How long after fractional CO2 laser can one notice any pigmentation changes?

It is two months since having fractional CO2 laser.....if there have been any detrimental pigmentation changes, how long before I can see that? When can I relax? I am worried that I was out in the sun too much, just 2 weeks after the treatment. I would appreciate any feedback.

Doctor Answers 3

Preventing pigmentation changes after CO2 resurfacing

Hello and thank you for your question. If you are not currently experiencing pigmentation changes after your laser, then the best thing to do is to prevent pigmentation from occurring. This can be done by simply avoiding sun exposure. Always wear sunscreen when going outdoors and wear a hat if you are planning on being outside for the afternoon. You will notice that the changes will last longer if you continue to protect your skin. If you do notice some pigmentation changes, your physician can prescribe some lightening creams that can assist with lightening. 

CO2 Laser and Results

Results become most apparent 3-6 months after the treatment. For those with very severe wrinkles to start, more than one treatment may be needed or non ablative options like Fraxel and microneedling following the laser are important. I suggest ongoing skin care and sun protection. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Laser resurfacing results require ongoing skin protection and care

Hi, I just added a link that might be helpful...

Hi FUR_IS_4_ANIMALS.  Getting unprotected sun exposure 2 weeks after laser treatment might lead to more swelling, redness, inflammation etc. immediately afterwards.  Pigmentation that comes months after the CO2 is from new unprotected sun exposure, independent of the previous CO2 treatment.  To get the longest lasting benefit of your skin resurfacing, you need ongoing protection and maintenance skin care.  Your PS can guide  you on how to do that.  Best wishes,

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