CO2 Laser Resurfacing


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Since 2010, healthcare providers have trusted the CO2 Laser to provide visible, lasting results for their patients.

We use Candela CO2RE Fractional Resurfacing Laser.


The CO2 Laser treatment uses an ablative fractional laser for skin resurfacing. Skin is treated with a series of laser pulses to enhance skin tone and texture, eliminate the effects of the sun resulting in aging of the skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and smooth out unsightly scars.

As We Age, Skin Changes Occur:

  • Texture becomes rougher
  • Tone begins to dull
  • Uneven pigmentation occurs
  • Fine lines and wrinkles appear
  • Skin becomes more fragile

The CO2 Laser Treatment Strengthens Skin From Within. Clinically Proven To Improve The Appearance Of:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Acne scars
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Skin tone and texture
  • Traumatic and/or surgical scars
  • Baggy eyes


Laser skin resurfacing is a proven way to help reduce wrinkles, age spots, acne scars, and other blemishes and tighten skin and balanced tone. But precisely because lasers can do so much and vary widely in how they act on your skin, it is hard to know where to start when researching treatment—even the most simple search reveals a slew of competing devices and methods.

Regardless of what time of year you have your laser procedure, wear a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen daily and reapply as needed. SPF 30 lotion not only helps to keep your results looking their best, but it also provides protection against skin cancer and helps prevent additional premature aging.

Patients and doctors commonly compare the sensation felt during laser treatments to a rubber band snapping against the skin. However, what laser resurfacing feels like depends on the laser, the depth and area of treatment, and an individual’s tolerance for pain.

Some non-ablative laser treatments (where the laser passes through the skin without removing layers) cause little-to-no pain and require only a topical numbing cream to offset discomfort. Non-ablative lasers include pulsed-dye, Yag, and Alexandrite lasers. Following the procedure, some tenderness in the treatment area is normal. Your provider will recommend safe ways to control discomfort after laser resurfacing when necessary.

In the hands of a highly trained, knowledgeable professional, laser resurfacing is a safe way to improve your skin’s appearance dramatically. 

See our FAQ below. Contact Us with questions.



  • Don’t use products containing retinoids as it can affect the end results.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure 2 weeks prior to the laser treatment.
  • Stop taking medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and even vitamin E, as this can lead to prolonged clotting.
  • Consult your dermatologist to find out if you’re a suitable candidate for the fractional CO2 laser treatment.

Skin Care after CO2 Laser Treatment. After CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing treatment, it usually takes about 1 to 2 weeks for your skin to heal. Your skin will be very sensitive during this time. Follow the guidelines below to help your skin heal and prevent infection.

You can hand wash the treated area with mild soap during this time. Even after 72 hours, you should clean the area GENTLY.

The final results of the Fraxel CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing are permanent!

Avoid strenuous exercise, bending, straining, stooping, or lifting heavy objects for one week after the procedure. These activities may cause more swelling and pain on your face and slow down your recovery.

While many plastic surgery experts cite eight years as the time your results from fractional laser treatment or CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing treatment will last, others find the effects last far longer.

The redness of the skin that persists after the initial healing phase usually fades in about 4 to 6 weeks.

After receiving laser skin resurfacing, keeping your face well hydrated can help ease this using doctor-approved moisturizing creams or lotions. Hydrating your skin will allow your skin to be more elastic and heal faster and offer comfort as you contract facial muscles.

Local anesthesia for CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing is appropriate, so there is minimal discomfort during the procedure.

You can sleep by either sleeping in a recliner tilted at 45 degrees or sleeping with two pillows underneath your head. Avoid rolling onto your face. Sleeping on your back for the first two weeks helps to ensure this. Following your CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing procedure, a Silicon dressing will be applied over your face.

You’ll have some redness and swelling. You may also experience itching or stinging for a few days after the procedure. Depending on the treatment, some people may have what looks like a severe sunburn. The skin will be raw, oozing, and may even blister.

Do not apply make-up over the treated skin for at least ten days. About 30% of laser patients will experience hyperpigmentation after skin resurfacing. If it occurs, hyperpigmentation usually occurs about four weeks after the procedure.

CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing treatment is one of the most popular acne medical treatments available because it can deliver the therapy to the entire area. The therapy may also apply to the tissue around the scar to help diminish the appearance of the acne scarring to blend the scar more naturally into the skin.

Avoid strenuous exercise, bending, straining, stooping, or lifting heavy objects for three days after the procedure. These activities may cause swelling and pain on your face and slow down your recovery.

