CO2 Laser Resurfacing Side Effects
As with any resurfacing procedure, burning, scarring, discoloration, and infection are possible. Scarring can be permanent. Follow all your physician's instructions before and after CO2 laser treatment to reduce the likelihood of scarring.
Who shouldn't use it: Any active bacterial, viral, or fungal infections disqualify you from CO2 laser procedures. If you have a tendency to form keloids or hypertrophic scars, a more gentle laser will be a better treatment option for your skin.
Drawbacks: CO2 laser resurfacing has a high complication rate (if not delivered by an expert physician) and significant downtime.
Recovery Time For CO2 Laser Resurfacing
Beware: Recovery times can be longer than they are for other laser zappers. Recovery time is commensurate with effectiveness, and CO2 laser treatment means a much longer and more difficult recuperation than other laser resurfacing techniques. The face can remain painful, swollen, and oozing for up to a week after the procedure, and the skin may stay red for up to four months. Makeup can usually be worn to cover redness after two weeks.
After care for CO2 laser resurfacing: Most doctors will prescribe ointments that help reduce the likelihood of infection and oral medications to minimize discomfort. Your skin may be wrapped in bandages after the procedure, in which case you'll be bundled in gauze for up to a week. Whether bandaged or not, ointment must be applied to the treated area daily.
Refrain from picking at the scabs which may form. Sunscreen must be worn consistently for at least six months after the laser peel to protect the skin from sun damage.