Sequence of thermovisual images showing temperature changes at 1-sec intervals, reflecting reaction to forcing (CO
RE laser pulse) in the 2x2 pixel area at the center of the image. Time measured from initiated forcing ranged from 1 to 12 seconds. During ablative fractional resurfacing treatment, microscopic pieces of skin are vaporized, and a thermal deposit occurs in the dermis. The efficacy and safety of laser treatment is related to the density of superficial microtissue elimination and the thermal deposit left in the dermis. The CO2 (CO2RE) laser has a high absorption coefficient for tissue water that allows minimal residual thermal damage if the power density is significant enough to cause tissue vaporization that outpaces the speed of thermal diffusion.