I had CO2 laser 5 weeks ago but the treated area is still red. Is this normal, or a possible permanent side effect? (Photo)

Judging by my photo, are my results typical of a lighter olive skin-tone? Should I use the RX hydroquinone or should I get a second opinion? Please bear in mind, this photo is five weeks after CO2 laser resurfacing.

Doctor Answers 3

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation From Lasers -- Skin Lightening, Light Peels, microsecond YAG/Aerolase

At this point you should be starting light peels and skin care to help speed the healing process.  Aerolase laser and clear + brilliant do well post co2 to enhance the results and continue the healing.  Co2 takes 6-12 weeks to really start to see the final outcome.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

CO2 laser and skin colour changes

Yes, this is commonly seen after Co2 laser resurfacing, pigmentation changes can take up to 6 months or longer to fade, esp. in olive skin types. 

Make sure you use SPF++, gentle peels and QSL Yag laser at low doses can help. I also like using the PICOSURE Focus with Hq. 

Dr Davin Lim
Laser and aesthetic dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia. 

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

I had CO2 laser 5 weeks ago but the treated area is still red. Is this normal, or a possible permanent side effect?

Hello Excelsior0228,

One of the side effects of a laser therapy is a post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (which can respond to HQ), but there can also be prolonged redness.  This usually indicates persistent inflammation.  In the latter case of persistent redness, it is important to not cause any irritation to that area.  This may mean avoiding creams, topicals, fragrances, etc.  It may also mean a short course of a topical steroid may be of benefit.  The good news both of these are treatable conditions after lasers.  

I'd recommend you follow up with your physician who performed the resurfacing in order to get the appropriate treatment for your condition.

I hope this helps and good luck.  

William Marshall Guy, MD
The Woodlands Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 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.