After laser resurfacing, how long before redness goes away? (photos)

Is my skin permanently damaged and will it stay red forever. Even with sensitive skin, how long before the red subsides. Procedure was performed Nov 17. Photos are at eight weeks

Doctor Answers 10

Erbium vs CO2, depth and power

For fully ablative CO2 laser - up to 4 months or beyond, however for a conservative setting, 4-8 weeks is quite normal. Erbium laser a few weeks less. Redness is not a problem as we can treat this with a vascular laser, or V BEAM pulse dye laser. All the best, Dr Davin Lim. Brisbane. Australia. 

Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews


After deep resurfacing the redness can last eight weeks or more. Topical emollients will allow the skin to heal.One per cent hydrocortisone and green concealer will improve the appearance.

Morris Westfried, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Laser Redness

I am assuming you had a fairly deep treatment for rhytids. Is is discouraging I am sure, but you really are still on track. There is no magic number of weeks, some skin is just that reactive. I would agree a return visit with the surgeon and get opinions on Vitamin C emollients and other topical treatments. Best wishes

After laser resurfacing, how long before redness goes away?

There are patients that will be irritated for a long period of time after resurfacing. Please consider an evaluation by your physician to see if there is an obvious reason for your redness that could be improved.

Hope this helps, Dr. Gus Diaz

Gustavo A. Diaz, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Vitamin C serum to treat prolonged erythema after laser resurfacing

Prolonged erythema (redness) following facial resurfacing is common and may persist for many months following resurfacing.  Vitamin C serum can be used to help decrease the prolonged erythema (redness) following resurfacing with C02 or Erbium laser.  I would recommend at least a 10% Vitamin C serum.  Check with your treating physician to see if they would recommend this in your case.  
For more information on laser resurfacing, please visit the link below.

W. Bryant Walker, MD
Jackson Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Laser resurfacing inflammation

It can take some patients up to six months for all of the pinkness to go away depending upon what type of laser was used, CO2 or erbium, and your skin type. I have never had a patient not have their pinkness go away after 21 years of practice although some have persisted slightly longer than six months. There are some measures you can take to reduce redness but you need to discuss those options, if appropriate, with your treating physician.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Redness after Laser

You don't mention what kind of laser was used, but it looks like a full field resurfacing, either CO2 or Erbium. Some patients will stay red for weeks and even months after such a treatment. It is very important that you are very good with sun protection. I would also recommend a hydroquinone product if your skin can tolerate it. Make sure you are regularly seeing your provider, at least once a month. There are lasers, like BBL, that can help. Eventually the redness will subside, but I've seen some patients take almost 6 months, and that was with an erbium laser peel, CO2 lasers can take even longer.

If any areas become firm or hard, make sure your provider is aware as that can be a sign of early scarring. Early scars can be treated with a dilute steroid very successfully.

Andrew Campbell, M.D.
Facial Plastic Specialist
Quintessa Aesthetic Centers

Andrew Campbell, MD
Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Redness after laser resurfacing

In my opinion, this degree of redness after laser resurfacing done eight weeks ago is not typical.  I can't tell from the photos if there are any areas of textural change or scarring.  There are some treatments such as topical creams and pulsed dye laser that might be helpful.  I would recommend that you see a dermatologist with significant laser experience to be evaluated in person.  

Richard Ort, MD
Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Redness following fractional laser treatment of the face

This amount of redness two months following fractional laser treatment of the face is unusual. The redness implies healing with new vessels. There are a variety of reasons including the type of laser, degree of treatment, and probably more importantly the patient. Fair skinned patients including blue eyes and blond or red hair would typically stay red longer. This may be treated with topical's such as steroids, bluelight therapy, or even other lasers and IPL. An encouraging note is that people who stay red longer generally tighten and gain more collagen which is also part of the healing process.

Richard O. Gregory, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

After laser resurfacing, how long before redness goes away?

Use of hydroquinone and sunscreen will help. But I am concerned about hyperpigmentation issues. Best to see a dermatologist for HP issues. 

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.