CO2 Laser Resurfacing

CO2 Laser Resurfacing is the most common laser we use at Cutis. At any given time, we run between 4-6 different CO2s in our laser suites. This is a versatile laser that can be used for fine work or resurfacing etched wrinkles & sun damage. 

Key Points

  • CO2 lasers provide unparalleled skin rejuvenation
  • These lasers can erase even the most deeply etched wrinkles
  • CO2 can also treat age spots, seborrheic warts & other spots & dots
  • This laser is the best for lip wrinkles & eye rejuvenation
  • CO2 can also address pigmentation & acne scars
  • Cutis has many different types of CO2 lasers as they all have unique properties, this ensures the best results for patients
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CO2 Laser Resurfacing at a glance

For: Wrinkles, sun damage, skin scars
Procedure time: 5-60 minutes
Duration of results: 5-20 years
Back to work: 1-4 sessions
Recovery: 1- 21 days
Anaesthetic: Numbing-sedation
Your specialist: Dermatologist, nurse
How much: $-$$$$

Our results speak for themselves

FAQs

What is a CO2 laser?

CO2 lasers are the best devices for collagen remodelling. Depending on the laser we employ, downtime can be tailored to ensure fast healing & excellent results.

 

We use specific CO2 lasers, depending on the task, as each laser machine has unique characteristics. 

Why do we have so many CO2 lasers?

Cutis has over 33 lasers, including 4 CO2 devices. We are one of the main centres for clinical laser research in Australia. 

 

A CO2 laser is merely a tool, much like a spanner (more like a grinder). Each laser has specific properties that make it the best in its class when performing a specific task, or treating a particular skin type. For example-

 

 

  • Darker skin patients are best treated with eCO2, Mixto laser, or CO2RE 
  • Deep scars & burns are treated with Ultrapulse lasers

We have used the Fraxel RePair & the YouLaser MT in the past, and for 2022-23 will run other hybrid lasers.

What skin conditions can CO2 lasers treat?

At Cutis, CO2 lasers are used to treat-

  • Wrinkles & sun damage including actinic keratosis
  • Pigmentation & age warts
  • Skin rejuvenation
  • Acne scars 
  • Medical conditions including skin cancer, rhinophyma, & burns scars 
  • Delivery of topicals including vitamin A & anti-inflammatories

What is the difference between fully ablative & fractional laser resurfacing?

Fully ablative lasers treat the whole surface area of skin, whilst fractional lasers treat a percentage of skin (most commonly 5-70%). 

 

Laser type Recovery  Number of sessions Costs

Potential side 

effects

Fractional  Short <5 days Multiple Low Low
Fully ablative Long >7 days One High  Higher

What are the differences in results with fractional vs fully ablative lasers?

In most cases, one good fractional resurfacing can be 70-80+% as effective as a fully ablative laser. This is especially true when we combine CO2 lasers with other fractional devices including non-ablative lasers. 

 

Remember lasers are best for improving skin quality & surface changes. In the context of cosmetic improvements, patients should also consider skin tightening & volume replacement. 

 

If you are on a budget, you are better off with fractional laser & soft tissue fillers over just one big session of fully ablative resurfacing. 

How many sessions will I require?

For skin rejuvenation, most patients require only one session. This is primarily due to the fact we combine 2 lasers in the one sitting, namely thulium & CO2 laser.

 

Unlike other clinics, we perform the treatment with different settings, for example high parameters around the lip wrinkles & eye area. 

For acne scars, most patients require between 2-4 sessions.

Can all skin types be treated with CO2 lasers?

Yes. This is the reason we have so many different types of CO2 lasers. For darker skin types we use the eCO2, CO2RE or Mixto laser as these lasers have a very small beam sizes & can randomise dots. This reduces (not eliminates) skin colour changes during the healing up period. 

 

In some cases, we aid healing with another laser called pico. This reduces post laser pigmentation. 

Is laser resurfacing painful?

Yes, that is why for bigger cases we perform this procedure under conscious sedation. We also block the areas with anaesthetic, so your pain will be well controlled.

 

For smaller jobs, laughing gas & topical anaesthesia is given. Don’t worry, we got you.

What is the recovery following a CO2 procedure?

That can range between 1 day to 90 days. As a guide-

 

 

  • Superficial laser (delivery of vitamin A), 1-3 days.
  • Medium depth laser (sun damage, moderate wrinkles, acne scars), 3.5 to 6 days
  • Deep laser resurfacing (deep wrinkles & scars) 7+ days

 

Our dermatologists & nurses will give you an accurate indication of your downtime.

