CO2 Laser Resurfacing (Face)

What is CO2 Laser Resurfacing?

The CO2 laser is a carbon dioxide laser that is used for skin resurfacing. Thin layers of skin are vaporized using a high-energy beam of laser light. This creates a “controlled injury” to the skin: as the skin heals, it produces collagen as a natural part of the healing process, which restores your skin’s elasticity.

What is CO2 Laser Resurfacing?

CO2 laser resurfacing is designed to minimize wrinkles, reduce facial scarring, even out skin tone, and increase dermal collagen. When performed by an experienced provider, CO2 laser resurfacing typically is more effective than other treatments like dermabrasion or microneedling.


What is the procedure for CO2 Laser Resurfacing?

Carbon Dioxide (C02) Laser Resurfacing removes layers of skin tissue in a fractionated method (columns of skin are removed, leaving the skin surrounding each column intact to aid in healing) to help reduce “age-spots” (also called sun freckles, liver spots, and lentigines), fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, uneven coloration, skin laxity, textural irregularities, dull tone, and a thinned collagen layer of the face, neck, and chest.

You may choose to have it used on your entire face, or you may choose specific areas. In addition to resurfacing your skin, the laser has a mild tightening effect, which can be an added benefit in areas like the lower eyelid where the skin may become loose over time.


When do you see results from CO2 Laser Resurfacing?

Full results can be seen 3-6 months after the initial treatment, once the skin has completely healed.


How long do results from CO2 Laser Resurfacing last?

Improvements from an CO2 laser treatment can be seen for many years after treatment.


What are the Pros and Cons of CO2 Laser Resurfacing?


  • This type of laser resurfacing can reduce visible skin wrinkling by over half.
  • Delivers excellent improvement in fine lines, general texture, and a reduction in troublesome pigmentation areas. 
  • Acne scarring also responds to CO2 laser resurfacing 
  • Provides a slight lift.


  • Requires a good deal of recovery time. 
  • Patient’s skin will be weepy for two weeks and will require thorough cleaning four to five times daily, along with application of ointment to keep the skin from scabbing. 
  • Areas can take up to three weeks to heal. 
  • The skin will remain pink or red for more time. 
  • Care must be taken to avoid sun exposure on the treated skin. 
  • Patients with darker skin tones are not good candidates for CO2 resurfacing because the procedures can reduce the skin pigmentation in relationship to other areas that are not treated.

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