CO2 Ablative Fractional Laser

Resurface, rejuvenate and correct your skin with the 21st century's anti-ageing breakthrough.

Book Now

CO2 Ablative Fractional Laser

Resurface, rejuvenate and correct your skin with the 21st century's anti-ageing breakthrough.

Book Now

Treatment Facts

Procedure Time

60 mins

Recovery Time

10 to 14 days

Return to work

5 days

Duration of results

18-24 months


Local anaesthetic



Advanced technology with maximum versatility for aesthetic procedures. The carbon dioxide (CO2) laser has been known to provide some of the most dramatic, age-defying results in the treatment of challenging skin imperfections including wrinkles, fine lines, photodamage,uneven skin tone and skin laxity, as well as in scar treatment, skin tags and benign tumors.

Using the power of the CO2 laser, the optimal mix of ablative and thermal effects and an array of applicators and treatment modes for highly tailored procedures, the CO2 laser brings unparalleled precision and innovation to the field of dermatology and plastic surgery.

The CO2 laser is a highly flexible system for char-free tissue ablation, vaporization, excision, incision and coagulation of soft tissue. It allows practitioners full control of treatment parameters, including level and depth of ablation and thermal control via pulse duration and mode of energy delivery. This versatility maximizes precision and treatment results while minimizing unnecessary tissue damage.

What is fractional CO2 laser treatment?

Unlike traditional ablative laser resurfacing which removes the entire top layer of the skin, the fractional CO2 deploys a fractional delivery method which creates pixel-sized perforations in the skin, leaving the surrounding tissue intact. The preservation of undamaged skin between the perforations allows for faster healing while the wound healing process promotes accelerated re-epithelization, generation of new collagen, tissue regeneration and contracture of existing fibers.

Fractional treatment controls and significantly reduces the risk of adverse side effects such as delayed hypopigmentation, scarring, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, infection and persistent erythema. Patients also benefit from much shorter downtime and increased patient comfort compared to traditional resurfacing.
The fractional method is ideal for skin resurfacing and rejuvenation treatments, including scar treatment,
improving skin tone, elasticity and texture and reducing superficial pigmentation.

What is the CO2 laser used for?

  • Skin Tightening

  • Skin resurfacing

  • Scar Remodeling

  • Skin Rejuvenation

  • Skin Tags & Benign Skin Lesion

  • Skin Imperfections

How long do the effects of a fractional CO2 resurfacing laser treatment last?

That depends on how well you protect your skin from the sun and other factors that cause aging like your general health, smoking, changes in weight, etc.  If you apply sunscreen and wear brimmed hats, you can maintain the good effects of your CO2 laser treatment for several years.

When will I see results?

Bear in mind that the fractional CO2 laser can be customized. Treatments can be deeper, with more healing and downtime, or shallower, with less healing time. The deeper the treatment, the better the results generally. But some patients prefer to have two treatments that aren’t as deep so they can avoid a lot of downtime.

You will see some immediate results but you won’t see the full results for 3-6 months. After your skin heals, which may take up to 3-14 days, there will be a period of 4 to 6 weeks after that when your skin might be slightly pink. During this period, your skin will feel smoother and looks less blotchy. As the color returns to normal, you will see fewer lines, less blotchiness, and more glow.

How are fractional CO2 laser treatments performed?

Your practitioner will cleanse the treatment area and then apply a topical anesthetic to the area to be treated. Once the topical anesthetic has taken effect, it will be removed and conductive gel will be applied. The treatment takes about an hour for a full face and feels a little like a “pins and needles” sensation. The discomfort ranges from mild to moderate (2-4/10). Most people drive to and from their own fractional CO2 laser appointments. 

What will I look like right after the treatment and what is the healing time?

During the first 24 hours after treatment, your skin may feel as though it is sunburned. Ice packs are used 5-10 minutes per hour for the first 5-6 hours after the treatment.

