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Achieve Optimal Results: Post-CO2 Laser Care Guide

Introduction and Overview of CO2 Laser Treatment

Are you considering a CO2 laser treatment to address your skin concerns? Whether it’s to rejuvenate your skin, reduce wrinkles, or minimize scarring, proper aftercare is essential for a successful recovery. In this comprehensive guide, Dr. Szerman, a renowned dermatologist in Rio de Janeiro, shares valuable post-CO2 laser care tips to ensure optimal healing and exceptional results.

To assist you in this crucial phase, Dr. Szerman has meticulously compiled a list of 8 essential recommendations. These guidelines are designed to be universally applicable, regardless of the specific CO2 laser treatment you have undergone.

Do not miss out on this valuable resource! Download the Post-CO2 Laser Care Guide cheat sheet containing all the critical information for your convenience. Print it out and keep it handy as a reference throughout your recovery journey.

Dr. Szerman’s comprehensive care instructions are your key to a seamless recovery. Equip yourself with this knowledge and avoid common post-procedure pitfalls. Explore the guide and set the stage for a smooth and effective healing process. Check it out!

Overview of CO2 Laser Treatment

CO2 laser treatment is an advanced medical procedure that leverages a carbon dioxide laser for skin resurfacing. This treatment is designed to address aesthetic concerns such as wrinkles, scars, and blemishes. The technology operates on a fractionated method, selectively targeting only portions of the skin at one time. The advantages of this technique include a reduced recovery period for the patient and a lower likelihood of experiencing side effects.

CO2 lasers are recognized as a gold standard in the field of dermatology, valued for their precision and effectiveness in skin rejuvenation. Ensuring optimal results from this treatment hinges on patients’ adherence to specific care instructions following their CO2 laser session.

Innovations in CO2 Laser Technology

At Clínica de Pele, patients are treated with the Italian-engineered Deka Fractional CO2 Laser, which stands at the forefront of laser technologies. This particular model incorporates advanced fractionated and pulsed light capabilities, which significantly diminish side effects commonly associated with earlier generations of CO2 lasers, such as prolonged redness and a sensation of burning.

Importance of Post-Treatment Care

Even with the swift healing process facilitated by the Deka CO2 Laser, it is crucial for patients to follow a comprehensive post-treatment skin care regimen. Dr. Szerman has recommended a specific set of guidelines to foster a safe and effective recovery. Adherence to these instructions is paramount to maintain the health of the skin after treatment and to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Patients can access detailed post-CO2 laser treatment care instructions via an audio guide provided by the clinic. This resource is designed to ensure clarity and ease in the post-treatment phase, guiding patients every step of the way to a successful recovery.


Listen to Dr. Guilherme Szerman’s advice:

How Does Recovery and Post CO2 Laser Care Work?

YouTube video

Proper post-CO2 laser care is essential to achieve the best results. Follow the step-by-step guide on how to heal your skin post-treatment.

The CO2 laser is a popular procedure in dermatology, used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne scars, stretch marks, melasma, wrinkles, and dark spots.

During the treatment, the laser removes layers of skin to stimulate the growth of new cells, resulting in a healthier and rejuvenated appearance.

After treatment, skin sensitivity, irritation, redness, and swelling may occur.

It’s important to follow your dermatologist’s post-procedure skin care instructions carefully, including using the prescribed healing creams.

Avoiding sun exposure and strenuous physical activities is also recommended during this period.

With proper post-CO2 laser care, the skin should fully heal within a few days, revealing a younger and healthier appearance. 

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What Does the Skin Look Like After CO2 Laser Treatment and Post-Laser Care?

Be sure to check out the patients’ before and after photos featured throughout the article!

These photos show the skin’s appearance immediately after CO2 Laser session.

Patient Feedback

Check out some of our patient’s feedback below:

“My experience at the Clínica de Pele has been excellent. I was extremely well received and evaluated by doctors Ronaldo and Guilherme Szerman. They provided detailed and clear guidance on the treatments, which was crucial for my decision to choose this clinic.
They recommended peeling, CO2 Laser, and Pixel Laser treatments for my acne scars. After the first session, the results were impressive: my skin became firmer, with a more uniform tone, and the scars were greatly reduced.
The service before, during, and after the procedure was exceptional. I am very pleased with the results of my treatment and highly recommend the Clínica de Pele Dr. Szerman.”

