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

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

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