How to Prepare Skin Before and After CO2 Laser Treatment
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How to Prepare Skin Before and After CO2 Laser Treatment

How to Prepare Skin Before and After CO2 Laser Treatment

The fractional CO2 laser treatment in India is the gold standard for cosmetic skin treatments. This technique is safe for the skin, does not damage the skin cells and nor does it require any kind of hospital stays. One treatment of carbon dioxide (CO2) laser can be used to improve the appearance of various skin concerns, including wrinkles, scars, uneven skin tone, and texture irregularities successfully.

With proper after care, the fractional CO2 laser treatment has long lasting results. Hence the top cosmetic surgeons advocate proper before and after care for the CO2 laser treatments for the best results. Here is how a typical fractional CO2 laser procedure performed:

Consultation: Prior to the procedure, you will have a consultation with a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon. They will evaluate your skin condition, discuss your concerns and goals, and determine if you are a suitable candidate for fractional CO2 laser treatment.

Preparation: On the day of the procedure, your skin will be cleansed and a topical numbing cream may be applied to minimize any discomfort during the treatment. Eye protection will be provided to shield your eyes from the laser light.

Laser treatment: You will be made to sit back comfortably. The procedure begins with the application of the fractional CO2 laser device to the targeted areas of your skin. The laser emits controlled beams of energy that create tiny, evenly spaced microthermal zones on the skin’s surface. These help the surgeon target the problem areas and leave the rest of the skin untouched. These zones are surrounded by unaffected tissue, which promotes faster healing and minimizes downtime post the treatment. As the laser energy is delivered to your skin, you may experience a warm or heat sensation, which can vary depending on the intensity of the laser settings and the area being treated. The topical numbing cream helps to minimize any potential discomfort.

Adjustments and customization: The laser settings, such as the energy level, density, and pattern of the laser beams, can be adjusted based on your specific skin concerns and treatment goals as discussed with the dermatologist during consultation. This customization allows for precise targeting of different skin concerns and varying skin types.

Post-treatment care: After the fractional CO2 laser treatment, a soothing ointment or dressing may be applied to the treated areas to protect and moisturize the skin. You will be given specific post-treatment instructions, which may include using gentle cleansers, applying moisturizers, and avoiding direct sun exposure and you need to follow them.

Recovery and results: Following the procedure, you can expect some redness, swelling, and a mild burning or sunburn-like sensation in the treated areas. The post care recovery instructions will help you minimize these without skin damage. The recovery time can vary depending on the intensity of the treatment, but it typically ranges from a few days to a couple of weeks. During this time, the skin will naturally shed the old, damaged layers, and new, healthier skin will emerge. Results become noticeable as the skin heals, with improvements in texture, tone, and the reduction of wrinkles and scars.

It is important to consult a qualified and experienced dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon for fractional CO2 laser treatment who can asses your specific needs and provided advice and customize the treatment accordingly. The whole treatment procedure takes less than one hour to complete and you can go home the same day.

Why is it necessary to pay great attention to pre and post treatment care?

Preparing the skin before CO2 laser treatments is important to ensure optimal results and minimize potential risks or complications. Here are some reasons why skin preparation is necessary:

  • Enhanced Treatment Efficacy: Preparing the skin before the CO2 laser treatment helps to improve the effectiveness of the procedure. Cleansing the skin helps remove any dirt, oil, or debris on the surface, allowing the laser energy to penetrate the skin more efficiently. This enhances the delivery of laser energy to the targeted areas, leading to better results in terms of skin resurfacing, collagen stimulation, and improvement of various skin concerns.
  • Reduced Risk of Infection: Skin preparation involves cleansing the treatment area, which helps reduce the presence of bacteria and minimize the risk of infection during and after the procedure. This is especially important since the fractional CO2 laser creates microscopic channels in the skin, temporarily compromising its barrier function. By preparing the skin, the risk of bacterial contamination and subsequent infections is significantly reduced.
  • Minimized Discomfort: Skin preparation may involve the application of a topical numbing cream or gel to the treatment area. This helps to minimize any potential discomfort or pain during the CO2 laser treatment. Numbing the skin before the procedure can enhance your comfort and make the experience more tolerable.
  • Improved Safety: Skin preparation is an essential step in ensuring the safety of the CO2 laser treatment. It allows the healthcare professional to assess the skin condition, identify any potential contraindications or risks, and determine the appropriate settings for the laser treatment. Preparing the skin and following proper protocols helps minimize the chances of adverse effects or complications during the procedure.
  • Optimal Recovery: Preparing the skin before CO2 laser treatments can contribute to a smoother and faster recovery process. Gentle cleansing and moisturizing the skin prior to the procedure can help maintain its hydration and integrity, promoting better healing. Following the recommended skincare routine and post-treatment care instructions can further support the recovery process and maximize the long-term results.


Prepare the skin before CO2 laser treatments

The specific steps to pre and post care for fractional CO2 laser treatments may vary depending on the clinic, the doctor and the laser device used but the basics remain the same. The pre-preparation for the treatment is a as important as the post recovery care. This is because the laser works on the skin and the layers under it if not done correctly it can only aggravate the skin condition and other risks.

Preparing the skin

  • Avoid any kinds of heavy sun exposure. This also means staying away from tanning lamps, beds, saloons etc for four weeks before the treatment. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen regularly and avoid going out during peak sun hours.
  • Medications which cause sun sensitivity should be avoided from three days before the treatment
  • If you are suffering from skin conditions such as cold sores or herpes or shingles in the area that is to be treated then the cosmetic surgeon will give you anti-viral medication to take two days before the treatment.
  • Stop using any anti-ageing treatments or skin exfoliating products such as glycolic acid from one month before the treatment. This will prevent uneven results post the CO2 laser procedure.
  • Ask your dermatologist about options for anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Waxing, scrubbing, rubbing the area or opting for microdermabrasion treatment is also not advised about 30 days before the procedure.
  • Remember to eat and drink well before the CO2 laser treatment to prevent skin dehydration.


