How long will the redness after fractional CO2 laser take to go away? (photo)
I just had my 1st session of acne scar treatment 3 weeks ago. The treatment included subcision, fractional CO2 laser and PRP. However, I still have redness after 3 weeks. I am scheduled to have my 2nd session 1 week later. Is it normal for my skin to still be red, and should I postpone the 2nd session until the redness is completely gone? I am concerned that my skin will be damaged even more if I proceed with treatment while my skin is still red. Thank you.
Although most patient's redness resolves 1-2 weeks after Fractional CO2 laser, it is not uncommon for the face to continue be red or flushed up to a month after Fractional CO2 treatment. I note that subcision was also done and PRP was used. As such, redness may persist for a longer time.
After laser treatment, to facilitate recovery, it is recommended to wash the treated area with water regularly, avoid excessive sun exposure, and apply sunscreen.
It would be best to speak to your doctor to discuss the timing of your second procedure. Cheers!
Dr. Terence Tan
An aggressive session of CO2 laser can indeed result in a few weeks of post inflammatory erythema. I have not seen your "before" pictures and will not be able to comment on the cause of your red spots. I would advise you to go back to the doctor who treated you to discuss the current treatment options. You should be on post treatment skincare regime to optimise healing.
Fractional CO2 is an ablative laser which is effective for acne scars but can be too aggressive for Asian skin leading to erythema and hyperpigmentation. If this indeed has happened to you, ask for other options for your acne scars. Fractional non-ablative lasers or microneedling RF options have a better safety profile.
PRP is still not approved in SG for skin and aesthetic use, hence most doctors here would have little experience with its protocols and its use.
Communicate with your doctor on the next step forward, all the best.
I agree with Dr Chua. In addition, to answer your question on whether you should post-pone the 2nd session. I personally wait for the redness to subside before performing subsequent ablative laser sessions. Redness might be a sign that your skin has not fully recovered yet.
It is best for you to contact your doctor/clinic for advice regarding the timing of the 2nd laser session.
Hope that this helps!
Dr Justin Boey
I would be inclined to agree with Dr Chua and Dr Boey. It is a bad idea to do more lasers while your skin is in its healing phase. Energy devices such as lasers can result in increased pigmentation, and for some patients, fractional lasers result in "sensitive" and raw looking appearance especially if the frequency and number of sessions are too close/many.
Post laser care - sunscreen and even products such as Calecim can be useful adjuncts aside from time.
Feel free to consult your primary doctor to discuss further!
Dr Winston Lee