When is it worthwhile to repeat a CO2 laser?

I am 55 years old with "orange peel" texture skin, acne scars, and sun damage. I had a DEXA CO2 laser two months ago with some modest improvement. I noticed my "good skin" (areas with less scarring) responded well while the nose area and more scarred T-zone was not significantly improved. Would it be worthwhile to repeat this laser in 6 months? Is it OK to have multiple CO2 laser treatments?

I’m really glad you asked this because I’m seeing a lot of similar questions on the blog.   The question really is………at what point will further treatments not confer any or much  further benefit?  Like many things, it’s a cost benefit analysis!  More on CO2 lasers.

There are several ways to approach this.   One is to know that with fractionated lasers you will be replacing about 10-15% of your skin with each treatment.  So after 3 treatments, you’d have replaced about 30-45% which is definately enough to see a noticeable difference.  It’s a little like aerating your lawn.  The old, sun damaged microscopic “plugs” slough off, and new, fresh collagen grows in it’s place.  At age 55, with large pores and acne scars, 1 treatment would generally not be enough to see much difference.

Another way to estimate is by age and the severity of the sun damage or acne scarring, etc.  A person in their 30s with mild-moderate damage will need, on average about 1-3 treatments whereas a person in their 60s with moderate to severe damage might average 4-6 treatments for an excellent (but not perfect!) result.

Your dermatologist should be able to give you a realistic estimate!

Dr. I



Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself and my trained staff.
  • My medical office in Seattle has experience treating thousands of patients.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product line.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes!