A Guide to Fractional CO2 Laser

Whether you’re looking to reduce wrinkles, minimize scars, or improve overall skin texture, CO2 laser treatment could be the answer.

What Does Fractional CO2 Laser Do?

Fractional CO2 laser is a cosmetic procedure that improves skin texture, tone, and overall appearance. The laser ablates the top layer of skin removing sun damage as well as creates microscopic channels in the skin, known as microthermal zones. These processes stimulate the body’s natural healing response, which promotes collagen production and triggers the replacement of damaged skin with new, healthier tissue.

Key Benefits of Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment

  • Wrinkle Reduction: especially of lower face
  • Scar Improvement: acne scars and surgical scars
  • Pigmentation Correction: uneven pigmentation, sunspots, and age spots
  • Treats superficial sun damage

Who Is a Good Candidate?

Fractional CO2 laser is a versatile treatment suitable for patients of various ages and skin concerns. Ideal candidates include those looking to improve fine lines/wrinkles, scarring, and/or dark spots. It is safest for patients with lighter skin tones (Fitzpatrick I-III).

The Procedure

A fractional CO2 laser procedure can be performed in the clinic or operating room. Here’s what you can expect during the treatment:

  • Consultation: Before the procedure, you will have a consultation with a qualified practitioner to discuss your concerns, assess your skin, and determine if fractional CO2 laser is the right option for you.
  • Day of Treatment: Topical Anesthesia: a topical anesthetic is applied to the treatment area to minimize discomfort
  • Pre-Medication: Your clinician may prescribe some medications to make the process more relaxing and comfortable. 
  • Nerve Blocks: You may receive lidocaine injections to further numb the sensitive areas of treatment 

The laser treatment is customized based on skin, treatment areas, and goals. The laser can also be performed in the OR setting and combined with additional facial rejuvenation procedures such as eyelid surgery or facelift surgery.

Recovery Process

  • Immediate Recovery: The treated area will likely be red and swollen after the procedure. It may feel similar to a bad sunburn.
  • Peeling and Flaking: Over the next few days, the skin will begin to peel and flake as the damaged outer layers are replaced with fresh, new skin. It’s important to avoid picking at the skin to prevent scarring.
  • Sun Protection: Protecting your skin from sun exposure is crucial during the recovery period. Sun exposure may lead to increased hyperpigmentation.
  • Total recovery time depends on intensity of treatment 

Please contact the Appearance Center to consult with a qualified practitioner.


About Appearance Center of Newport Beach

Orange County’s most trustworthy and reliable team of cosmetic surgeons, dermatologists, and skin cancer specialists. We provide advanced surgical and nonsurgical solutions for facial aging, beauty modification, and skin health maintenance for men and women of any age.