DOT Therapy: CO2 Laser for Anti-Ageing Treatments and Skin Rejuvenation in Melbourne

CO2 laser technology like the DOT Therapy Face Treatment is a very popular option for facial rejuvenation in Melbourne. A CO2 laser such as DOT Therapy is popular because it offers affordable skin rejuvenation that tends to be long-lasting, all without surgery (suitable candidates only, and results can vary from patient to patient).

Best results are seen when a patient gets a series of regularly spaced DOT Therapy CO2 laser treatments, about 4 to 6 weeks apart, over 3-5 months.

Yearly or every-second-year maintenance treatment(s) may also be of benefit to help “turn back the clock” of facial ageing signs and stimulate renewal of healthier skin functions such as:

  • plumpness or firmness and more collagen or underlying thickness
  • smoother textural appearance and softer feel to the skin’s surface
  • reduced visibility of superficial lines
  • exfoliation and/or regeneration of dermal cells as they move through normal cycles of shedding and renewal

At Coco Ruby Skin Clinic, we offer many varied light-based FACIAL LASER treatment modalities, including DOT Therapy (SMARTXIDE).

This same laser is used for Mona Lisa Touch vaginal laser treatments although it’s a different laser head (machine application head) and an altered setting.


DOT Therapy (DOT laser therapy using CO2 technology) is a very effective system used to drastically reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and improve the overall texture and tightness of an ageing skin.

DOT Therapy is a relatively fast recovery Fractional Laser and Radio Frequency device for Skin Resurfacing and Wrinkle Reduction.

You WILL have redness and swelling, however, for several days to up to 2 weeks on average; and should avoid makeup for the designated time period (so make sure you allow adequate downtime and healing time before a big event or business function).


How Does DOT Therapy CO2 Laser Work?

  • DOT Therapy is setting a new standard for skin rejuvenation in fractional laser resurfacing.
  • Fractional lasers penetrate the skin to stimulate cellular function, resulting in a rejuvenation effect that appears from a few weeks to a few months later (due to the skin cellular turn around, what you treat in deeper dermal layers will emerge as fresher looking skin a few weeks or months later)
  • Fractional lasers are powerful and effective; they are also sometimes used in surgery or to treat scars such as acne scars or injury scars (on the body, back or face)
  • However, for skin resurfacing treatments, most lasers are still considered to be ‘non-invasive’ treatments as the skin is not excised through surgery and with DOT therapy, the spacing of the beams means a lot of healthy tissues remain intact, whilst the ‘dots’ stimulate renewal and collagen to give a rejuvenated look.

Fractional Lasers such as DOT Therapy CO2 Facial Lasers target and treat the outer and inner skin tissues simultaneously.

  • ABLATIVE laser treatments work mainly on the epidermis (surface skin cells)
  • Non-ablative treatments work solely on dermal collagen (more the mid-layer of the skin only)
  • Fractional laser treatment works at BOTH the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin.

DOT Therapy with a CO2 based fractional laser is ideal for the treatment of:

  • Lines and Wrinkles
  • Crepey Skin
  • Skin laxity
  • Improvement of skin texture
  • Sun damage
  • Brown spots and Hyperpigmentation
  • Fine lines
  • Severe Acne Scars


Download the guide to Facial Rejuvenation

Facial Rejuvenation Guide Download

Not only does the SmartXide DOT Therapy CO2 Laser offer amazing results, it achieves this quickly and with not too much downtime compared with deep chemical peels or some other laser resurfacing options (you will, however, need to rest and recover – as you will be red and swollen for several days – and may show signs of the treatment up to 7 days post DOT Therapy).


Do you have crepey-looking under-eye skin? DOT therapy may help rejuvenate your facial skin; but another option is Dermal Fillers/Skin Boosters.

Recommended reading for non-surgical skin treatments for under-eye skin, dark shadows or baggy skin under the eyes.

Crepey Skin Under Eyes – Will Dermal Filler Help?

Types of Fractional Lasers (Melbourne Laser Treatments)

  • There are now many different types of fractional lasers.
  • One of the earliest fractional lasers to be offered in Australia was the Fraxel® device, emitting a non-ablative 1550-nm wavelength.

Now some of the many lasers on offer use fractional laser technology. 

Based on erbium:YAG lasers for superficial treatments and CO2 lasers for deeper ablative treatments, these options include the DOT Therapy treatment using SmartXide’s CO2 laser technology and DOT Therapy modalities and handpieces (treatment head or application hand piece).

How DOT THERAPY LASER facials are delivered.