How long does it take to see results following CO2 laser?

Results can be seen within two weeks. After the inital redness settles, skin will look and feel refreshed with better luminosity, less wrinkles, reduced pigmentation & better light transmission.

Results will continue to improve over the next 3-6 months as more collagen is stimulated.

Products

Medik8 Physical Sunscreen SPF50+
$69.00

Dermaceutic All Things Pigment 21 Day Kit
$154.00

CO2 lasers can rejuvenate your skin by over a decade, erasing wrinkles, sun damage & scars. We  have 5 different CO2 lasers, ensuring that we match the correct device for your concerns.

What is the cost of CO2 laser resurfacing?

Laser resurfacing is more affordable than you think. As a guide, our nursing team performs level 1 to 3 resurfacing. 90% of CO2 cases fall into this category. 

 

Level 1 Resurfacing $690 per treatment 

Level 2 Resurfacing $690- $990 per treatment 

Level 3 Resurfacing $990-1,990 per treatment 

Level 4 Resurfacing $1,990 per treatment (CO2 fractional laser +/- Thulium laser)

Level 5 Resurfacing $3,990 +++ per treatment (CO2 fully ablative / erbium) 

What are the possible side effects of laser resurfacing?

Side effects are more common with fully ablative CO2 lasers as compared to fractional lasers. They include, 

 

 

  • Infection: very rare for fractional lasers
  • Prolonged redness: common after fully ablative lasers
  • Post laser pigmentation: more common in darker skin types
  • Scarring: very rare with fractional lasers
  • Demarcation lines: more common with ablative 

How does laser resurfacing compare with microneedling & other treatments?

The CO2 laser is the gold standard (laser) for collagen production. Microneedling does not provide adequate depth and controlled heat to effectively generate collagen as compared to lasers. 

How does CO2 compare to HALO laser resurfacing?

No comparison. HALO is a minimally invasive, minimal downtime laser, limited by its flexibility & power. Results are underwhelming as it requires multiple sessions ( 3-5 or more). 

One treatment with CO2 (+/- thulium) is better than 3-5 sessions of HALO. If you think HALO is the better option, we combine the erbium wavelength of Scition with a non-ablative laser to deliver hybrid resurfacing. 

What are other treatment options if CO2 is too scary for you?

There are many other devices that can improve skin quality. These include-

  • Non-ablative lasers like Fraxel, LaseMD, FraxPro
  • Pico lasers
  • RF microneedling
  • Chemical peels

 

Our clinical staff will discuss other effective options, bearing in mind your budget, expectations & downtime

Which is better, laser or deep peeling?

Peels generate a deeper and thicker band of new collagen compared to lasers (in the context of phenol croton oil peels). A deep Jessner multicoat peel followed by 35% TCA is equal to a medium depth fully ablative laser resurfacing procedure. Don’t underestimate the power of chemical peels. 

Is CO2 the best laser for acne scars?

Yes and no. If you have superficial scars with light skin, the answer is yes. Darker skin patients are best treated with erbium lasers. 

 

In some cases, chemical peels are better than even the most advanced lasers. Scar should be treated based upon their merit, not with one or two devices.

Does CO2 laser resurfacing help with volume?

Marginally. Volumetric changes are due to an increase in collagen; however this varies from 0.5 to 1.0 ml at most. For reliable volume replacement, soft tissue fillers or multiple sessions of fat transfer is needed. 

Remember, good aesthetic outcomes mean a balanced rejuvenation approach, addressing skin quality, volume & tone/turgor. Lasers address quality issues.

Want to know more about CO2?

Book a FREE consultation with our nurses. In most cases, they can provide you with a management plan. For more complex procedures, book a consultation with our dermatologists. 

 

*Consultation fees redeemable with procedures.

What should you consider before considering laser treatment?

Here are some helpful points that may help you along your quest for laser surgery-  

 

  • Does your provider understand the diagnosis? It is important to diagnose the skin condition & find a suitable treatment. In some cases, it maybe lasers, in others it maybe a simple cream or topical. 
  • Does the equipment level stack up? Lasers are tools. Finding the correct tool for the job is important. CO2 lasers have different properties including power and scatter, hence why we run so many different types. 


Sun protection is paramount. Sun protection is important. SPF 50+ twice a day regardless of exposure. If a 50 ml bottle lasts longer than 3 weeks, you are not using enough sun

Ask us more about this treatment

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