The “gold standard” in skin resurfacing is the standard, full-field laser treatment that has been around for decades. Hands-down, you get the best result from this treatment. But while it yields astounding outcomes, it is a challenge to recover from.
CO2 resurfacing removes old epidermis, clearing your complexion, and reorganizes the collagen in the dermis, smoothing wrinkles. Aside from aggressive chemical peels which have a similar healing time, no other type of treatment affects the skin this profoundly. I like to use the analogy that having laser resurfacing is like taking your face to the dry cleaners.
Matrix Laser is the same type of laser used in the full-field treatment, a CO2 laser, but it is fractionated. What this means is that rather than every square millimeter of your face being treated, the laser lays down a pattern of very small dots. Because untreated skin is left in between the dots, the healing is much more manageable. With a Matrix Laser treatment, you can do a single pass or multiple passes. The more passes, the greater the percentage of skin treated. It is a direct relationship between the number of passes, the length of healing, and the amount of improvement.
Simply put, Matrix Laser opens up laser resurfacing to a range of results and healing times to fit the patient’s desires. Standard resurfacing is an all or nothing type of treatment. Prior to fractionated CO2 treatments, the next step down from a standard laser resurfacing was a big step down. Now we can fill in the gap with significant improvement in color and texture without the protracted healing time.
Matrix Laser can also be used as part of a series. With a single pass treatment, most patients wear makeup and look pretty close to normal the next day. You can do several treatments like this spaced a month or more apart. Alternatively, you can do a 3 or 4 pass treatment and not anticipate any further treatment.
Unlike standard laser resurfacing, Matrix Laser is done with only a topical cream numbing gel and some nerve blocks if the patient desires. A valium can be taken as well. During the procedure, there is still pain and if you would rather have IV sedation, this is offered.