During your procedure, a Dermal Clinician will apply a pattern of tiny scanned pulses of laser energy to your skin, which is delivered with a handpiece and controlled laser beam.


dot-therapy-recovery after a CO2 laser - how red will I get? Red and swollen but passes, skin looks great; results can vary from patient to patient. Depth and intensity are adjustable.

As you can see above, the treated area does become pink to red immediately after treatment.  Signs that you’ve had a treatment will show for up to 7 days, but after about Day 3 to Day 4 you should be able to wear Lycogel or other Dermal Clinician approved camouflage makeup.

DOT therapy treatment plans – fully customised

  • There are many settings that your Clinician can adjust for your CO2 DOT THERAPY treatment.
  • These impact the degree of fractionisation of the laser beam, and the depth it reaches.

The depth and intensity of your DOT THERAPY facial laser treatment can be altered to suit your requirements AND you comfort levels.

NOTE: that deep laser treatments for acne scar reduction can be uncomfortable but may be very worth exploring for people troubled by former acne scars or pitted facial scars after teenage acne.

  • You’d be given a treatment plan during a consultation for your laser treatment.
  • Typically most patients require approximately 3 treatments spread about 4 to 6 weeks apart for optimal results.
  • The optimal results will tend to be most visible in about 3 to 6 months after your treatment(s) or up to a year because when you target deeper skin tissues as well as surface texture, the skin renewal system takes time to show the effects.
  • In other words, the skin needs time to heal, renew and respond to the laser treatment.

Laser treatments are used to help patients get tighter, firmer feeling or smoother skin.

  • You’ll tend to see results right after the treatment once the healing and recovery period is finished (1 to 2 weeks up to 3 weeks for the majority of patients, with some variability expected).
  • But your best results will be more noticeable (a) after 3 treatments 4-6 weeks apart and (b) after 3 to 6 months when the skin has gone through its more full renewal cycle.

Our trained Dermal Clinician can adjust the laser settings to tailor treatment and obtain the right approach for your skin concerns whether it is lose skin, lines or wrinkles, pigmentation problems or acne scarring.

  • Adjustments can also be made throughout the procedure to more accurately treat specific areas such as acne scars on the cheeks or fine lines around the mouth.
  • Also, some areas of the face – under the eyes or neckline or decolletage, may be more sensitive or have thinner skin that requires some adjustment.


  • The treatment can take 30 to 45 minutes not including numbing time, sometimes up to an hour.
  • Numbing usually takes 45 minutes to an hour PRE treatment so be sure you get instructions first and allow adequate time for the numbing cream to be applied AND to work effectively.
  • If recommended after laser treatment, you may have Healite II LED (low-level light therapy treatment) shortly after DOT Therapy to help facilitate healing and calming; or you may have it in a few days time, or not at all. Ask your Clinician for details.

GET COOL PACKS ready at the CLINIC and at home.

  • You’ll want cool packs immediately after the treatment and on the hour during waking hours for the next 24 to 36 hours if you can (this can vary so ask your Dermal Clinician).
  • Mild pain killers (over the counter) are often all you’ll need as it often LOOKS more painful than it actually is.
  • That noted, if you have very strong settings – such as required for treating acne scars – the discomfort levels are going to be far more noticeable.
  • Most patients are readily able to tolerate the treatment with topical anaesthetic applied 45 minutes in advance – that’s why it’s important to show up ON TIME for your treatment and ask about the numbing cream.
  • DO NOT touch your face or use the wrong products on your skin after having a laser treatment; and avoid ALL sun exposure.

DOT Therapy Recovery time and Healing (Redness, swelling and heat)

The Recovery process after a DOT therapy procedure takes about 4-7 days, typically 7 full days. For some patients, allow 14 days, or longer if it’s a more intensive treatment.  You may not like the way your skin looks red after

Sometimes residual swelling or redness may last for up to 2 weeks for some clients.

Note: Results and recovery times can vary from patient to patient, but in general, allow for a week of ‘downtime’ (it’s often best if you avoid wearing makeup for that period of time, but your Clinician will tell you when you can wear mineral makeup or camouflage makeup if you need to).

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHAT IT’S LIKE TO HAVE A DOT THERAPY FACIAL TREATMENT – PHOTOS OF THE RECOVERY PERIOD including redness and swelling – and the beautiful skin results!

