Benefits of Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing

As we age, our skin’s collagen production slows down. This loss of collagen breaks down the underlying structure of your skin, resulting in various skin problems. Sun and other environmental stressors further worsen the condition of our skin.  CO2 Laser resurfacing can help rejuvenate your skin.

Fractional CO2, commonly known as laser skin surfacing, is a very popular skincare procedure that helps to improve the appearance and texture of the skin. The main use of this procedure is to reduce deep scars and wrinkles, help get rid of acne scars and warts. It can also target many other skin concerns. If you want to improve the look of your skin and take a few years off your appearance, Fractional CO2 Laser is a great choice.


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How does Fractional CO2 work?

Fractional CO2 removes the outer layers of dead skin cells and penetrates the deeper layers of the skin with the help of carbon dioxide laser beams. Your dermal clinician will target specific parts of your face that need improvement. These beams strategically create microscopic holes in the skin, which promotes collagen production, resulting in fresher, younger-looking skin.

What to Expect from the Fractional CO2 Treatment

The fractional CO2 laser treatment takes about an hour. Furthermore, it is a fairly painless treatment, and recovery/ social downtime takes about five to seven days. Patients can see immediate results after the treatment, which will continue to improve over time as their skin heals. Over time, collagen production makes the skin appear tighter, plump and youthful.

Like conventional anti-ageing treatments, the laser doesn’t have to cover your entire face. Your clinician can spot treat specific areas which will continue to improve over time.

Fractional vs Non-Fractional Lasers:

Why do they call some Lasers, such as the SmartXide CO2 laser, Fractional?

Fractional laser means that a laser beam is divided into thousands of microscopic treatment zones that target a fraction of the skin at a time.

This is analogous to a photographic image being enhanced or altered pixel by pixel.

In the images below, you can see the DOTS from a DOT THERAPY session on a patient (taken immediately after the procedure).

Phone us today to book a consultation for your own Laser rejuvenation sessions – phone (03) 8849 1400 or send an enquiry form.  Note that this treatment may not suit all individuals and that results, risks and treatment plans can vary from patient to patient.  Be sure you follow your clinician’s instructions to get the best results from your laser treatment sessions and recognise that one treatment will not be as effective as 3 treatments (minimum 2 but 3 is the recommended number for the majority of facial rejuvenation clients).

For acne scars, you may require more intensive treatments or more treatments in terms of a greater number. An alternative to DOT Therapy might be skin needling or FRAXEL but these have differing results; ask a Clinician for expert advice for your skin concerns.

CO2 lasers - DOT Therapy laser-treatment Melbourne - red face, swollen, but worth it!

Fractional laser treatments have bridged the gap between the ablative laser and non-ablative laser (such as Fraxel) techniques used to treat sun-damaged and ageing skin.


Benefits of Fractional CO2 Laser

Below is a list of some of the main benefits of Fractional CO2 Laser.

Younger Looking Skin

Spot Free Skin

  • If you are struggling with acne marks or pigmentation around your face, Fractional CO2 can give you a spot-free, clear complexion within just a few sessions.
  • Even-looking, clear skin is possible.

Improved Skin Texture

  • If you struggle with rough skin texture and want to have smooth skin, Fractional CO2 is a great option.
  • It can help even out the texture in a matter of a few sessions.

Minimal Downtime

  • Unlike many other anti-ageing procedures, this one has minimal downtime. Patients can return to their daily routine after one week.
  • However, they will still need to adhere to post-treatment instructions.

Reverses Sun Damage

  • Sun can do a lot of harm to our skin.
  • Apart from the usual freckles, one can develop two-toned skin, redness around the nose area and a bumpy texture.
  • Fractional CO2 reverses the damage and makes your skin look as good as new.

Wart Removal

  • Fractional CO2 is the first choice laser for wart removal.
  • The high-energy laser light coagulates blood vessels and necrosis of the wart without damaging the surrounding skin.
  • It results in quick, optimal recovery and permanent results.

Long-Lasting Results

  • The treatment is based on increasing collagen production. Hence, the results of Fractional CO2 Skin resurfacing last a very long time.
  • On average, the results last up to 1 year with just one follow-up treatment necessary for maintenance.

Less Invasive

  • Unlike some cosmetic anti-ageing procedures, this one does not involve any cuts, nips and tucks.
  • The patient can proceed with their daily routine in less than a week.
  • The recovery is quick, and the results are impeccable.

A Quick Procedure

  • Fractional CO2 Skin Resurfacing is a quick procedure.
  • Partial skin resurfacing takes only thirty minutes, while complete skin resurfacing is done in a matter of sixty minutes.

Preparing for Fractional CO2 Laser

Every treatment requires preparation. The fractional CO2 laser is no different. It’s important to follow the rules;

  • Avoid using any products containing retinoids for at least two weeks before the treatment.
    • Retinoids can irritate your skin after the procedure.
  • Avoid the sun.
    • Sun and skin resurfacing don’t mingle well.
    • Wear sunscreen religiously, and avoid going out in the sun two weeks before your laser resurfacing session.
  • Avoid blood-thinning medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin.
    • They can lead to excessive redness after the procedure.
  • Avoid consuming vitamin E as it can lead to prolonged clotting.
  • Do not have any facials or chemical peels for a month before the procedure, as it can cause skin sensitivity.
  • Do not take medications that cause photosensitivity for at least a week before the treatment.
  • Warn your clinician about any potential allergies you might have.


What to Expect During the Fractional CO2 Treatment

The treatment site is numbed with the help of a local anaesthetic. If, you are getting skin resurfacing on your entire face, your doctor may use general anesthesia. After that, the doctor will proceed with the treatment, which will take anywhere from half an hour to an hour. Once the laser part is over, they will apply a non-stick dressing to your skin which will be kept for 24 hours.

