2 Days Post Fractional CO2 and Face Has a Foul Odor?

I had Fractional CO2 Treatment on Friday. Today (Sunday), I woke up at 5 am, couldn't sleep due to be uncomfortable & my face having a really foul smell. Is this normal? If not should I go to the ER? Please advise. Thank you for your help

Doctor Answers 2

Smell after Fractional CO2 Laser

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

A foul odor after fractional laser resurfacing may signify the beginning of a bacterial infection. You should definitely see your physician so that it can be evaluated. One thing that I have my patients do to reduce the risk of any bacteria after lasers is to wash their face once or twice a day with a very dilute vinegar solution - 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in one gallon of distilled water. Alternatively, a course of antibiotics may also help.

Inland Empire Facial Plastic Surgeon

Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing

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

 The discomfort and foul smell that you are describing is definitely not normal and you should call the physician who treated you promptly. Without knowing more details such as whether you took pre-operative medications and your post-operative home care regimen, it is hard to provide more advice. My best guess is that you are developing an infection.

Untreated, this can lead to scarring.


William M. Ramsdell, MD
Austin Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 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.