First Few Days after Having DOT Therapy (CO2 Laser) on the Face

For the first few days, you are likely to feel warm (to very hot) and will need to apply cool packs with protective cloths on them, to keep your swelling as minimal as possible. Swelling starts at about Day 2 and the redness can change colour, from pink to very red, over the next few days. You’ll be given specific instructions but typically you’ll need to moisturise every hour to keep the skin moist (using a gentle, non-active moisturiser).

This can vary from person to person depending on the size of the area treated and the severity of the condition being treated and the control settings on the DOT Therapy panel, which are customised to your specific skin concerns.

Cost of Dot Therapy

CO2 fractional laser which reduces the appearance of wrinkles, pigmentation & acne scars.

Full Face

Full Face and Neck

*We also treat other areas. Ask us for details & pricing.

Make a BOOKING (03) 8849 1400


Is it named DOT Therapy because it ‘punches holes in the skin’?

Not really. The holes are actually small channels of disruption to the skin (in a similar way that Skin Needling such as DermaPen or SkinPen can rejuvenate the skin by creating micro-channels to encourage stronger renewal processes and thicker, firmer and smoother looking skin).

  • The DOT Therapy laser precisely creates thousands of microscopic holes (DOTs) – known as CHANNELS – in your skin
  • These induce immediate skin tightening and help stimulate new collagen growth and/or cellular renewal (your skin naturally renews itself and sheds old layers over several months; and this is repeated; but with stimulation, the process is believed to be improved and rejuvenated – because ageing slows down the skin’s cellular turnover).
  • DOT Therapy is designed to improve the skin’s texture and tone and to soften fine lines, deep wrinkles, and acne scars.
  • Unlike other laser resurfacing technologies, DOT Therapy leaves islands of healthy tissue surrounding the DOTs enabling your skin to heal more rapidly and shorten your healing time with less risk of adverse reaction.

CO2 Lasers: Does DOT Therapy hurt? It looks painful

  • It can be uncomfortable but numbing cream helps a lot.
  • DOT Therapy is typically applied to skin that has been pre-numbed with a topical numbing agent is usually very well tolerated by most patients.

Typically, if the face is numbed properly, a patient will report a “3 to up to a 4” out of 10 on a pain setting.  But pain or discomfort from DOT Therapy CO2 lasers CAN vary depending on the patient’s pain thresholds, depth of treatment and intensity of the treatment plan – plus, some areas of the face are more sensitive than others, because skin thickness varies across the face.

It’s not dissimilar to what you feel – briefly – when you have laser hair removal, only the sting is usually far less.   It’s also a different technology so feels a bit different to IPL or laser hair removal.

It is usually less uncomfortable (less painful) than most people anticipate, and less painful than it looks like it might be. The numbing cream (and post-treatment cool packs) work a treat.


How long before you see results from DOT therapy facials using CO2 Laser Technology?

  • After a treatment, your face will become red and feel heated.
  • Your Clinician may advise on using cool packs for 24 hours or more, and may also recommend a Healite II treatment at some stage in your recovery period (optional).
  • Your face or other treated area will likely swell, sometimes significantly, by Day 2 up to Day 5 and last as long as 2 weeks (it begins to reduce by about day 5 for most but not all patients).
  • You’ll have specific instructions for caring for your newly treated skin, including NOT wearing makeup and NOT using certain serums and active skin care products for some time after your treatment.
  • Gentle and ‘no touching the face’ are the way to go!
  • But DO expect some downtime, and ASK your clinician for advice on when it’s okay to wear makeup and what type to wear (LYCOGEL may be an option).
  • Expect your skin to feel warm, red, tender and/or swollen.
  • Many people report any discomfort from the treatment resolves rather quickly, although redness and swelling remain.
  • That’s often a sign your skin’s immunity and repair system are activated – that’s a POSITIVE as long as you avoid infections.
  • IMPORTANT if you have cold sores – you need to have your GP prescribe your cold sore preventative and treatment medication BEFORE treatment, and take it prophylactically to avoid disasters.
  • Post-laser treatment, it can feel like a severe sunburn and may be uncomfortable for several days, but this depends on the depth or strength of the treatment, which involves multiple different settings to target YOUR specific skin problems such as acne scars or facial wrinkles.

Before proceeding with a DOT Therapy procedure, our Dermal Clinician would perform a through skin consultation to determine your concerns and specific skin problems that you would like to target with fractional laser technology.

They would help assess if this is the best treatment for you or if a different protocol might be more beneficial, and they would then customise the DOT Therapy procedure to your skin and the condition being treated.

Also, you’ll need to AVOID touching your face after treatment (tempting as this will be), avoid sun exposure, and avoid certain products as instructed.