Recovery Time with the Fractional CO2 Ablative Laser for Acne Scars, Wrinkles, Resurfacing?

Fractional CO2 Laser machine achieve excellent improvement in skin rejuvenation, skin resurfacing, also the treatment for Acne, Scars, Stretch marks and pigment. But what are the real downtime and total recovery time after a fractional CO2 (10600nm) procedure?

CO2 laser skin resurfacing machine
drills tiny dots through the skin, leaving intact skin between these dots. In contrast to fully ablative CO2 lasers that we used to do in the past, only a certain percentage of the skin is treated. Thus, the fractional CO2 has less downtime with minimal crusting, oozing, bleeding etc. There is typically minimal bleeding with fractional co2, but there can be some pinpoint bleeding. The recovery time really depends on how aggressive the setting is.

However, for the most part, you will have about 4 days of true downtime. The first two days you will be red and swollen. At the 3rd and 4th days, the redness and swelling will start to reduce by 50% and by the fifth day, you will just be red, kind of like sunburn red. The redness can persist potentially anywhere between 1 to 3 weeks, all depending on the aggressive of the setting. Typically recommend 1 to 2 treatments, unless for severe acne scar which sometimes may require 3, depending on the skin color and the severity of the scars.


The recovery from a fractional laser resurfacing often depends on the depth of the laser treatment and the density (or extend) that the skin was treated. In general, the more extensive the treatment, the longer the recovery time. That being said, the type of laser aftercare that is provided a patient also can contribute to the recovery time. Besides cleaning the skin of crusts and making sure to stay out of sunlight

Overall, we see patients initial recovery taking about 5-7 days, with the results being seen within the first 4-6 weeks.

To learn more, please contact us freely: