CO2RE is a type of ablative fractional laser resurfacing treatment. This procedure helps to reduce wrinkles, smooth uneven skin texture, and improve overall skin tone in as little as one treatment session.

CO2RE Overview - Everything You Need to Know

The Skinny

avg. recovery
18 days
Laser/Light Therapy
$1000 - $3500

About the Procedure

Last Updated: 09.18.2021

Carbon dioxide lasers have been used in the medical and aesthetic industry for decades. Unlike erbium lasers, a CO2 laser is able to penetrate the skin more deeply, allowing for treatment of more severe wrinkles and pigmentation issues. CO2 lasers, while powerful, can cause prolonged recovery times with redness, skin peeling, and swelling lasting for many weeks. Fractionated lasers afford patients the benefits of an ablative CO2 treatment with a shorter commitment for recovery. Fractional lasers create micro channels of injury surrounded by healthy skin tissue allowing for reduced healing times. The CO2RE laser is a type of ablative fractional carbon dioxide laser. This skin resurfacing treatment diminishes mild to moderate signs of aging such as rhytides, sun spots, and sagging skin. Most patients only require 1 treatment session for desired results and are able to return to normal activities 2 weeks after the procedure. Prior to treatment, the skin will be evaluated, cleansed, and a topical numbing cream will be applied. When the patient is thoroughly numbed, the cream will be removed and the laser resurfacing treatment will begin. Additional local anesthetic shots may be administered for optimal patient comfort. The CO2RE settings will be customized to meet the patient's individual needs, adjusting laser strength, pulse duration and penetration depth, density of treatment, and treatment pattern. The provider will closely monitor the skin to ensure an effective but comfortable session. Once the skin has been thoroughly treated, a soothing serum or ointment will be applied and a bandage may be applied to the skin. The treated area will be red and slightly swollen. Cool compresses and OTC pain medications may be used to alleviate any discomfort.

The goal of CO2RE laser resurfacing treatment is to improve and diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation irregularities, acne scarring, and overall skin texture and volume.

Recovery Notes

Recovery after a CO2RE treatment will require patients to keep the treated areas moisturized during the healing process. A thin layer of a thick, hydrating ointment such as Aquaphor or petroleum jelly should be applied as needed throughout the day. After 1-2 weeks skin peeling is typically complete, however skin may still be pink or red. In order to prevent irregular pigmentation, always use a broad spectrum SPF to protect skin.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for a CO2RE laser treatment has wrinkled, sun-damaged skin with irregular pigmentation. Patients may also have mild to moderate skin sagging and desire a non-surgical treatment method to improve the overall skin tone and texture.

Not Recommended For

CO2RE ablative fractional laser resurfacing is not recommended for use on darker skin tones due to risk of hypopigmentation.

Side Effects

Side effects from CO2RE may include discomfort during and after treatment, skin peeling, swelling, burns or other injuries from the laser's heat, scarring, changes in the skin's pigmentation, and infection.


  • smooths skin
  • tightens skin
  • lasting results
  • improve skin quality
  • improve skin texture
  • effective
  • improved recovery time


  • scarring
  • pigmentation changes
  • exacerbate skin disorders
  • more invasive

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