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Both CO2 lasers and Tixel treatments offer effective solutions for an array of age-related concerns, such as sagging and crêpey skin, lines, wrinkles and sun damage. Here’s an overview of some of their similarities and differences:

Technology:

  • Tixel: Tixel uses a medical-grade titanium tip heated to 400°C, with 81 tiny pyramids that briefly contact the skin, creating tiny ablative zones without deep penetration. This process transfers thermal energy to the skin without emitting radiation, smoke, fumes, or causing bleeding.
  • CO2 Laser: CO2 lasers emit light to vaporise the superficial layers of skin, stimulating collagen production and promoting skin rejuvenation. The laser can be used in both non-fractional and fractional forms. Non-fractional CO2 lasers treat the entire skin surface at once, while fractional CO2 lasers create micro-channels in the skin, allowing for faster healing and fewer complications​.
tixel 3

Before and after 3 treatments with Tixel.

Tixel BA2

Multiple Tixel treatments to soften the appearance of stretch marks.

Efficacy and Versatility:

  • Tixel: Tixel effectively treats wrinkles, sagging skin, and sun damage, similar to CO2 lasers. It can be used on all skin tones and for various treatments, including facial resurfacing. Tixel is particularly versatile as it is safe for use on the delicate skin around the eyelids without the need for additional eye guards.
  • CO2 Laser: CO2 lasers are highly effective in treating deep wrinkles, acne scars, and sun damage. They offer significant results but some devices may not be safe for darker skin tones due to the risk of hyperpigmentation. Fractional CO2 lasers have reduced this risk but still require careful consideration.

Patient Comfort and Recovery:

  • Tixel: Tixel is associated with a lower pain profile (3/10 on a pain scale with forced air cooling) and a shorter recovery time. Patients can typically return to work within one day, and makeup can be applied the following day. The risk of side effects is minimal compared to CO2 lasers.
  • CO2 Laser: Treatments with CO2 lasers can be painful and often require local anaesthesia and sometimes sedation. The recovery period varies depending on the treatment intensity. Fractional CO2 laser treatments typically have a recovery time of about one week, with full redness and sensitivity resolving over several months. Post-treatment discomfort includes redness, swelling, and a sunburned feeling for a few days to weeks​.
eye shields

Eye shields required for some CO2 laser procedures.

Which might be right for you?

  • CO2 Laser: Ideal for those needing deep resurfacing and are okay with longer recovery times. It is particularly effective for severe skin issues (ablative) but requires a higher tolerance for pain and a longer downtime.
  • Tixel: A versatile, low-downtime option that offers comparable results after a course of sessions. It is suitable for all skin tones and is particularly advantageous for those seeking a gentler treatment with minimal recovery time, treatment of eye wrinkles and/or lower risk of side effects.

Both CO2 lasers and Tixel offer significant benefits for skin rejuvenation, but the best choice depends on your specific skin concerns, pain tolerance, and recovery expectations.

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