Possibility of Infection from Fractional CO2 Treatment?

Is infection something to be worried about with Fractional CO2 treatment? I'd like to get a milder CO2 Fractional treatment. I've had a Fraxel Restore. I've no complaints-my skin tolerated it very well, but I am looking for more of a result for fine vertical smile lines on the sides of my face.

I am thinking about a DOT Laser treatment. My only concern is of infection. I keep reading risk of bacterial or fungal infection with CO2 Fractional is high. Is that correct and can prophylactic RX for antibiotic/anti fungal eliminate the risk? I am an equestrian, live on a farm and on well water. Not a super sterile environment.

Doctor Answers 2

Infection from Fractional CO2 treatment is rare but possible

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There is a small but definite risk of infection from any type of skin resurfacing procedure. When laser resurfacing is performed around the mouth, many physicians will use prophylactic Valtrex to prevent herpes outbreaks. Some physicians also use prophylactic antibiotics. If infection occurs, certain local treatments can be used (especially if fungal infection is diagnosed).

Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon

Good post operative care is necessary

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Although the risk of infection and scarring is greater with Fraxel re:pair than re:store, doctors do not refer to these risks as high for fractional laser. Peri-operative treatment with antibiotics, antifungals and antivirals can diminish the risk of infection but can’t prevent it. Good post operative cleaning and management of your skin is imperative and no riding until the skin has healed 100%, which could take 12 days, or even more. You also have to wear excellent sunscreens to minimize the potential of pigmentation while you’re healing for the year after the procedure.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.