Transcript of Carlos’ feedback:

“I have decided to give it a go and began the treatment. It’s funny how long it took me to start a laser treatment, because I often heard it was quite painful.
Despite my doubts, I went ahead, and it turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made! I barely felt any pain. The preparation was thorough and the anesthetic ensured I felt minimal discomfort.
After just one session, I was thrilled by the significant lightening of the skin spots that bothered me.”

Patient Feedback R.S. – Clínica de Pele Dr. Szerman



What Are the Results of CO2 Laser?

The results of using a CO2 laser typically include reduced fine lines and wrinkles, improved skin texture, and diminished appearance of scars, pigmentation, and sun damage. This treatment can lead to a smoother, more youthful complexion.

We’ve selected actual results to show the skin’s progress captured after each post-CO2 Laser treatment session. Take a look below.

CO2 Laser Facial Rejuvenation

Analyze patient results following CO2 Laser treatment, which effectively reduces wrinkles, expression lines, and other signs of aging.

Laser CO2
CO2 Laser
Laser CO2
Fractional CO2 Laser


CO2 Laser Treatment for Facial Spots

We also treat facial spots, and we’ve prepared a before-and-after comparison for you to see how effective the CO2 Laser is at removing skin spots.


CO2 Laser Treatment for Melasma

Previously, using lasers to treat melasma was infeasible, bur our new laser treatment effectively targets melasma without overheating, reducing the risk of worsening the condition. Refer to the accompanying photos for evidence.

CO2 Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

Acne scarring is a widespread cosmetic issue, but CO2 Laser treatment stands out as an effective solution for reducing acne scars and improving skin texture, leaving it smooth and rejuvenated. Here’s another before-and-after example demonstrating its impact on acne scars:

CO2 Laser Treatment for Stretch Marks

The Fractional CO2 Laser is also applicable for body treatments. It effectively treats stretch marks on the body, including older, white ones.

Treatment for red stretch marks (recent)
Estrias Laser antes e depois
Laser Treatment for Stretch Marks: Results Comparison

What is the Fractional CO2 Laser used for?

The Fractional CO2 Laser is a device utilized primarily for skin resurfacing treatments, effectively targeting signs of aging, scars, and uneven skin texture.

What Does the Skin Look Like After CO2 Laser Treatment?

Observe facial skin healing in the first five days:

Rejuvenescimento Facial

 CO2 Laser Immediate Post-Procedure:

cuidados pós laser de Co2
Post CO2 Laser Care
Cuidados Pós Laser CO2
Post CO2 Laser Care

Post-CO2 Laser Skin Recovery

The day after laser treatment, expect your skin to form a light crust, appear slightly red, and swell a bit. This is a normal reaction.

After CO2 laser treatment, apply the healing ointments prescribed by Dr. Szerman every 2 hours—which means about 8 times a day—for optimal recovery.

“The post-CO2 laser treatment healing creams I highly recommend are Eucerin Aquaphor Intensive Repair Ointment and Avène’s Cicalfate,” says Dr. Szerman

Aquaphor contains wax-like ceramides. These ceramides form a protective barrier on the skin to lock in moisture and prevent the loss of water through the skin. What does this mean? Let me explain.

The fractional CO2 laser is an ablative treatment that creates tiny holes in the skin, leading to water loss similar to how liquid escapes through a sieve.

This water loss worsens inflammation and dehydration, causing discomfort and slowing down skin recovery.

So, we need to stop this water loss, and Aquaphor stands out as one of the superior creams for post-CO2 laser treatment care.

A regular moisturizing cream alone won’t cut it; it absorbs too fast and fails to form a protective layer.

If Aquaphor is not available, consider using medical-grade petroleum jelly or Vaseline as a substitute.

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Petroleum jelly, commonly known as Vaseline, is a semi-solid mineral-based moisturizer with soothing properties. It is a widely available in most pharmacies.

I like to switch between Avène’s Cicalfate Restorative Moisturizing Cream and Aquaphor as part of my post-CO2 laser treatment skincare routine.

Alternating these creams every 2 to 3 hours can speed up and improve your skin’s recovery after laser treatment. Remember to apply frequently throughout the day to maintain optimal hydration.

It is highly recommended to apply Aquaphor eight times daily for the first 48 hours post-CO2 Laser treatment to keep your skin moisturized and to aid healing.

I advise against the excessive use of Aquaphor, as it may lead to potential issues such as oily skin and acne.

That’s why Individualized recommendations are crucial for each unique case and skin type.

Apply Cicalfate, the second healing cream, starting on the fourth day after CO2 laser treatment.

The results of a CO2 Laser treatment typically become noticeable within 20 to 40 days, as collagen production gradually increases. These effects can persist for up to six months after the session, supported by scientific studies.

The patient typically recovers from facial laser treatment within 5 days.

cicatrizes de acne Laser CO2
Post-CO2 Laser Care

Recovery from CO2 laser treatment for stretch marks typically ranges from 20 to 25 days.

Estrias com laser de co2 fracionado
Post-CO2 Laser Care

8 Recommendations for Post-CO2 Laser Care

  • Avoid Sun Exposure
  • Avoid washing your face with water for 8 hours
  • Apply the prescribed healing ointments (Aquaphor e Cicalfate) every 2-3 hours
  • Do not wash your face with regular soaps
  • Use soap-free cleansers for 5 days
  • Do not apply makeup or cosmetics for 48 hours post-treatment
  • Wait until scabs have formed on the skin to start applying sunscreen
  • Stop using acids or skin lightening products until your skin is fully healed.

Prescription Medications:

  • Antiviral (for preventing herpes)
  • Take oral analgesics every 6 hours if experiencing discomfort

 Additional Tips: Post-CO2 Laser Care

  • Apply the healing ointments immediately; there’s no need to wait 8 hours. The quicker you begin, the better. Ensure you apply them with clean hands.
  • Keep your skin moisturized by reapplying healing creams whenever it feels dry, aiming for at least eight applications daily.
  • Ideally, minimize sun exposure for 48 hours post-laser treatment to avoid sunscreen use, as this can irritate your skin immediately after the laser, since it is more sensitive during this time.
  • Apply a gauze pad or cloth soaked in cold saline solution or chamomile tea to the skin 8 hours post-treatment.

Post-CO2 Laser Care Cheat Sheet

Post-CO2 Laser Care
Post-CO2 Laser Care Guide – Download

Note: We will review all medications and information during your consultation. It’s important not to self-medicate. 

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What Is a Post-Laser Mask?

Dr. Szerman suggests that patients consider the addition of a post-treatment hydrogel mask containing beta-glucan and collagen for immediate relief and enhanced healing benefits. This mask is not a required step but is recommended due to its potential to improve the healing process and enrich the overall outcomes of laser treatments.

The recommended hydrogel mask is an innovative product for its composition; it does not contain parabens, sulfates, or phthalates, ensuring a gentler experience for the skin. Its key ingredients, beta-glucan and collagen, are chosen for their healing properties. Beta-glucan, extracted from sources such as yeast or oats, has a reputation for its potent anti-inflammatory and hydrating effects. Collagen, pivotal for maintaining skin structure, aids in increasing the skin’s elasticity and moisture levels.

Typically, this premium mask is imported and professionally applied in-office. A session with the mask takes about 30 minutes following the laser treatment. Patients have reported experiencing immediate soothing effects and a noticeable enhancement in the skin’s condition post-application.

By adopting this extra step, the healing benefits are twofold: skin recovery is significantly supported, and the skin’s immune defenses are fortified. Dr. Szerman endorses this treatment because of its ability to hasten the healing timeline and maximize the aesthetic benefits of the laser therapy.

cuidado pós laser de co2
Post-CO2 Laser Treatment

Best Practices for Post-CO2 Laser Treatment Care

After a CO2 laser treatment, it’s crucial to follow your clinician’s aftercare instructions to ensure proper healing and optimal results. Here are general guidelines for post-treatment care:

  • Avoid direct sun exposure after the treatment, as the treated area will be extra sensitive.
  • Stay hydrated and apply creams to moisturize the treated area, ensuring proper use for optimal results.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily and follow a gentle skincare routine as your skin heals, which typically takes 7 to 10 days.
  • Avoid applying chemicals to your skin to preserve your treatment and prevent discoloration or harm.
  • Refrain from picking or scratching the treated skin to prevent scarring.
  • Contact your clinician if you experience any unusual symptoms or concerns.

Clínica de pele Dr. Szerman in Rio de Janeiro

Did you find the recommendations and post-CO2 Laser care instructions helpful?

Dr. Szerman’s Clínica de Pele specializes in laser treatments and has over 20 years of experience with locations in both Copacabana and downtown Rio de Janeiro.

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