CO2 Laser vs. Chemical Peels: Which has the shortest recovery time?

If you want to improve skin texture and get smooth, glowing skin, CO2 laser treatment and chemical peels are both excellent options. They can reduce the appearance of aging, and treat issues such as superficial scars, hyperpigmentation, and acne. But how do you decide between CO2 laser vs chemical peels, and which has the shortest recovery time?

CO2 Laser

The CO2 or carbon dioxide laser is commonly used for skin resurfacing. Unlike the older CO2 lasers that require a long downtime, fractional CO2 lasers have a much shorter downtime. These lasers only remove microscopic zones of skin rather than the entire outer layer.

The downtime for the CO2 laser treatment ranges from 3 to 4 days. However, recovery time differs depending on the depth of treatment and power settings.  It usually takes about 2-3 treatments to achieve optimal results.

Chemical Peels

The recovery time for chemical peels varies based on the depth of the peel, and goal of treatment. There are generally 3 levels of chemical peels – superficial, moderate, and deep.

The downtime for the superficial peel is the shortest, and may be a few hours or days. During this time patients can expect to experience some dryness and flaking. The downtime for medium and deep peel ranges from 5-7 days.  It takes a series of 4 to 6 treatments to achieve the desired results.

The choice of peel is determined by your skin concerns. If you are looking for a skin rejuvenation treatment with a short recovery time, a superficial chemical peel may be a good option.

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