Redness is very common after all major resurfacing techniques, whether the older phenol chemical peels, dermabrasion and the nonfractional carbon dioxide laser. The redness would last differently from patient to patient despite the same treatment. It depends on their skin type and complexion, but the treatment can vary too and therefore the redness can be different in two people both who have the carbon dioxide treatment. It depends on the energy used, how much the pulses are allowed to overlap, and how many passes, and if the crusting after the last pass is wiped away or left intact (there are two different schools of thought about this).
Fractional carbon dioxide laser, such as the Fraxel Repair laser, uses the same energy as the older carbon dioxide laser but many little beams strike the skin within the laser pass, and some clear, tiny, spaces are left untouched in between the tiny circles. This has been likened to the "Pixels" on a digital photo. Faster healing occurs than after the older CO2 laser because these tiny islands of normal skin in between the laser beams allow new skin cells to form and migrate over the surface. REdness lasts much less with fractional laser than the older carbon dioxide laser. It can last a few months or more with fractional laser, to more than 9 to 12 months with the older CO2 laser. Sunscreen is very important every day after the procedure.