What are the best uses of CO2 laser resurfacing? 

Laser skin resurfacing delivers a powerful, effective and long lasting improvement to the skin, often with one treatment. The procedure is most commonly used to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines as well as uneven pigmentation, pore size, and achieve a smoother, more consistent appearance to the treated skin. Laser resurfacing may be performed on the face and neck or on specific regions, such as around the eyes (periorbital) or the lips (perioral) for fine lines and skin concerns limited to these areas.  A CO2 laser is often performed in conjunction with other procedures, such as eyelid surgery or a facelift, to further enhance your results. 

Laser Facial Rejuvenation at Palmetto Facial Plastics

Dr. Helen Moses in pink shirt smiling while looking at a sheet of paper with a patient
smiling woman in white top standing in hallway with paintings on wall

Why CO2 laser skin resurfacing?

Over the years, the youthful appearance and texture of our skin diminishes due to the gradual loss of collagen and moisture within the skin, as well as a result of sun exposure, acne, and other compounding factors. 

Inconsistencies in the skin, wrinkles, fine lines, uneven pigment and at times scarring, may influence the way we view ourselves or make a person feel self-conscious. Through laser skin resurfacing, laser energy is used to treat the appearance and minor flaws by removing layers of the skin in a safe, controlled manner 

    Who are good candidates for laser skin resurfacing?

    Logo media

    Patients interested in a radiant complexion and in good health can benefit from laser skin resurfacing. Dr. Moses may advise against proceeding with skin resurfacing for patients with a compromised immune system, active acne, certain skin tones, patients who tend to scar, amongst others, as specific complications may occur. For patients who have previously taken Accutane the procedure may not be advised as well. Individual candidacy is assessed during a consultation with Dr. Moses, during which the treatment plan is tailored to meet each individual patient’s needs. 

    Banner media

    Ablative Vs. Non-Ablative Lasers

    Ablative lasers such as C02 lasers are an excellent choice for patients with mild to moderate facial scars, wrinkles, and pigmentation issues. When an ablative laser is used, satisfactory results can be achieved in just one treatment.

    Non-ablative or “no downtime” lasers do not produce results as dramatic as ablative lasers do, but they offer less downtime. Patients who are searching for a more dramatic change in their skin tone and texture should opt for laser skin resurfacing with an ablative laser.

    The science behind CO2 laser skin resurfacing

    Depending on the area of skin you wish to treat and the specific issues you are addressing, this procedure can take anywhere from half an hour to 2 hours. General anesthesia may be administered to help you feel more comfortable, and you will wear protective eyewear. A laser wand will slowly pass over the targeted areas until the process is complete. Before you leave, we will apply an antibacterial ointment and dressing, which you should leave on for 24 hours unless otherwise instructed.

    Logo media

    The CO2 laser delivers bursts of pulsed energy to remove a corresponding column of tissue and the outer layer of the skin while at the same time delicately heating the surrounding skin, in turn activating a natural renewal process of your body’s own collagen to reveal underlying softer, smoother and more youthful skin.  The combination of these two factors stimulates the wound healing cascade within the skin and as a result there is an influx of growth factors, improved blood flow and promotes significant development of new collagen fibers. The fractionated nature of the laser promotes faster healing and minimizes the risks that were observed in more antiquated laser resurfacing modalities. As the treated areas of your skin heal, the new skin that forms is smoother and firmer, resolving many of the initial skin concerns

    Banner media
    Office media

    Your private consultation with Dr. Moses

    During your consult, Dr. Moses will learn about your goals and develop a treatment plan that sets you on the path toward reinvigorating and refreshing your skin. A treatment with CO2 laser resurfacing is among the most comprehensive skin renewal procedures available. Under the care of Dr. Moses, these procedures are performed with ultimate precision for stunning results.

    Your CO2 laser skin resurfacing appointment

    To prepare for your CO2 laser skin resurfacing treatment, it is crucial to:

    • Avoid tanning or excessive exposure to the sun for four weeks before your appointment
    • For three days before your appointment, do not use medications such as doxycycline, which could result in sun sensitivity
    • If you smoke, you will have to quit two weeks before and after your appointment, or the healing process may be compromised

    Schedule A Consultation

    Contact Us
    Contact us media

    The CO2 laser skin resurfacing procedure

    Laser resurfacing, often referred to as a laser peel, lasabrasian, or laser vaporization involves removing the outer layer of damaged skin to reveal a underlying softer, smoother, and younger looking skin. Laser resurfacing treats many skin deformities from fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, uneven coloration, age spots, sun spots, skin laxity, texture irregularities, and dull tones.

    The CO2 laser beam removes the outer layer of your skin, while at the same time it heats the underlying skin. The heating action helps your body develop new collagen fibers. As the treated areas of your skin heal, the new skin that forms is smoother and firmer.

    The CO2 laser precisely eliminates thin layers of skin with the least possible damage to your surrounding tissue. In the skilled hands of a facial plastic surgeon, the use of a fractional laser helps speed the healing process.

    A CO2 laser resurfacing treatment uses pulses of light that delivers a column of energy that stimulates a natural renewal process of your body’s own collagen. Since the laser beam is fractional, small areas of untreated skin are left between the treated spots. Over time, our skin’s youthful texture and appearance can diminish because of the gradual loss of moisture and collagen, acne, sun exposure, and other factors.

    Recovering after a CO2 laser skin resurfacing procedure

    Most patients can recover from this procedure after 1 to 2 weeks. To ensure a smooth recovery process, follow our aftercare instructions.

    2 to 3 days after treatment:

    During the first 2 to 3 days after this procedure, you should apply an ice pack to all treated areas for 15 to 20 minutes every few hours. 

    1 to 2 weeks after treatment:

    You should avoid excessive heat for 1 to 2 weeks, including hot tubs, saunas, and baths. You should also avoid shaving any of the treated areas. Do not apply makeup to the treated areas until they are fully healed.

    Background media

    Follow-up care

    Although you should not bathe until completely healed, you can shower after your appointment. Keep the treated areas clean by gently washing them with regular soap and water or a diluted white vinegar and water solution. Cover the treated area with a bandage, and change it twice daily.


    Your skin may take up to 3 weeks to heal, but you could still begin to see some improvements in its tone and texture. However, the final results of this procedure can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months after your appointment. 

    The results of your CO2 laser skin resurfacing treatment could last many years after your visit. Taking care of your skin by avoiding sun exposure and regularly applying sunscreen help maintain your results for longer.

    CO2 laser skin resurfacing vs. other treatments

    Tetra DEKA laser

    The Tetra laser allows for better control of the depth, intensity, and type of laser light delivered during this resurfacing treatment. Its level of adaptability is what makes it unique, as it provides more extensive results, and long lasting improvement for the skin.

    Logo media


    The CoolPeel treatment is a more superficial treatment for the skin with less downtime as compared to the DEKA laser. This treatment has the benefit of less downtime and is often completed in a treatment series, consistent of 3-4 separate resurfacing appointments a few weeks apart. 

    The CoolPeel laser functions in a similar fashion by creating small openings in the skin and stimulate wound healing. As a result, the treated areas are effectively resurfaced, generating improvement in the irregularities of the skin for a fresher, softer appearance. The CoolPeel treatment is an alternative to the more robust Tetra DEKA laser treatment for patients with less down time available and fewer skin concerns.

    Banner media
    Doctor media

    Meet Dr. Moses

    At Palmetto Facial Plastics in Columbia, SC, Dr. Helen Moses is focused on helping her clients achieve beautiful, youthful results that still look natural. When you visit our office, you will receive highly personalized communication and individualized care, so you can feel comfortable and supported during your journey with us on any of the following minimally invasive treatments:

    Dr. Helen Moses at Palmetto Facial Plastics Reviews

    M Monica I.

    I have been a patient for four years and saw her in her first "start-up" office and have watched as the rest of Columbia discovered her, and she has expanded both her services, her office space, and staff. If you are fortunate enough to become her patient, you...

    Monica I.
    C Carry P.

    All of my questions/concerns were answered in a respectful manner that was easily understood. I plan to have more procedures as I feel confident in her as a Physician.

    Carry P.
    Read More Testimonials
    Contact us media
    Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 803-400-6816.
    Contact Us