Co2 Laser Review

I want to first off start by saying I don’t have terrible acne or acne scaring. About a year ago I decided to switch to Mirena (birth control), Doing this reeked havoc on my body, emotions, and skin.  I had the worst acne of my life and nothing helped. I began like most people to pick and pop my acne. This created scaring and redness on my face. Switching back to an estrogen based birth control has completely transformed my face. My acne has improved exponentially, but has left me with significant scaring.

The dermatologist I’ve been seeing for about a year and a half suggested I get laser treatment to help with the scaring. He said I was a great candidate for it since I’m fare skinned. He made it seem like a dream solution and I honestly didn’t ask enough questions. I came back three weeks later for my laser treatment.

I want to specify again, I do not have very bad acne and the scaring I have is fairly minimal. But enough to make me self-consciousness about it. Arriving for my appointment I was in for a rude awakening. I’m not sure why I was thinking this would be a light laser treatment maybe a little redness for a couple of hours. NO no no. My dermatologist explained that there are three degrees of lasers. Mild, medium, and strong. For the mild laser you would most likely need several appointment to see significant results, but short recovery after each treatment. The medium laser you’d only need one or two treatments, but the recovery is a little bit longer and more painful. The strongest laser takes off an entire layer of skin, and has almost an entire month recover.

Thinking about these options I had several things going through my head.

  1. I am a student and can’t take time off for recovery
  2. I work as a server and am constantly in front of people
  3. wasn’t sure if I would be able to work while recovering
  4. How bad will this hurt
  5. What if it goes bad and my face is worse off then before
  6. I want results and I don’t want to do this again

So, after taking a few min to think about it I decided on the medium laser. It would give me result, not too long of recover, and wouldn’t be as painful as the most extreme laser. After deciding I asked my dermatologist if I should have taken some pain killer or something. He said no,  you should be ok, we’ll see how it goes.


Naturally I think it won’t be too painful. I put on my goggles and he gives me the first zap of the medium and the light laser (just to get a feel of the pain). Me trying to be tuff I say it’s not too bad and I think I can do the medium (with no painkillers or numbing cream). He starts zapping spot by spot gradually covering my entire right cheek and jawline. At this point the burning kicks in, and I start uncontrollable shaking in pain. This feeling is like nothing I have ever experienced. The worst pain of my entire life (and I’ve had some pretty serious injuries in the past).

I wasn’t sure if id be able to get through the left side of my face. The pain was so excruciation, but I couldn’t be lop sided. So I toughened up and let them finish the left side. Once they were done they sprayed me with cold soft air (this felt amazing) the only relief I had felt yet. The whole procedure probably took about 20 min. They then applied petroleum jelly, gave me my post-procedure instruction, and sent me on my way.


On the way home the burning was getting worse. I blasted the AC in my car directly at my face for the slightest relief. It felt like I just had a 3rd degree burn and I couldn’t get enough cold air on it. Once I got home I sat in front of my AC unit in my apartment and took a couple Tylenol. About 4 hours later the burning subsided and it just felt a little raw. The first day I kept it moist with vaseline.

That night I had to try and sleep on my back so that the vaseline wouldn’t rub off and onto my pillow. I am a side and stomach sleeper so this was rather challenging and I didn’t get great sleep.

I look thrilled, don’t I?

The next morning I washed with Cetaphil gentle skin cleaner (which my dermatologist recommended). My skin was very sensitive and I couldn’t apply too much presser. I then moistened a wash cloth with vinegar water and dabbed my face (also suggested by my dermatologist). After that I applied more vaseline. Throughout day one I washed and applied the vinegar water solution and reapplied vaseline several times. Also on day one the itching started.

Night Day 1:



Morning Day 2:


Waking up day two felt itchy and tight. The redness was going down a little, but it didn’t start peeling. Day two was spent cleaning, vinegar water, and vaseline.

Morning Day 3:



Day 3 has been much better the red burnt dots on my face have been falling off leaving fresh raw baby skin behind. I’ve been applying SPF 50 sunscreen before my vaseline. this raw skin is super sensitive and I do not want to let any sun rays destroy it. I’ve also been wearing a wide hat anytime I go outside to help protect against the sun.

Night Day 4:

IMG_3431 IMG_3432 IMG_3433

Peeling has subsided but the redness persists. Still applying the petroleum jelly to keep the skin moist and to not scab. Red spots have started to appear and makes me nervous they will cause more scaring, but my dermatologist has told me this is normal.

Day 6:

IMG_3524 IMG_3526 IMG_3528

Skin has finally started to heal and I am able to go out in public without people staring at me. There are small dots on my face from where the skin is healing. Hoping this will diminish over time.

Months have passed since the procedure and my skin is better than ever. The small dots have completely disappeared and I have virtually no scaring. In retrospect I would still have done the laser facial, just with some numbing cream.


Things I would recommend if you’re interested in getting Co2 laser treatment.

  1. Ask your dermatologist lots of questions
  2. Know the time line for healing
  3. Ask about the different types of laser treatment
  4. Find out if you can get any numbing ointment or painkillers before
  5. Make sure you keep the area moist AT ALL TIMES (do not let it get crusty)
  6. Find out if your insurance covers the procedure

All in all the procedure did help my acne scaring. I would recommend the procedure for anyone who has unwanted acne scars or blemishes. Ask questions first. Ask if they offer numbing cream or pain killers before. You should also plan to have a chunk of time set aside where you can stay indoor and recover. It’s not for everyone and there are a lot of options out there. I just wanted to share my experience with it and give some insight I wish I had.

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