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Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment: 10 Essential Things You Need to Know

Acne breakouts by themselves are annoying. However, the scars left after they heal can be downright diabolical. If left untreated, acne scars will leave your skin damaged, but they will also toll your self-confidence. Luckily for you, there are various in-office acne scar treatments today that effectively deal with such skin imperfection.

The fractional CO2 laser is a scar treatment offered by experts like to deal with acne scars quickly and effectively. Here are the essential things you need to know about this procedure.


  • What is Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment?


Fractional CO2 laser treatment is a procedure done by dermatologists and physicians to significantly reduce the appearance of acne scars and other skin irregularities. It is a non-surgical procedure that utilises the power of light energy to eliminate the outer layers of the damaged skin. 

Dermatologists typically use a fractional CO2 laser to deal with acne scars. However, they also use it to handle other skin conditions such as:

  • Sagging skin
  • Enlarged oil glands
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Uneven skin tone

2. How Does It Work?

Fractional CO2 laser treatment works by delivering infrared light to an affected area using a carbon dioxide-filled tube. As the skin absorbs the light, the damaged tissues vaporise, therefore removing the damaged skin cells from the skin. This treatment deals with blemished tissues and promotes collagen production to make the skin appear better.

3. Benefits

Experts have a couple of valid reasons why they favour fractional CO2 laser treatment over other procedures.

  • It improves skin texture. The treatment promotes the production of new collagen. This spike in collagen will result in better skin texture and skin tone. It can also minimise pore size, significantly affecting your skin’s appearance.
  • It reduces the appearance of acne scars. Laser treatments effectively reduce the severity and appearance of deep and indented acne scars. This treatment may be great for depressed scars, but it can also deal with other acne scars.
  • It offers fractional benefits. This treatment can tend to the affected tissues without impacting the surrounding tissues. This accuracy translates to a gentler healing process and recovery.

4. Drawbacks

Fractional CO2 laser treatment may sound like the best procedure, but its drawbacks. These drawbacks include the following:

  • It can’t eliminate acne scars. This treatment can only make acne scars appear less prominent, and it can’t 100% remove the scars.
  • Medical consultation before treatment is a must. Your medical condition is a significant factor to determine if you’re an ideal candidate for laser treatment. If you’re a smoker, taking any medications, or pregnant, you must inform your dermatologist before treatment.
  • Sun exposure is a big no-no. Taking extra steps to protect your skin from direct sun exposure after the procedure is non-negotiable. If the sun’s harmful rays hit your newly-treated skin, your skin might build brand new scars.

5. Who Should Get This Treatment?

Fractional CO2 laser treatment is ideal for individuals who want to reduce the appearance of acne scars and other skin conditions such as fine lines and hyperpigmentation. It’s also recommended for people who suffer from non-responsive skin due to a bad case of a facelift.

6. Who Should Avoid This Treatment?

Like any acne scar treatment, the fractional CO2 laser treatment does not fit everyone. If you have quite an extensive acne breakout, open wound, have infections on the face, or take medications, experts advise you to steer clear from this procedure. The same sentiment is true if you have chronic medical conditions such as diabetes.

If you still want to continue with this procedure, you must schedule a consultation with your trusted dermatologist first so they can qualify you for the treatment.

7. Risks and Side Effects

Since laser treatments involve heat application into the skin, you might see redness or swelling in the affected area after treatment. You may also experience a degree of discomfort or even scabs.

Although quite rare, other side effects are considered to be severe, such as:

The most common side-effects of fractional CO2 laser treatments are the following:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain in the treated area of the skin

8. What to Do After the Procedure

After receiving the fractional CO2 laser procedure, you must follow the specific skincare instructions your dermatologist will give you.

Use sunscreen to protect the affected area from the sun’s harmful rays. You should also clean and moisturise your skin with gentle products and avoid harsh skin products as much as possible. Makeups can easily irritate your newly treated skin, so it would be best to avoid them in the meantime.

You can ease the swelling and redness of your face by gently putting an icepack on it. Compress the affected area with an ice pack on the first and second day after receiving the treatment.

Ointments are also necessary if you want to avoid the formation of scabs. You might want to adjust your daily activities as well. Activities like swimming, exercise, and outdoor pursuits can give your treated skin an infection.

9. Are Multiple Sessions Necessary?

The frequency of laser treatment sessions will depend on the severity of your acne scars. Typically, you only have to undergo about one to three laser treatment sessions. 

10. Where Can I Get Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment?

Various skin clinics in Singapore offer fractional CO2 laser treatment. The best decision is to work with a board-certified dermatologist with the proper expertise to execute the procedure. Try your best to inquire in various clinics and pick the one with the best reviews and reputation.

Remember: take your time when choosing the skin clinic that resonates the best for you.


Fractional CO2 laser treatment is amongst the most effective ways to reduce your acne scars’ appearance and severity significantly. It’s ideal for all types of scars and is gentler than other acne scar treatments.

Fractional CO2 laser will target blemished tissues without damaging the adjacent tissues and boost your skin’s collagen formation, leaving you with firmer, healthier, and younger-looking skin.


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