No Improvement to Acne Scar After Fractional CO2?

Hello Doctor..I am 3 weeks POST fractional CO2 but do not find any improvement in my acne scars on face. Is this normal? I am scared all my hard earned money has wasted.

Doctor Answers 4

Acne Scarring and laser resurfacing, is it effective?

Fractional laser resurfacing is an effective treatment for acne scarring. 

Key to an effective treatment are these considerations: 

•      Avoid if treated with Roaccutane in the last 6-months

•      Postpone if active acne

•      Realistic expectations for improvement, several treatments may be required, each building on the last treatment

•      Use of test-patch of laser to avoid risk

•      An experienced doctor who has used laser resurfacing for many years with good results

•      State-of-the-art modern laser designed for safety and fast recovery


London Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 151 reviews

Acne scars and Fractional CO2 Lasers

Fractional lasers are a great tool to treat acne scars.  However, it can take several treatments to improve the appearance of deep acne scars.  It also can take up to six months to see the full effects from the treatment.  I would return to your treating physician to discuss your concerns.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Acne scarring and CO2 Fractional laser treatment

You are still early in your recovery period and active phase of healing from the CO2 laser.  Give it a chance.  Acne scarring is difficult to treat because it is a deep dermal problem.  The fractional laser energy does a good job at smoothing out the superficial irregularities but it has a difficult time with these deeper scars.  The Cynosure SmartXide laser has the capability of stacking the pulses to penetrated deeper into the scar.  The deeper the treatment and the closer together the dots then the more prolonged the healing as well.  Complete healing takes 4 - 6 months to achieve.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

No improvement after fractional CO2?

Results will build over time. Do not panic. The purpose of fractional CO2 is to remove minimal surface skin, and have the effects be underneath, and bring those up. It simply takes time. 3 weeks isn't enough to evaluate it. It can take 6 months to fully see results from fractional CO2 because the purpose is to have you have minimal downtime, but results that build. As opposed to traditional CO2 which can take months to recover fully.

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 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.