I had CO2 Laser done a month ago. My doctor "forgot" to tell me that I should use a skin lightener on the second week of recovery. Now, I was told to become aggressive in the treatment of the hyperpigmentation. I am using Phaze 13, hydroquinone, and tretinoin. My face is so dry and flaky. The skin appears red still but the brown has faded a lot. Problem now is the redness is still red, but lighter. How long will this redness persist? Make-up will not hide it.
How Long Will Redness After CO2 Laser Persist?
Doctor Answers 7
Redness after CO2 Laser
Redness, or erythema after a CO2 laser is common and a sign of your body creating new collagen. The duration of your erythema is going to be dependent on the parameters of the treatment you received: whether it was fractionated versus continuous, the amount of energy used, the density of the fractionation, etc.
Almost everybody has some amount of redness for up to eight weeks, but beyond that we start considering the redness prolonged. Remember though, this is not necessarily a bad thing, those who tend to be red longer tend to get better results because it is a sign of them creating more new collagen.
It is worth noting that redness and hyperpigmentation after a CO2 laser are different things. The retinoid that you are describing is not going to do anything for your redness, and may even make it worse. Retinoids and hydroquinone are targeted to hyperpigmentation, not redness.
To guarantee you're receiving the highest level of care, seek out a dermatologic surgeon, oculoplastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon who is board certified and fellowship trained in one of these "core four" cosmetic specialties.
Redness after CO2 can persist for a few months
Hi Cinderella--Worst case scenario is probably 6 months. Something to consider is the irritation from the topical products that you are using. Irritation from the products is most likely prolonging the course. You should talk to your doctor about changing products or adding something to sooth and moisturize the skin. Take care, Dr. Groff
Laser and facial aging
Redness can very by a few key factors. # 1 your baseline skin tone. Different skin tones react to laser light differently. # 2 the settings of the laser. We choose the laser settings based on skin tone and goals of treatment. That would be the discussion you had with your surgeon preoperative.
The vitamin A (tretinoin) is likely contributing to your redness. Discuss with your surgeon and maybe there is a different topical treatment that they could offer if your goal is to clear the redness ASAP.
Hope this helps,
Best of luck.
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First of all, you need to know that everyone is somewhat different in their response to the CO2 laser. Most patients I treat see a significant reduction in redness by four weeks or 6 at the latest. This, in your case, is complicated by the retin-A which will cause some redness of its own. This is also the reason for the dryness and flakiness. I would continue to avoid the sun, apply sunscreen and ask your doc how much longer you need to be on the retin-A.
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.