which is often most visible along the jawline. They may also have skin discoloration from hormonal changes and sun exposure. Prospective patients should be in good health and must have realistic expectations.
The Phoenix-15 is safe to use on the face, chest, and hands to create a more uniformly refreshed appearance. Unique to laser systems, the Phoenix-15 also features a customized device specifically designed to quickly minimize or erase crepey skin and brown spots on the hands.
The Consultation for the Phoenix-15 CO2 Laser System
When patients first visit the Skin Chic Clinic in Lexington, KY to discuss their concerns, the appointment will begin much like any other visit to their doctor’s office. If new to the practice, the clinicians will discuss the patient’s full medical and surgical history to learn more about their overall wellness. The patient can then explain his or her cosmetic concerns and will be given treatment suggestions to address each issue.
During the consultation, patients may be able to view before-and-after photos to help them envision what kinds of results are possible. There are also imaging programs that can provide projected modifications of the patient’s face for a more personalized approach.
Patients can ask any questions they might have about the treatment and will learn what to expect when they arrive for their first session. Aftercare and the recovery period will also be covered.
Preparing for a Fractional CO2 Laser Appointment
For the best results and the most comfortable healing time, there are some steps that patients should take before their Phoenix-15 fractional CO2 laser treatment:
As a general rule, people should use sunscreen daily, but this is especially important in the weeks before the appointment. Patients should use sunscreen on any areas of the body that might be treated with the laser.
Keep Your Skin Hydrated
Use a daily facial and body moisturizer to ensure the skin is supple in the weeks leading up to the visit. This helps to optimize results and can potentially shorten the recovery period.
Come to the Appointment Product-Free
Makeup, moisturizers, and scented products should not be worn to the appointment. Patients should be freshly showered to avoid bacterial infection.
Prepare to Follow an At-Home Skin Care Regimen
During the consultation, patients will learn what products they should use and when after undergoing a fractional CO2 laser procedure. These instructions must be followed carefully to help ensure good results.
The Phoenix-15 CO2 Laser Procedure
The entire laser appointment lasts about two hours: one hour for the topical anesthetic to take effect, and one hour for the treatment itself.
To begin the session, the patient’s skin will be prepped for the laser and the wavelength of the device will be adjusted. The patient and the clinician, Madison Sommer, RN, will both wear protective eyewear during the treatment.
The handpiece is pressed against the skin so the light can treat small segments of the treatment area at a time. In addition to the numbing cream that is applied before the treatment, cool air is aimed at the skin to enhance patient comfort.
After each area of the skin is treated, serum or moisturizer may be applied. Patients can return home following the appointment but depending on their level of comfort and the areas treated, they may need a ride home. This should be arranged in advance and will be discussed before the office visit.
Additional Uses for the Phoenix-15
The aesthetic physicians at Waldman, Schantz, and Turner Plastic Surgery and Skin Care chose to feature the Phoenix-15 Laser System at their practice to provide patients with a single treatment device that can effectively address a number of different skin concerns.
There are various handpieces available, so in addition to laser skin resurfacing, the laser can remove unwanted skin growths, like warts and skin tags though vaporization, and can be used to perform less invasive blepharoplasty (cosmetic eyelid surgery) procedures. The laser coagulates blood as it moves through the tissue, so there is less bruising and shorter recovery times than in traditional plastic surgery procedures.
Fractional CO2 Laser Recovery
Following the appointment, the patient’s skin may feel warm for 2-3 hours and appear reddened. This is a normal response to the heat of the laser light and can be minimized by the use of cold packs. An occlusive topical ointment is recommended to help maintain the hydration of the skin.
Over the next few days, the upper layers of skin in the treated areas may slough off or shed. It can take 4-7 days for full healing, but redness may remain for up to 2 weeks.
The procedure is incisionless, meaning no surgery is performed, so downtime is relatively minimal. Patients may be required to remain out of the sun, avoid strenuous activities for a short while, and follow any other instructions from clinic staff.
After about a week, patients will notice texture improvements within their skin, including a softer, supple look and feel with less noticeable fine lines. Over the next year, the skin will continue to show signs of improvement as cell renewal takes place. The skin will become firmer and tighter during this second phase.
If a patient wishes to have additional fractional CO2 laser treatments, he or she may be advised to wait up to a year to determine how effective the initial procedure will be.
Side Effects and Risks
Every medical procedure carries inherent risks, and those performed for cosmetic purposes are no different. Numerous studies have shown that laser procedures can be performed safely and effectively, but both patients and clinicians must follow proper protocols. Some potential side effects and risks are listed below and can be discussed prior to the procedure:
- Pigment irregularities
- Inferior results
Why Should I Choose the Skin Chic Clinic?
The Skin Chic Clinic at Waldman, Schantz, and Turner Plastic Surgery and Skin Care was designed as a med-spa to serve patients’ non-surgical cosmetic needs. The Clinic features an extensive list of treatment options that may be performed alone or in conjunction with facial plastic surgery.
RN Madison Sommer specializes in skin care aesthetics and non-surgical options for facial rejuvenation. She implements personalized treatment plans tailored to individual patients’ needs and is well known for her Phoenix-15 results.
Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Skin Resurfacing
Is it painful to undergo the Phoenix-15?
One hour before the laser treatment begins, a topical numbing solution is applied to reduce sensation during the procedure. During the session, a cold air chiller is operated alongside the laser for optimal comfort. Your provider can help you control any post-treatment discomfort.
What is the healing process like?
After the treatment: The skin may feel warm and appear reddened. The patient can use a cold pack to stave off any discomfort. The skin should be kept moist with a typical ointment as needed and should not be submerged in water for several days.
Day 1 post-treatment: The skin might look sunburned and feel tight. There may be some associated swelling. Patients should avoid sun and heat exposure.
Days 2-3 post-treatment: Any swelling should subside and the skin may itch (but should not be scratched). The dead skin cells may appear brown.
Days 4-7: By this point in the healing process, the skin should no longer itch. Treated skin may be exfoliated and different types of moisturizers may be used. Patients should use 30+ SPF when exposed to the sun.
Days 7-28: Patients should continue using a moisturizer on the skin until it returns to normal, apply SPF, and avoid excessive sun exposure for the first month following the procedure.
How many fractional CO2 laser sessions should I undergo?
Each patient’s unique aging process and their body’s ability to renew the skin will impact the final results of the Phoenix-15 laser procedure. Many patients need only one treatment, but others choose to return in about 12 months for another session.
What will my skin look like after the treatment?
A day or two after the appointment, patients may notice small, pixelated marks on their face from the fractional laser. The skin may appear dry and reddened. If recommended, gentle exfoliation with approved products can speed up the healing process when performed 2-3 times daily. The dead skin cells will naturally flake off over the next few days if this step is not performed at home. After about a week, patients can usually resume their regular makeup routines.
This article was written by the clinicians at Waldman, Schantz, and Turner Plastic Surgery and Skin Care in Lexington, KY along with specialist Madison Sommer, RN (About RN Sommer) who operates the Phoenix-15 fractional CO2 laser. Call 859-254-5665 today to schedule a consultation.