Your skin will peel for 2-7 days and will be pink for 3 to 6 weeks. This healing all depends on how deep your treatment is. After a week or so, you can wear make-up to cover the pink. Rarely, bruising may develop, which can take up to two weeks to resolve. Allow 2-4 weeks for weddings, reunions, family pictures, etc just to be safe. Allow longer for body sites like arms or legs.

Can I go back to work and activities immediately?

No, you will need to take the rest of that day off to ice and care for the treated area. For the lighter fractional CO2 treatments, you will need 3-5 days of downtime. For the deeper treatments, plan on 7-10 days of healing before you can go out in public.

How many treatments will I need?

The number depends on the extent of your sun damage, scarring or wrinkles, and on how much downtime you can accept. If you can tolerate 7 days of downtime, you would generally need only 1 or 2 fractional CO2 treatment.

Are there any reasons not to be treated with these lasers?

Reasons not to do a fractional laser treatment may include use of medications that increase photosensitivity, use of anticoagulants (some are fine), use of Accutane in the last year, chemotherapy, history of difficulty healing or scarring, history of bleeding disorders, and pregnancy.

Are there any medical or cosmetic side effects?

Complications are rare. But here is a list of some of the possible complications of fractional CO2 laser treatments:

  • Pain. Most people feel very little pain during treatment due to the measures discussed above. Rarely there is mild discomfort for the first day after surgery, but oral pain killers are effective for it.
  • Redness. A pink color may persist for two weeks to two months after the laser surgery. In rare instances, it may last three to six months. This is more common in patients who have a history of flushing and blushing easily or who already have dilated vessels on the surface of the skin.
  • Wound Healing. The CO2 laser causes a superficial wound to the skin that takes approximately 2 to 10 days to heal. The superficial injury of the outer layers of the skin may result in mild to moderate swelling. Crusting is rare but peeling is common. Once the surface is treated, it may be sensitive to the sun for approximately 4-6 weeks.
  • Pigment Changes. The treated area may heal with increased or decreased pigmentation. This is rare and occurs most often in darker skin and 2-6 weeks after treatment. Hyperpigmentation usually fades in three to six months, though rarely pigment changes can be permanent.
  • Excessive Swelling. Immediately after laser surgery, there will be swelling of the skin. This is a temporary condition and will resolve over three to seven days.
  • Scarring. There is a very small chance of scarring. This includes hypertrophic scars or, very rarely, keloid scars. Keloid scars are thick, raised scar formations. To minimize chances of scarring, it is important to follow post-operative instructions carefully. It is important that any prior history of unfavorable healing be reported. Do not pick!
  • Eye Exposure. There is also a risk of harmful eye exposure to laser surgery. It is important to keep your eyes closed and have protective eyewear at all times during the laser treatment.
  • Depression or emotional difficulties even if the procedure is successful.
  • Infection. Occasional infections can occur. If not treated promptly, these could result in scarring.

What’s the difference between the fractional CO2 laser and the iPixel Erbium laser?

The CO2 laser goes slights deeper and has a different way of shrinking collagen than the iPixel Erbium laser. Therefore, it generally gives a better result for deeper wrinkles, acne scars, upper line lines, and crepeyness around the eyes. The CO2 is best for patients who are late 40's to 70's with moderate to deep wrinkles/sun damage or with moderate to severe acne scarring. But because the CO2 laser can go deeper, there is more “downtime” than with the iPixel Erbium laser. If you cannot take any time off from your normal activities, the CO2 laser on the face is not the right choice for you. Some off-face areas can be kept covered and may be fine.

iPixel Erbium is best for younger patients who have early wrinkles or mild to moderate acne scarring or for those who truly can’t take any time off to have CO2 treatments.

Pre-treatment care:

  • People who are tanned or recently had direct sun or sun bed exposure (within the last 2 weeks) should not be treated.
  • Make-up, perfume or deodorant should be removed from the treatment area.
  • Jewellery near the treatment area should be removed.
  • Inform us if there has been any change in your medical history or in the medication that you are taking since your last visit.  This includes retinol or vitamin A and all natural remedies such as St Johns Wort.

