Before & After Fractional CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing

Attractive young woman with beautiful skin smiling and looking down and to right

Why do some of the best facial plastic surgeons often recommend laser skin resurfacing for their patients in Nashville, TN? Fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing is highly effective, using laser energy to vaporize the outermost sun-damaged layers of skin for a smoother, more youthful appearance. It also stimulates collagen production to tighten skin and restore elasticity.

In this blog post, we’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions about what happens before, during, and after laser skin resurfacing.

What is laser skin resurfacing good for?

  • Fine lines or wrinkles
  • Scars from acne or chickenpox
  • Aged or sun-damaged skin
  • Brown spots
  • Birthmarks
  • Enlarged oil glands on the nose

There is also some evidence suggesting that fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing may help to reduce the appearance of burn scars. Learn more about all that laser skin resurfacing can do for you on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ website.

Below is an example of a patient before and after a Reflection Lift and fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing at our practice. You can also see more laser skin resurfacing before-and-after photos in our photo gallery.

How does laser skin resurfacing work?

Performed using local anesthesia with light sedation, fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing takes roughly 20 to 30 minutes. Most patients can return to normal activities in 3 to 5 days, and makeup can be used after the first week.

Who is an ideal candidate for laser skin resurfacing?

A good candidate is someone with lighter skin tones, as those with darker skin tones, certain skin types, and medical conditions may experience a greater risk of unfavorable skin discoloration. We discuss more about whether you are a good candidate for laser skin resurfacing in our related blog post.

How long does it take to recover from laser skin resurfacing?

Since laser resurfacing first wounds the skin and destroys the top layers, you can expect that your skin may take 3 to 7 days to heal and then stay slightly pink for 1 to 3 weeks.

In the 2 to 3 days following the procedure, there will be some light crusting of the skin followed by some mild to moderate redness, like a sunburn, lasting 1 to 3 weeks. Your skin, however, will feel smoother, and you will see fewer lines, less blotchiness, and more glow.

Keep in mind that the CO2 laser can be customized to the individual needs of each patient. Treatments can be deeper for patients with more advanced aging of the skin and sun damage, resulting in more healing and longer downtime.  More conservative treatments can be used in patients with less advanced aging of the skin and sun damage, resulting in less healing time and downtime.

How long does it take to see results from laser skin resurfacing?

Although you can see improvement in the texture and tone of the skin within the first week, it will take approximately 3 months for the final results to be apparent. You can see one of Dr. Boggess’ patients below, before and after a Reflection Lift, eyelid surgery, fat transfer, and laser skin resurfacing.

How long does fractional laser last?

The longevity of the results can vary from one patient to another, depending on multiple factors, including age, genetics, skin elasticity, and degree of sun damage.  However, you can improve the longevity of results by protecting your skin from the sun and following a good skincare regimen. Consistent use of sunscreen and brimmed hats can help you maintain the results of your CO2 laser treatment for years.

If you’re ready to restore your youthful radiance and want to explore your laser skin resurfacing and other med spa options in Nashville, use our online contact form to request a consultation or call us at (615) 942-8016 to schedule an appointment.

Originally published July 2017; Updated October 2021

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