Home Laser Treatments Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment

Written by: Dr. Federico Di Francesco MD | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Rutsnei Schmitz

Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment

Fractional CO2 laser rejuvenation is a non-surgical skin resurfacing treatment that uses a carbon dioxide laser to induce microscopic columns of controlled injury in the skin to stimulate collagen production. The resultant skin exfoliation and tissue regeneration help reveal a newer, healthier, smoother, and more rejuvenated skin surface. This treatment can effectively reduce aging signs and acne scars, enhance skin elasticity and firmness, and improve skin tone.

Why is Fractional CO2 Treatment Done?

Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing primarily aims to rejuvenate the skin by creating tiny columns of thermal injury in the deeper skin layers to stimulate collagen growth and remove the outermost damaged skin layers. This skin resurfacing technique helps

Pre-Treatment Care

Pre-treatment care improves the prospects of a successful procedure and helps achieve the desired outcome. The pre-treatment care guidelines generally vary from person to person, but some standard steps may include the following

  • Avoid sun exposure and tanning. Ensure a more diligent use of broad-spectrum sunscreen than usual for about four weeks before the procedure.
  • Do not exfoliate the skin for at least two weeks or as per your dermatologist’s instructions before the treatment.
  • Stop using medicines that cause or increase sensitivity to the sun for three days or as instructed by your dermatologist before the procedure.

Important note: Speak to your dermatologist if you have had herpes or shingles in the treatment area. They may prescribe anti-viral medication to reduce the risk of a reoccurrence after the treatment.

Which Machine is used?

At Dubai Cosmetic Surgery, we use the DEKA Smartxide Fractional CO2 Laser machine for CO2 resurfacing.

Fractional Co2 Procedure

Fractional CO2 skin resurfacing is generally performed in a medical-cosmetic facility. It is an outpatient procedure that may last 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the treatment area size and severity of the problem. It usually involves the following steps

  • The treatment area is cleansed, and numbing cream or local anesthesia is applied.
  • The fractional CO2 laser device is then moved over the treatment area.
  • During the procedure, a CO2 laser beam is used, which is fractionated or pixelated into several tiny light beams. These beams penetrate beneath the epidermis to create microscopic columns or microchannels, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin fibers and promoting tissue regeneration.
  • The process is continued until the entire or targeted treatment area is covered.
  • Finally, a suitable intervention is administered to reduce the burning sensation caused by the laser.

Post Treatment Care

Some standard post-treatment instructions for fractional CO2 treatment are as follows

  • Use cold compresses to minimize discomfort and the burning sensation.
  • Use the prescribed topical or oral medications to reduce or prevent pain and discomfort.
  • Apply a moisturizer regularly for 1-2 weeks or as per your dermatologist’s instructions to prevent dryness in the treated area.
  • Avoid direct UV light or sun exposure for 4-6 weeks or the period specified by your doctor. Use sunscreen before going outdoors.

Fractional Co2 Benefits

There are many benefits of fractional CO2 laser treatment. Some of them are as follows

  • The treatment causes less pain and discomfort compared to other ablative treatments.
  • It helps reduce fine lines and deep wrinkles and improve skin texture.
  • It stimulates collagen production, producing a firmer, smoother, and tauter skin appearance.
  • It may reduce the appearance of acne and surgical scars.
  • It may help even out the skin tone.
  • It has been proven to be an effective treatment due to a higher patient satisfaction rate thus far.
  • It benefits from the latest advancements in laser technology for superior control during the procedure, ensuring enhanced accuracy and safety.

Risks and Side Effects

When performed with the appropriate configuration and by an experienced practitioner, fractional CO2 laser resurfacing should be a safe procedure with fewer side effects. Some complications that may occur after this treatment include

  • Pain and discomfort: The level of discomfort after fractional CO2 laser treatment may vary from patient to patient, depending on their pain threshold and laser settings. The post-treatment pain may peak for 24-48 hours before subsiding.
  • Redness and swelling: There will be redness and swelling in the treated area for several days or a few weeks, depending on the problem’s severity and the laser’s intensity.
  • Itchiness and dryness: The treated region may become dry and itchy and remain so as it heals. While it is a normal occurrence, it is important not to scratch or pick at the treated site.
  • Pigment changes: The fractional laser may sometimes cause the treated skin to darken (hyperpigmentation) or lighten (hypopigmentation). It is generally a temporary side-effect but may last for an extended duration.
  • Scarring: The fractional CO2 laser may cause scars in people with a history of keloids or other types of scars, although the risk may vary from person to person. The scarring risk is also higher when you get treatment from a less qualified or inexperienced practitioner.
  • Acne and other outbreaks: People prone to acne or herpes might experience an outbreak after the treatment.
    Infections: Bacterial or viral infections can occur in the skin area treated with fractional CO2 laser, particularly when post-procedure care guidelines are not properly followed.


The results of fractional CO2 laser treatment start appearing after the initial recovery, which lasts about three weeks after the treatment. The skin appearance continues to improve, and full results are visible after 3-6 months, depending on the patient’s skin type, problem treated, and laser intensity. The results may vary from person to person.

Cost of Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing

The average starting cost of Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing in Dubai is AED 750. The final price of the treatment may vary from person to person, depending on the following factors

  • The size of the treatment area.
  • Skin type and tone.
  • The degree of improvement needed.
  • The number of treatment sessions required to achieve the desired results.
  • The practitioner’s expertise.
  • The geographic location of the clinic or treatment facility.

What areas can I treat with the CO2 laser?

Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is most commonly performed on the face but may also be done on other areas, such as the neck, chest, arms, and hands.

Is there any downtime associated with fractional CO2 laser treatment?

Yes, you may need a downtime of a few days after fractional CO2 laser resurfacing. During this period, you may notice flaking, scabbing, and crusting. Therefore, it is crucial to follow your dermatologist’s instructions and be diligent with your skincare routine.

How many CO2 treatments might I need?

The number of fractional laser resurfacing sessions may vary, mainly depending on the type and severity of the problem and the skin’s response to the treatment. You may need

  • 1-2 sessions for fine lines and light wrinkles
  • 3-4 sessions for deep wrinkles
  • 2-3 sessions for pigment irregularities

It is important to note that the exact number of sessions is determined by a qualified practitioner, generally during the initial consultation.

Who is NOT a candidate for a fractional CO2 laser treatment?

Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is not recommended for individuals who

  • Have active infections, such as the ones caused by herpes simplex virus.
  • Have active acne.
  • Have open wounds in the treatment area.
  • Have a dark skin tone with a higher risk of complications like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • Have connective tissue or autoimmune disease.
  • Have a history of keloid scars or other serious scarring responses.
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What is the difference between Fractional CO2 laser and Sellas Fractional Laser?

The Fractional CO2 laser uses an ablative carbon dioxide fractionated laser beam that resurfaces the skin by creating microscopic columns of thermal injury. The Sellas fractional laser, on the other hand, is a non-ablative ER: Glass fractionated laser that resurfaces the skin by creating microscopic columns of thermal coagulation. Although both laser systems promote collagen production for skin rejuvenation, they may each be more suitable for different individuals, depending on specific treatment needs and skin conditions.

Our Doctors

Schedule A Consultation

Get rejuvenated skin with Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing at the Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, performed by our highly experienced and top-rated dermatologists in the region. For more information, call us at +971 4 348 5575. You can also book a consultation online by filling out the form below.

Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Clinic