The Pixel CO2 laser is an ablative, fractional skin resurfacing device that improves the appearance of scars, skin discolorations, fine lines, and other imperfections. This system comes with a variety of hand pieces to customize treatment for a variety of patient concerns.
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
There are a number of skin resurfacing treatments available to lessen the appearance of skin blemishes such as melasma, acne scarring, sun damage, and fine lines. Chemical peels, microneedling, and dermabrasion treatments can all improve these imperfections, however, laser resurfacing remains a patient and physician favorite due to its time-tested results and level of customization. There are 4 categories of lasers: ablative or non-ablative, and fractional or non-fractional. Ablative lasers are wounding lasers that create tissue damage to encourage collagen generation for firmer, plumper skin. Non-ablative lasers create heat beneath the skin to gradually encourage skin regeneration. Fractional lasers direct laser energy into precise columns for targeted treatment as opposed to non-fractional lasers which treat an overall area. The Pixel CO2 laser is an ablative, fractional laser. Unlike other lasers within the same category, the Pixel CO2 laser does not require patients to undergo a lengthy recovery period. Most ablative skin resurfacing treatments require up to 3 weeks of recovery time, whereas with a Pixel treatment, patients can return to most normal activity within 1 week. While many patients will see improvement in their skin concerns after 1 treatment, a series of up to 4 treatments may be needed for optimal results. Before treatment the skin will cleansed and anesthetized. Only a topical numbing cream is needed although a local anesthetic may be used. Once the patient is thoroughly numbed, the cream will be removed and the treatment will begin. Depending on the patient's concern, either a 7x7 or 9x9 grid pattern will be used to deliver the laser energy to an 11x11mm patch of skin. The 7x7 grid is better suited for more aggressive treatment of scarring whereas the 9x9 grid is indicated for skin peeling and tightening. Additional hand pieces will be used as indicated. The laser hand piece may be pulsed several times in the same area for deeper heat penetration. Typically, full face treatment can be completed in less than 15 minutes. Patients will likely experience a sunburned sensation as well as redness in the treated area. Results can be seen after 1 treatment but may require an additional 1-3 sessions.
Laser skin resurfacing with a Pixel CO2 laser is used to reduce skin imperfections such as sun damage, fine lines or wrinkles, minor skin laxity, scars, acne scars, and certain precancerous growths.
What to Expect
The Pixel CO2 laser is an ablative, fractional skin resurfacing device that improves the appearance of scars, skin discolorations, fine lines, and other imperfections. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a Pixel CO2 laser treatment.
- A retinol cream or hydrocortisone pretreatment may be prescribed
- Avoid sun exposure
- Do not use tanning products
- Decrease alcohol consumption
- Discontinue use of any harsh skincare products, peels, and aggressive scrubs
- An antiviral medication may be prescribed
- Avoid eating or drinking for at least 6 hours prior
- Topical or local anesthetic
- Laser is applied to the treatment area, targeting uneven skin texture, irregular pigmentation, fine lines, and other skin imperfections
- Once treated, a serum or ointment will be applied
- Bandage may be applied to the skin
Recovery following a Pixel CO2 laser skin resurfacing treatment consists of keeping the skin moisturized during the healing process. Patients will be instructed to use a thick ointment such as petroleum jelly or Aquaphor as needed to keep the skin hydrated. Do not peel or pick at any flaking skin. Once the skin has peeled, apply a sunscreen daily. Skin may be pink or red for several days.
The ideal candidate for a Pixel CO2 laser resurfacing treatment has mild to moderate acne scarring, facials scars, uneven pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, and other skin blemishes.
Not Recommended For
While not an absolute contraindication, treatment with a Pixel CO2 laser is not recommended for use on darker skin tones due to risk of hypopigmentation.
Side effects from Pixel CO2 laser skin resurfacing may include burns or other injuries from the laser's heat, scarring, changes in skin pigmentation, cold sore blemishes, bacterial infection, and milia.