Post-treatment care:

  • Immediately after the treatment the area will feel hot and red with possibly mild swelling. This is as expected and normal. The swelling typically subsides within 12-48 hours and the redness resolves over the next few days depending on the intensity of your treatment and your skin type.
  • The application of clean cold compresses after the treatment is recommended and will give you some relief.
  • If required, analgesia e.g. paracetamol, aspirin or ibruprofen can be taken.
  • Do not apply any products containing “active ingredients” during the course of the treatment. This includes, but is not limited to, Retin A/Retinol, anti-ageing creams, exfoliants etc. These products can irritate the skin and induce discolouration such as temporary post inflammatory hyperpigmentation to your newly treated skin.
  • On the first evening following your treatment it is recommended that you do not wash your face.
    For the next couple of days cleanse your face with cool water and a mild cleanser, until your skin isn't sensitive anymore.
  • Keep make-up applications to a minimum. Mineral based face powders, clean tinted sunscreens or breathable camouflage are the most appropriate to use.
  • A broad spectrum sunscreen e.g. Heliocare SFP50 must be used at all times. Apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes prior to exposure to ensure protection and reapply every 2 hours whilst outside.
  • For a week after your treatment you are advised to use a moisturiser/medical grade cream recommended specifically for laser treated skin. These creams aid in the healing process of your skin by soothing and reducing redness and irritation, locking in moisture and reducing the chance of any bacterial infection. These products can be used as often as required.
  • A few days after your treatment your skin will feel dry and will look rough, patchy and darker. This is normal and as expected. It will resolve on its own over the next few days.
  • 7 Days after your treatment you may return to your previous skin care regime. We will be happy to suggest a skin care regime for you to maximise the benefits of your treatment.
  • Do not wax any treated area for ten days after your treatment as the skin will be sensitive.
  • Avoid touching your face or other treated areas unnecessarily and when you do make sure your hands are clean so you do not contaminate your recently treated skin and cause infection.
  • If you have any concerns at all regarding your treatment please do not hesitate to call us at the clinic.

Pre-treatment Consultation

  • On arrival, you will be asked to complete a confidential patient intake form.
  • A VISIA Skin Analysis may be conducted.
  • Your practitioner will then discuss your concerns and requirements with you in order to get a clear understanding of your expectations. 
  • After a thorough examination, the most suitable treatment options and their alternatives will be proposed to you.  Treatment procedures will be clearly outlined and discussed, together with the benefits and possible risks of each.
  • To ensure a good result, it is of utmost importance to carefully select our patients for this treatment.
  • Should we find that surgery will be better, we will then refer you to a plastic surgeon.
  • Your practitioner may also provide you with a quotation.  
  • Any questions you have about the process or treatment will be answered honestly.
  • Together, you and the practitioner will then decide on the treatment that is most appropriate and safe for you.
  • Any pre- and post-treatment care will be explained in detail. Written instructions may be handed to you.

You are under no obligation to book the treatment with us after your consultation, however, should you do wish to book a treatment this can be done for you after your consultation or at a later date via phone or e-mail.

At Skinlogic we can assure you that we value your health and wellbeing. You will only be seen and treated by qualified and experienced professionals.

During the Treatment

Before your treatment you will be provided with a detailed consent form. You will be asked to read and sign this prior to your having your treatment.

You will have plenty of opportunity to ask any questions you may still have regarding the treatment.

Your practitioner will cleanse the area to be treated.  If necessary, topical anesthetic will be applied. At Skinlogic, we encourage our patients to omit the topical anestetic since it causes vasoconstriction and thus impair an optimal healing cascade.  However, your well-being and comfort is very important to us, so the option of topical anesthetic is always available. Depending on the treatment intensity, most patients report feeling just mild discomfort and heat, as though a hot rubber band is flicked against the skin. 

After the procedure, the skin is calmed with the application of specialized products to provide comfort, enhance your treatment and aid recovery.