CO2 Laser Resurfacing Recovery Time

asian woman with clean fresh skin on white background If you’re looking for a powerful treatment for advanced facial aging, uneven texture, and discoloration, carbon dioxide (CO2) laser resurfacing could be the solution. Though this service is non-surgical, it still requires some downtime. The board-certified dermatologists at Skin & Beauty Center use this treatment when gentler lasers can’t deliver your desired results. Here’s what you need to know before and after CO2 laser treatments.

What Should I Do Before My CO2 Laser Treatment?

Before your CO2 laser treatment, your provider may give you a cream to prepare your skin for the treatment. You should discontinue medications that cause sun sensitivity (like minocycline and doxycycline) at least three days before your appointment.

While we always recommend wearing sunscreen daily, it’s essential to avoid prolonged sun exposure and apply a high SPF for at least four weeks before your appointment. In addition, if you have a history of cold sores, taking antiviral medication for several days before and after your treatment can lower your chance of a flare-up.

How Long Is Recovery Time for CO2 Laser Resurfacing?

CO2 laser resurfacing typically requires three days to a week of downtime. Many patients have noticeable redness for up to two weeks which gradually subsides to reveal a more even complexion. Some pinkness can remain for several weeks to months as collagen remodels.

Taking time off during the first few days of healing is recommended since you might experience swelling around your eyes. During this period, ice packs, Benadryl, or Tylenol can reduce discomfort, and a healing ointment like Aquaphor can soothe and protect your skin.

After the first week, most patients can return to their normal activities. However, you should use a gentle face wash and moisturizer and avoid exfoliating the skin until it’s completely healed. Sunscreen is also more critical than ever. You should avoid direct sun exposure for at least four weeks and use a daily sunscreen to prevent discoloration. Our providers will give you a complete list of aftercare tips at your appointment.

Schedule Your CO2 Laser Resurfacing Treatment

Skin & Beauty Center’s board-certified dermatologists utilize the most advanced and effective skincare treatments to help our patients look as great as they feel. If you’re ready to say goodbye to age spots, acne scars, wrinkles, and more, our providers could help.  We offer laser treatments at our Burbank or Northridge, California locations but have seven convenient locations in total for your other clinical and cosmetic dermatology needs. Call 818-842-8000 to book your consultation.

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