CO2 Laser

For deeper wrinkles, scarring, and other skin texture issues, a CO2 laser might be right for you. Book an appointment or consultation to learn more.

Book a CO2 consultation

Call or text 858-272-9564

What Is the CO2 Laser?

The CO2 laser is an ablative carbon dioxide laser that is used for more aggressive skin resurfacing. Thin layers of the skin are vaporized using a high-energy beam of light, creating a controlled injury to the skin. As the skin heals, it produces collagen and restores the skin’s elasticity. It is designed to minimize wrinkles, reduce scarring, even out skin tone, and increase dermal collagen.

How Does the CO2 Laser Work?

Fractional CO2 lasers deliver high-speed laser pulses at a wavelength of 10,600 nm (compared to the shorter 2,940 wavelength of the erbium:Yag), targeting both intracellular and extracellular water. When light energy is absorbed by water-containing tissue, skin vaporization occurs, leading to a deeper penetration into the skin, treating severe wrinkling, scarring, and textural issues.

What Does the CO2 Laser Treat?

CO2 lasers create significant collagen stimulation and treat more severe skin imperfections. Deeper wrinkles, skin laxity, brown/age spots, severe scarring and certain precancerous growths can be addressed with the CO2 laser.


  • Avoid direct sun exposure and/or artificial tanning products for at 2-4 weeks prior to treatment.
  • Discontinue photosensitizing topical products (retinol, glycolic, etc.) 1 week prior to treatment.
  • Numbing cream will be applied to treatment area 30 minutes prior to procedure.


  • Expect approximately 1-2 weeks of downtime, which will include redness, swelling, itching, and peeling
  • Apply ice initially until burning sensation has deceased, then apply aquaphor for the next 3 days
  • In-depth post-treatment handout will be given the day of procedure

Who Is a Candidate For the CO2 Laser?

The CO2 laser is mostly recommended for lighter skin types (I-IV). It is not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, have used Accutane within the past 6 months, or have psoriasis, eczema, or melasma in the treatment area.