Spending my childhood in California with four brothers, I didn’t bother for facial products or treatments. I played various sports, so perspiring + cosmetics = skin disaster. While i attended high school, makeup was not within my routine, and in college, I didn’t wear much foundation and mascara.

I moved to Washington DC at age 20, the difference in climate and the adjustment to putting on makeup to work on a daily basis was quite a challenge. Acne breakouts replaced my beautiful skin. And then scars began to appear.

About five years ago, I went and did a fractional CO2 laser as my acne scar treatment — three times (once per month). It changed my skin tone, totally. I was happy, amazed, and undoubtedly fascinated!

“CO2 laser is used to treat number of skin concerns,” said NYC dermatologist Dr. Sejal Shah, founder of SmarterSkin Dermatology. “It can address texture and tone. It can be used to treat wrinkles, signs of aging, sun damaged skin, scars, uneven pigment. It can also be used to remove certain growths.”

My ugly acne scars were largely decreased — most of them were gone after the three CO2 fractional laser treatment!

How it happens

Fractional CO2 laser is meant to be an acne scar treatment by causing microscopic ‘wounds’ at the targeted areas underneath the skin’s most outer layer, which triggers our own natural production of new collagen and skin cells.

This can be painful, so before the procedure, a numbing cream was applied to my cheeks.

The actual procedure takes less time than the preparation — 15 minutes max. I was able to hear the buzzing sound of the laser. Perhaps every few minutes — a jolt of pain, which felt like an intense rubber band snap on the face make me teared a little.

My first experience with CO2 fractional laser made me stay home for almost seven days. I’d recommend that you choose a time of the year where you could stay home (holiday period, or annual leave)

As for the following week, I was prescribed antibiotics and was given instructions to apply an ointment after washing my face with a proper cleanser.

The pain went away after the first day, but my face still appeared red until day four. By the time day seven came, I was back to normal.

The CO2 Fractional Laser journey made my face looked clearer of discoloration, my pores had become less obvious.

This pricey process will make you a little less social for a few days, but all in all, I think it is a reliable acne scar treatment.

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