How to take care of your skin after Fractional CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Taking care of your skin after the skin resurfacing session is critical to achieving impeccable results, follow the following steps to help get the best results; 

  • The first step is to relax.
    • After the treatment, your skin will be extremely sensitive and red. Do not freak out, it is completely normal.
    • Over the course of the next seven days, your skin will become dry and peel but this is part of the process.
  • Make sure to cleanse the treatment site gently
    • Only use the cleanser which your doctor recommends.
    • Refrain from using any other face washes and cleansers at this point. It could cause reactions
  • Keep your head slightly elevated before sleeping.
    • Doing this will help reduce the swelling.
    • Use a few pillows and always sleep on your back.
  • Use cold therapy to minimize any discomfort and pain.
    • Make sure to wrap the ice with a towel prior to application.
  • Do not exercise or do any strenuous activity that can lead to flushing a week after the treatment.
    • Exercising, saunas, and any other high-intensity activity are a big no.
  • Avoid any skincare treatments or facials for at least four weeks after the treatment.
    • These may lead to skin irritation.
  • If you start developing acne, crusting, or major scabs, immediately call your doctor.
    • Do not try to remove scabs on your own.
  • Apply a thin layer of Vaseline or prescribed antibiotic twice a day to the treatment site.
  • Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen throughout the day and avoid going out in direct sunlight for at least one week.
    • Keep reapplying the sunscreen throughout the day.
  • Use the moisturizer recommended by your doctor religiously to counter the initial dryness. 

FAQs about fractional CO2 Laser

Is fractional CO2 laser effective?

  • Yes, it is one of the most effective techniques available today to get long-lasting results and eliminate fine lines, wrinkles, signs of ageing, acne marks and pigmentation.

How long does it take to see results from a CO2 laser?

  • Patients can immediately see the results after the treatment. However, the treatment focuses heavily in collagen production. So, the results continue to improve for a month or two after the treatment.

How long does CO2 Laser resurfacing take to heal?

  • Patients can completely heal in a matter of one week after the treatment. Although, make sure to follow all the post-treatment instructions after the treatment and do not forget the sunscreen.

What does a CO2 fractional laser do?

  • Fractional CO2 laser removes the outer layers of the skin and creates microscopic holes that aids collagen production.
  • Collagen production is what helps keep our skin plump and hydrated. Moreover, it eliminates wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation and acne marks.

Which is better, Fraxel or CO2 laser?

  • It depends on what you want to achieve. However, when we are talking about which is better for your face, the CO2 laser is a much better option when compared to Fraxel.

Will CO2 laser tighten skin?

  • Yes, it reduces the signs of ageing and tightens your skin for a more youthful appearance.
  • Collagen production is the basis of youthful-looking skin, which is the basis of Fraction CO2 treatment.

Can I wash my face after a fractional CO2 laser?

  • Yes, wait a day and then gently hand wash the treatment site with a medicated soap for up to 72 hours after the treatment.
  • Do not use any random face wash and stick to your doctor’s recommendations.

How often can you have CO2 Laser?

  • It takes about four weeks for the skin to show complete results.
  • One session a month works best for most patients. Usually, patients get anywhere between three to five sessions to achieve optimal results.

What are the side effects of CO2 laser?

  • The treatment site might be itchy, red and swollen for a few days after the treatment.

How long does it take collagen to rebuild after resurfacing?

  • The collagen continues to better your skin for several months after the treatment.
  • However, the results are more pronounced in the first month.

How often should you get a fractional laser?

  • Generally, about four to five sessions spaced one month apart is enough to treat most skin concerns.

Which is better chemical peel or laser resurfacing?

  • These two are entirely different procedures, so none is better than the other.
  • A chemical peel can work amazingly well for treating minor fine lines, while laser resurfacing can help to eliminate deep wrinkles.

What should I put on my face after the CO2 laser?

  • Cover your face with petroleum jelly and use ice packs to minimize any discomfort.

When can I wash my face after the CO2 laser?

  • Typically, doctors recommend waiting a day before washing your face.

How long does fractional CO2 laser last?

  • The results of fractional laser typically last a year or so, with a follow up treatment recommended once every year.

What should I avoid after the CO2 laser?

  • Avoid going into direct sunlight four to five days after the treatment. Never skip on sunscreen.

How do you take care of your skin after a CO2 fractional laser?

  • Wash your skin with a gentle cleanser, use a moisturizer and avoid any harsh exfoliants. Again, remember to always wear sunscreen.

How long does swelling last after CO2 laser?

  • It varies from person to person. Swelling usually lasts for three to four days before it starts to subside down.

Can you get a CO2 laser with active acne?

  • If you have extensive breakouts, experts generally advised staying away from the laser.

How long after the CO2 laser can I exercise?

  • It is advised to avoid exercising for a week after the treatment. After that, you can resume your daily activity.

Who should stay away from Fractional CO2 Laser?

  • As great of treatment as Fractional CO2 is, there are some cases in which you should avoid this treatment.
  • People struggling with active breakouts, open wounds, skin infections must stay clear of the treatment.
  • If you have any chronic medical illnesses, always let your doctor know in advance. If you take oral isotretinoin, it is advised to stay away from the procedure as well.


All in all, fractional CO2 is a recommended treatments for younger-looking skin. It is a non-invasive procedure with a minimal recovery time which makes it more suitable for everyone.

Please book a consultation with a skin clinician and get professional advice on whether this is the right option for you or not.


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