It is certainly unnecessary to bleed after a CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing treatment. The CO2 laser is an ablative laser of 10,600 nanometers. A CO2 laser might penetrate the papillary dermis down to the reticular dermis, depending on the device settings.

It’s best to avoid the sun 7-14 days leading up to your laser treatment and after. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays causes pigment changes to the skin that may not be treatable. We recommend limiting sun exposure two months before and after treatment.

After fractionated ablative laser treatment, some patients use dilute vinegar soaks and Aquaphor, Vaseline, or Elta emollient until the skin heals and stops oozing. Then they use sunscreen and gradually return to regular routines, adding retinoid after 3 or 4 weeks.

CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing will cause the skin to peel (looks like coffee grounds), and we see this starting 1-2 days after and lasting 4-7 days.

Laser Skin Resurfacing treatment is a safe and effective treatment for all kinds of wrinkles. This treatment easily resurfaces the skin and quickly reduces the appearance of wrinkles, especially wrinkles around the mouth and on the forehead. This treatment is an effective option for the vast majority of patients.




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Before your treatment session, our specialist will discuss what to expect during your treatment. However, it is helpful to remember that there are a few things to take into consideration before your session:

  • At least three to four days before your procedure, discontinue anti-inflammatory medications.
  • One to two weeks before your procedure, discontinue any blood-thinning herbs, supplements, or vitamins.
  • One to two weeks before your procedure, discontinue systematic steroids
  • At least one month before your procedure, stop steroid injections
  • On the day of your procedure, eat a full, healthy breakfast and be sure to drink plenty of water
  • Be advised that if you take chronic oral steroids, a discontinuation plan will need to be discussed with your primary care provider, as abrupt stoppage may cause side effects.


After your treatment session, we recommend all patients rest on the day of their procedure. We advise limited use of the treatment area for the next two days, but we encourage general movement. Limited use helps the joint recover as the area’s surrounding tissues absorb the treatment.

0—3 days post-procedure guidelines

  • After your treatment, you’ll experience some mild-to-moderate pain or discomfort at the treatment site. Discomfort is normal, and it is a sign that your body is healing as it adjusts to the treatment.
  • It is best to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water to help promote healing.
  • You mustn’t take ANY medications following your procedure unless specifically directed otherwise by a physician. NO medicine is a must because any drug can affect the healing process or other adverse effects.

Therefore, discontinue use of these medications post-procedure for best results:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications for at least two weeks post-procedure
  • Blood-thinning herbs, supplements, or vitamins for 3-4 days post-procedure
  • Systematic steroids for two weeks post-procedure
  • Other important guidelines to follow your procedure are:
  • Avoid applying ice or heat to the injection site for the first 72 hours post-procedure
  • Don’t take a hot bath or go to a sauna for the first few days post-procedure
  • Avoid consumption of any alcoholic beverages for the first week post-procedure
  • Avoid showering for the first 24 hours following your procedure
  • Limit caffeine consumption for the first week post-procedure
  • Avoid smoking

3—14 days post-procedure guidelines

  • At this point in your healing, you can resume your daily activities.
  • 3 to 14 days is also when you can begin exercises. Proper exercise is a vital part of long-term results, and we can help you determine which exercises are best suited for your needs before your procedure.
  • Apply ice 3-4 times a day for 15-20 minutes as needed for comfort
  • Anti-inflammatory medications (such as Tylenol) to help manage any residual pain as directed are appropriate
  • Continue to avoid alcoholic beverages, smoking, or excessive amounts of caffeine

3—4 weeks post-procedure guidelines

  • We highly encourage you to begin physical therapy to aid in your long-term healing and continued recovery at this point in your healing.
  • Make a follow-up appointment for you to meet with our physician to review your healing process. You must keep this follow-up visit even if your recovery is going well.
  • If there are any adjustments to your customized treatment plan, this followup is when our physician will make those decisions.



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Registered Nurse Practitioner Tonya Tuggle is Albuquerque’s choice for those who want to keep their youthful appearance and healthy glow. Tonya is passionate about educating patients on preventative skin care and providing non-surgical maintenance for graceful aging. We can’t wait to meet you!

Proudly Serving Albuquerque NM and the Surrounding Communities

Albuquerque NMClovis NMEspanola NMGallup NMHobbs NMLas Cruces NMLos Lunas NMRio Rancho NMRoswell NMSanta Fe NMSocorro NMSouth Valley NM