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CO2 Harsh but Effective -- A Mixed Review

I had CO2 done about 8 years ago when I was 22. I...

I had CO2 done about 8 years ago when I was 22. I was hoping to primarily treat some mild icepick scars and secondarily freckling.

The procedure itself was not bad but immediately afterwards, my face was red and burned. The doctor gave me Aquaphor and told me to apply it religiously until the skin had peeled away on its own. After about 7-8 days, most of the skin came off and underneath was new, fresh, pink skin. The pink color went away after another week or two. The recovery period was long and difficult, made more so by the fact that my doctor did not give me proper warning. It was hot like a bad sunburn and a bit painful at times.

While it cleared 95% of the freckles, it was not as effective on the scars. In fact, I am not sure that I saw any improvement in the scars beyond smoothing out the skin a bit. My scars were relatively shallow. The hyperpigmentation within the scars remained the same.

My doctor was good and bad. He seemed to perform the procedure well but was lax on patient education, communication and follow-up.

CO2 might be more refined today but it is still a big undertaking. Although a lot of doctors say it is the best treatment for acne scars, based on my experience, I feel that it is best for extensive sun damage, mottling, and hyperpigmentation. And always as a last resort.

I would not do his procedure again although I was happy with the freckle removal.

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Comments (5)

It's good to know that it helps sun damage and hyperpigmentation. Is that mean work for Age Spots & Skin Melonoma?
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I had ablative CO2, not fractional. I did not have general anesthesia, in fact I think that is excessive. I have numbing cream and probably painkillers. The recovery was 2-3 weeks until the skin peeled away completely and another week or two before the pink color subsided.
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You had a CO2 laser treatment the ablative traditional, so normally it requires general anesthesia and the downtime is about one month, but you did not mention that ! you mentionned the procedures required to do a co2 or erbium fractional ablative !
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Co2 is the gold standard and blows fraxel away... Co2 has been around and used before 2000 and is effective and safer than fraxel... You must be confused.. CO2 fully ablative CO2 fraxel partialy ablative but shoots the deep micro holes Fraxel restore non ablative coagulates....Horible laser Thermage...Even worse unless you are using it instead of lipo..
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How did you get a CO2 laser treatment 8 years ago ? this means it was in the year 2000 ! There were no Fraxel or fractional CO2 lasers, there were traditional CO2 lasers requiring more than one month of downtime and general anesthesia during treatment ! also the costs were too high. So I think it was an Erbium ablative laser !
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