What to expect while you are in the office for your treatment:
When you first arrive for your Fractional CO2 Resurfacing treatment, we will take “before” photos and review the risks and benefits associated with the procedure. We will then apply a topical anesthetic (“numbing cream”) to the face which will be left on for approximately one hour. After one hour of numbing, you will feel only very mild discomfort during the procedure.
Immediately after the treatment, you will have numerous tiny white dots on your skin. These are the areas which the Fractional CO2 laser has treated. The Fractional CO2 Resurfacing treatment takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. After the procedure, we will apply an ointment to promote healing and give you instructions for aftercare to take home with you.
Day 1-2 after treatment:
You will have redness and swelling on Day 1 after Fractional CO2 resurfacing. On Day 1, you will still see the small dots on your face. They will begin to appear red or brown, rather than white (as they did on the day of the treatment.) Some areas of the face may be more red than others, this is normal. Some patients have crusting and oozing on Days 1 and 2 after Fractional CO2 resurfacing. Please contact us if this does not resolve.
On Day 3 after Fractional CO2 Resurfacing, there is still redness and the small dots are still present, though they may be starting to appear lighter. Swelling will be mostly resolved by now. You will begin to notice a “bronzed” appearance of the skin and will see flaking begin. The redness will continue to lighten over the course of the week, though the flaking may continue for up to one week. You may apply makeup or cover-up over the treated area beginning on Day 4 most of the time.
1 week after Fractional CO2 Resurfacing:
1 week after Fractional CO2 Resurfacing, your skin will appear very slightly pink. This is can be covered by makeup or tinted moisturizer, if you wish to do so. The appearance now is more like a sunburn than the very red appearance that the skin had in the days immediately following the laser treatment.
1 month after Fractional CO2 Resurfacing, the redness should have resolved and you will start to see the effects of the treatment. It can take up to 6 months to realize the final improvement of the Fractional CO2 laser treatment.