Down Time of CO2 Fractional Laser Acne Scar Treatment ?

i want to know the down time of CO2 fractional laser treatment.. how many days it takes to appear our skin normal without redness and other effects..

Doctor Answers 3

Downtime with CO2

Most patients who have ablative fractional CO2 will have a minimum of 5 days of downtime and, depending on the machine and power used, up to 10-14 days downtime can be expected. 

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

What is the downtime after CO2 fractional laser?

Recovery time is dependent on patient and treatment characteristics including skin type, type of laser and depth of the laser treatment.

For most patients having laser resurfacing recovery can be 2-3weeks. 

Although a lighter laser resurfacing can be completed with faster recovery, if the treatment is too light it will be less effective. In the same way a spa may offer a “lunchtime peel” with immediate recovery, the results are also likely to be difficult to see. Sun exposure should be minimized for 3-months after laser resurfacing to ensure a fast recovery. 

Dr. De Silva uses bio-technology to enhance recovery so recovery time is 10days, Bio-Technology involves the use of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) in combination with laser resurfacing to enhancing healing. 


Julian De Silva, MD
London Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

Downtime after CO2 fractional laser

The treatment itself takes about two hours; one hour for the topically applied anesthetics to work, and the second hour to treat, and cool the skin after treatment with ice, making sure that the patient is feeling fine before leaving.  The hot, burning sensation lasts about 2-3 hours then disappears.  Depending on the strength of the treatment, there is usually redness, swelling, and perhaps some bruising.  The swelling worsens for a few days, and is most noticable in the mornings.  The skin normally peels dramatically on or about post-op day 5.  For a good, strong treatment, we advise taking a week off, if you are working with the public.  That being said, many patients return to work on post-op day 4, recognizing that they will look like they are recovering for a bad sunburn, with redness and peeling expected.  If the treatment uses gentle settings, such as in younger patients or for just skin color improvement, then the down time will just be a few days.

Robert J. Segal, MD
Tucson Dermatologist

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.