Post fractional CO2 laser treatment skin care

Self-care after fractional CO2 laser treatment is very important. The fractional CO2 laser skin treatment is used for many skin issues and it removes the outer layer of the skin. to give time for the skin to heal requires extra attention and hence the longer recover time for the fractional laser. Post the treatment session your skin might feel tighter, red, flaky and peeling. The sensitive skin might last for up to two weeks.  You might also notice some grid marks on the skin because of the fractional laser but it will subsidize in 5-7 days.  If you miss on skin care during the recovery time then it can cause hyperpigmentation. Also, a good healing time makes the healing faster and maximizes the effects. Here is what to do

  • Immediately post treatment you will be given the ice pack to cover the treated area. This will reduce the immediate swelling and give you relief from the tinging sensations.
  • Do not wash your face for the first 24 hours after the treatment as the skin is till raw and it is not advisable to get water on the wounds.
  • The practitioner will give you some Vaseline or an antibacterial cream to cover the area along with a bandage.
  • If there are any prescribed medications then continue to take them till the stipulated time.
  • Avoid showering immediately after the treatment and no baths till the cosmetic surgeon says healing is complete.
  • You can continue using the ice pace for 10-15 mins 1-5 times a day as needed.
  • Use vinegar and water mix to wash the treated area gently. You can use a gentle soap and water once a while. The cleaning and washing should be done with distilled water only. If there is too much oozing then you can wash your face for up to 3-4 times a day.
  • Don’t apply any cream, gel or lotion over the skin that your practitioner has not given you.
  • Don’t try and remove the bandages unless the practitioner has instructed you to do so.
  • To avoid crusting on the skin keep it moist and hydrated. Following CO2 laser treatment, you need to keep the skin from becoming too dry.
  • Till the time the healing is complete do not indulge in activities that might cause you to sweat a lot. This includes steam and sauna treatments and tanning.
  • Alcohol and swimming will delay the healing process and hence stay away from them.
  • There might be a temptation to use makeup to cover the peeling skin but for a week or two after the treatment avoid the artificial colours and chemicals of makeup. If your cosmetic surgeon okays it then maybe use can use a light BB cream three to four days after the treatment is over.
  • Exfoliation and scrubbing the face is also a no-no for two weeks after the treatment. This means you need to be careful with the use of AHAs, BHAs etc on the skin.
  • Don’t wax or shave over the treatment areas.
  • For the first 10 days post the treatments dry your face using paper towels gently.
  • Keep your hair tied back to reduce the risk of infection
  • Sleep upright for about 7-10 days post treatment to reduce the facial swelling
  • Avoid close contacts with pets and animal and fibres and keep the environment around you clean to prevent skin infection.
  • When the oozing and crusting is over, you can start using sunscreen of minimum SPF 40 or more along with a gentle cleanser and moisturizer. Sun avoidance is a good idea for six weeks post treatment.

Pink skin is the sign of healing skin and according to the experts, the longer the pinkness lasts the better is the collagen formation. But when it is accompanied by excessive oozing or crusting then it is a sign of excessive scrubbing or an irritant being applied on the skin.

  • Do not go for waxing, microdermabrasion, exfoliation and chemical peel treatments for three months from the day of the treatment.
  • Mineral makeup is the best choice post fractional CO2 laser treatment in Mumbai.


Call the cosmetic surgeon if you have

  • A lasting fever higher than normal
  • Feel chills and shaking even when it is hot
  • Have a green or yellow discharge from the treated skin
  • Pain and discomfort that does not go away even with painkillers
  • Redness and swelling on the treated area even after 7-10 days post treatment
  • Bleeding from the skin


CO2 laser treatment cost in India

The cost of CO2 laser treatment in India can vary depending on several factors, including the location of the clinic, the reputation and expertise of the clinic or cosmetic surgeon, the extent of treatment required, and the specific areas being targeted for treatment, the number of sessions needed. The laser treatment cost can also vary depending on whether it is a full-face treatment or a treatment targeting specific areas.

On average, the cost of CO2 laser treatment in India can range from ₹10,000 to ₹50,000 per session. However, it’s important to note that this is an approximate range, and the actual cost may differ based on individual circumstances and the specific clinic you choose.

It is advisable to consult with a reputable dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon in your area to get an accurate assessment of the cost for your desired treatment as the CO2 laser treatment cost in India is not covered by insurance.

Additionally, it’s essential to consider factors beyond cost alone, such as the experience and qualifications of the healthcare professional, the reputation of the clinic, and the quality of care provided. Choosing a skilled professional and a reputable clinic is crucial to ensure both safety and satisfactory results.

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About Dr. Rinky Kapoor

Dr. Rinky Kapoor- Best Dermatologists in Mumbai, India

Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Co-founder of The Esthetic Clinics, is one of the best dermatologists in the world & currently practices in Mumbai, India. Dr. Rinky Kapoor is a Consultant Cosmetic Dermatologist, Cosmetologist & Trichologist at S L Raheja Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, India. Dr. Kapoor is trained at the National Skin Centre, Singapore & at Stanford University, USA. A celebrity skin doctor, Dr. Rinky Kapoor has won many honors such as “Best Dermatologist in Mumbai”, “Most Valuable & Admired Cosmetic Dermatologist in India” & “Best Dermatologist in India”, etc for her expert dermatology care, affordable & reliable skin care, hair care & nail care Read more

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• Skin diseases
• Sexually transmitted diseases
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• Cosmetic skin treatments
• Skin surgeries
• Laser skin treatments

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