Dr. Matthew Beal, MD

Physician (MD, DO)


Dermatologic Surgery

Pima Dermatology
5150 E Glenn Street
Tucson, Arizona 85712 [MAP]
For an appointment , call (520) 795-7729 , email info@pimaderm.com
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Fractional Lasers Overview at Pima Dermatology

Treats: Wrinkle correction, Wrinkles, Skin aging, Uneven skin tone and color, Irregular skin texture-scars, Scars, Stretchmarks

Fractional Skin Resurfacing is a relatively new concept in Laser skin rejuvenation. It allows for partial and precise targeted laser impacts which leave islands of the normal skin surface intact. This computer-aided technology allows for a deep enough laser effect to create the desired  results with less pain and less anesthesia than standard Laser resurfacing. There is less recovery time and faster healing and re-entry into normal daily activities with Fractional Resurfacing.

Conditions treated

  • Wrinkles
  • Skin Aging
  • Irregular or Uneven Skin Tone and Color
  • Irregular Skin Texture
  • Scars (especially acne scarring)
  • Stretch marks

Ideal Candidates

Men or women who have mild to moderate signs of skin aging, fine lines and wrinkles, and mildly lax skin tone. Non-uniform skin tone and color can be corrected as well as textural problems such as scars from  acne or other skin injuries. Areas that can be treated include the face, neck, and  chest, as well as hands and forearms.

Treatment Overview

There are 2 basic types of Fractional Laser devices- 

  1. Erbium:YAG device (such as the Starlux 1540nm)
  2. Fractional Carbon Dioxide (CO2 Laser-such as the Quadralase Laser) 

1)The Erbium:YAG Laser creates a more superficial surface skin effect, usually can be done with topical anesthesia only and usually results in mild-moderate redness and swelling that lasts 3-4 days. Most people can recover over a long weekend and resume activities within 3-5 days. The results are good and usually require several monthly treatments for best results. Treatments are done by highly trained staff under Doctor Goldberg’s close supervision.

2) The Fractional CO2 Laser is usually utilized as a more aggressive Laser modality for people who want more rapid results with one treatment. Patients treated with this Laser usually experience longer healing and more recovery time with most people returning to near normal activity in a week. Treatments are done by Doctor Goldberg in the comfort and safety of our AAAHC certified surgery suite. A combination of topical anesthesia creams, mild sedation and local anesthesia  is usually required for optimal comfort. The Laser can be customized to address an individual patient’s specific needs.  For instance areas around the mouth with vertical lip lines can be treated more aggressively  than other areas to achieve the desired results. Doctor Goldberg has been doing Laser Skin Resurfacing since 1996.


Is the treatment painful?

Most everyone tolerates treatment extremely well. Most patients have very little to virtually no pain after the treatment.  We will use combinations of topical anesthetic creams, mild sedatives, or local injections of anesthetics where necessary to keep you comfortable throughout the treatment and the recovery.

How long do the results last?

The results vary from patient to patient and differ depending on the Laser used, how aggressively one is treated, and how many treatments a patient has had. We know that results using the fully “ablative” resurfacing techniques can last more than ten years in some cases (see photos on webpage). The fractional devices are too new to know for sure but there is real collagen and skin remodeling occurring with these devices to produce a long-lasting result.

When will I be able to return to my normal activities?

With The Erbium device some people can return to work within a day or two, but most will want several days or a weekend to recover. A patient’s recovery from the Carbon Dioxide Laser  will depend on the power of the Laser utilized, the density of the pulses (how many passes are performed), and the patient’s skin type and healing response. For instance a smoker will typically take 50% longer to heal. Most people return to near normal activities within a week’s time.

If I only want my vertical lip lines treated will there be a demarcation between treated and untreated skin?

We will take great care to “feather and blend” areas to avoid texture or color demarcation. We have learned over the years to blend with lighter Laser energies to create subtle “seamless” transitions between treated and untreated areas. We might use more aggressive parameters around the mouth and less powerful pulses in areas where less treatment is called for. We often will do a chemical peel or a more gentle fractional setting in some areas to blend the effects as well.

Can I do Botox or Dermal Fillers at the same time as the Laser treatment?

These treatments are extremely useful adjuncts to Laser and usually complement them very well. We usually recommend having Botox treatment a couple weeks prior to the Laser and we have most people hold off on Dermal Fillers until after the Laser so that they can be more sparingly used to fill any residual trouble spots after Laser treatment.