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CO2 Laser Resurfacing


People with blemished, acne-scarred or imperfect skin may suffer from low self-esteem and social anxiety issues as a result of their appearance. The treatment available to reduce the look of such imperfections is called CO2 laser resurfacing. Located in Los Altos, Mittelman Plastic Surgery, led by board-certified facial plastic surgeon Harry Mittelman, MD, offers CO2 laser resurfacing for men and women who live in and around San Jose, Palo Alto and the surrounding communities of California.

Our Fractionated CO2 laser technology was pioneered by Dr. Mittelman. He developed the first office-based CO2 laser for cosmetic use in the 1980s.


The CO2 laser utilizes extremely advanced laser technology to remove the outer layers of damaged skin that have resulted from acne scarring, sun damage, and other blemishes. The treatment area is resurfaced for improved texture and clarity. The underlying skin that is revealed is smoother, softer, clearer and younger-looking.

A CO2 laser treatment will improve:

  • Brown spots
  • Skin vitality
  • Melasma
  • Acne scars
  • Mild skin wrinkles
  • Crow’s feet


CO2 laser resurfacing has many benefits. Many patients report experiencing an increase in their self-esteem and social skills as a result of their skin’s improved appearance. Other benefits of CO2 laser resurfacing include:

  • The removal of damaged skin
  • Fresh, clearer skin is revealed underneath
  • Skin is revitalized and appears fresh and bright
  • Blemishes and scarring are reduced or eliminated altogether
  • Fine lines and wrinkles are completely eliminated
  • Younger, refreshed-looking appearance


CO2 laser resurfacing utilizes light beams that are either scattered at a very high rate or pulsed. This light pattern minimizes any damage that can result from the heat, as well as allows the more powerful laser to remove tissue at a deeper level to provide more dramatic results. This technique allows the CO2 laser resurfacing treatment to create some of the most amazing anti-aging results to date.

During the skin resurfacing procedure with the CO2 laser, very short pulses of light energy are delivered to the skin’s surface to vaporize the topmost layers. The energy produced by the laser is controlled in order to remove the skin with precision and minimal damage. The skin’s natural collagen production process is stimulated during the procedure, resulting in an enhanced tissue structure and improved firmness of the skin.


A numbing cream may first be applied to the dermal surface in order to reduce any discomfort associated with the anesthetic injections that are made to the treatment site. A minimum of one consultation with Dr. Mittelman is required before undergoing the procedure to discuss questions or concerns, personal needs, treatment goals and desired results. On the day of your procedure, it is recommended that you not wear any makeup or jewelry. Comfortable clothing should be worn so that you may rest immediately upon returning home after the procedure. It is important that you discontinue all medical skin care treatments seven days before your laser treatment. If you have a history of cold sores, please inform us before your treatment so we can pretreat you with anti-viral medication.


After your CO2 laser resurfacing procedure, the treated areas will be tender, pink and swollen for several days. The use of a cold pack will help reduce post-op swelling and discomfort, as will NSAIDS such as aspirin or ibuprofen. You should expect your skin at the treatment site to remain red for several weeks after the procedure as skin regrowth begins. Proper care of the treated areas includes:

  • Cleansing: Rinse the skin many times throughout the day with cool water to help avoid infection and reduce the crusting that often happens. Do not use soap or any scented products.
  • Downtime: Post-treatment downtime is approximately five to seven days.
  • Sun exposure: It is extremely important to avoid sun exposure after the treatment to avoid skin pigment damages.
  • Moisture: It is important to apply moisturizer to allow for the new skin to grow and heal properly on the treated area.
  • Swelling: It is normal to experience some swelling. This is most common under the eyes and usually lasts up to three days. To minimize swelling, sleep with your head elevated and apply cold compresses to the area for the first few days.
  • Redness: This is significant during the first week, but then resolves. Very mild redness can persist after the first week, but it is easily covered with makeup.
  • Peeling skin: This is a normal part of the healing process and is common during day’s three to seven of healing.


The majority of insurance companies consider skin rejuvenation to be an elective procedure, therefore, most policies do not extend benefits for CO2 laser resurfacing.


During your one-on-one consultation, Dr. Mittelman will be able to tell you if there is any reason why you should not undergo CO2 laser resurfacing. Most patients who inquire about the procedure, however, make great candidates for laser resurfacing. CO2 laser resurfacing may not be the best choice if you have active acne, very dark skin, deep wrinkles or sagging skin. If you desire a fresh, blemish-free face, call our office today to schedule your consultation and discover if CO2 laser resurfacing is right for you.

Harry Mittelman, MD, is recognized as a pioneer in facial plastic surgery. As a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, specializing in both surgical and non-surgical or non-invasive cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery procedures, Dr. Mittelman provides his patients with exceptional skills and results that last. For more information on CO2 laser resurfacing or to schedule a private consultation at Dr. Mittelman’s office, please contact us today. We serve the entire Southbay and Bay Area including Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City, Mountain View, San Mateo, San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and the surrounding areas.

Read Our Reviews

“I have been going to Dr. Mittelman for various procedures since 1999. He is personable, easy to talk to and absolutely sane about what to do and when. I appreciate his calm advice as much as i do his surgical skills, which are_the best_ A special note about the staff – they are considerate and…”

Hank B.

“I had my upper eyelids done by Dr. Mittelman. I was expecting improvement, but I think the results are fabulous. Dr. Mittelman and I talked a lot about what I was hoping to get out of the surgery and what he thought was possible. I had some wrinkles and heavy “hooding” that made me look…”

Mary S.

“Over the years I have had different procedures done by Dr. Mittelman. I prefer to have the smaller surgeries as I go along the way, they are less invasive and provide more natural results. Dr. Mittelman has delivered excellence in professionalism each and every single time. H is an excellent plastic surgeon, more like a…”

Jaqueline D.

“Dr. Mittelman, the master of administering BOTOX with fabulous results! His staff is super friendly and their office is extremely diligent in providing a safe, sterile, and clean environment, particularly during these unprecedented times – COVID-19”

KM from Monte Sereno

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