C02 Laser

What Is CO2 Skin Resurfacing?

The Fractional C02 Laser is a skin rejuvenation procedure that uses an ablative laser to remove the thin outer layer of skin while heating the underlying skin. This controlled damage, stimulates the growth of collagen — a protein that improves skin firmness and texture. As the epidermis heals and regrows, the treated area appears smoother and tighter giving a younger appearance.

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CO2 treatment | A white blonde aesthetician about to perform resurfacing laser treatment for her client.

What Areas Can CO2 Skin Resurfacing Treat?

While any area can be treated with CO2 skin resurfacing, the most common ones are the neck, face, hands, and chest. Wrinkles around the forehead, mouth, or eyes can be treated during a full-face laser resurfacing treatment. Moreover, the CO2 skin resurfacing treatment is customisable so the intensity of the laser can be modified for light or deep treatments, depending on the severity of the skin damage.

CO2 treatment | A close-up image of a doctor giving laser treatment to their patient's arm.

What Are the Benefits of CO2 Skin Resurfacing?

The biggest selling point of a CO2 laser is that it's an ultra-reliable, effective, and trusted way to rejuvenate your skin's surface in a short amount of time. The CO2 laser is designed to increase dermal collagen thereby minimising wrinkles and fine lines, age spots, uneven skin tone or texture, sun-damaged skin and mild to moderate acne scars. Results are usually more dramatic compared to non-ablative procedures but come with some downtime.

CO2 treatment | A white woman receiving resurfacing laser treatment to her face.

What Are the Side Effects of CO2 Skin Resurfacing?

Most likely side effects are swelling, redness, and irritation, but burning, scarring, scabbing, and discoloration are also possible. They should, however, subside within ten days. The major downside around CO2 lasers is that they're not compatible with all skin tones. A CO2 laser is best for patients with very fair skin that doesn't have much of an ability to tan—like Fitzpatrick skin type 1 or 2. The treatment is riskier for pigmented skin, and you can expect to experience post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) or temporary darkening of areas treated. This discoloration can last for months and cause distress, so patients should be aware of this risk before considering the treatment. Local anaesthetics creams are used to reduce discomfort during the procedure.

C02 Laser Overview


30 minutes

Session Price



2-14 days

Lasting Effects

1-2 years



Side Effects

Bleeding, Photosensitivity


What is the difference between an ablative and non-ablative laser?

An ablative laser removes the thin outer layer of skin and heats the underlying skin, which stimulates the growth of collagen. Types of ablative therapy include a carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers. Non-ablative lasers also stimulates collagen growth but it's a less aggressive approach than an ablative laser with a shorter recovery time and less noticeable results.

What does fractional mean?

Non fractionated lasers act on the entire treated surface whereas fractionated lasers treat only portions of the treatment area in a pixelated fashion. With fractional lasers, less skin area is damaged so recovery time is less.

Will I be awake during the procedure?

Yes, you will be awake during the procedure. The treatment will involve local topical anaesthetics to reduce discomfort.

How long does a CO2 laser treatment take?

The exact time depends on the area that is being treated but generally the treatment last 30 minutes. An additional 30 minutes is needed the topical numbing to be applied prior to treatment to take effect.

What areas can be treated with the CO2 laser?

Co2 laser treatment is suitable for people who have sun damage, stubborn pigmentation, acne scars, rough texture, enlarged pores, fine lines, wrinkles and skin laxity on the face, neck, chest, arms and hands and surgical scars and the skin rejuvenation process is appropriate for lighter skin types.

How much will the skin be improved?

Full results can be seen 3-6 months after the initial treatment with a 50%-80% improvement in scars, skin firmness and wrinkles although an immediate improvement is seen after the skin has healed.

What can I expect following the procedure?

The skin may swell and be red and itchy, which is completely normal. The symptoms may last for 2 weeks after which they slowly fade away.

How long will the results last?

Improvements from an CO2 laser treatment can be seen for many years after treatment. Results can be prolonged with diligent use of SPF+, avoided sun exposure and with the correct at home skincare maintenance.

How many CO2 treatments will I need?

Most patients only need one CO2 treatment to see results; However, some patients with deeper wrinkles or scarring may benefit from multiple treatments.

When can I return to work?

Unfortunately, there is a little bit of downtime involved after a CO2 laser treatment. After the procedure, you will have to wait 7-10 days for new surface skin, but the redness and swelling should start to go away within 2-5 days. You must protect your skin from sun exposure by wearing sunscreen and a hat when outdoors.