CO2 laser resurfacing is a surgical, ablative laser treatment that removes the top layers of skin to promote healing of concerns such as scarring, sun damage, wrinkles, and pigmentation issues. It is often performed along with a facelift, brow lift, or other facial plastic surgeries. While a patient can safely undergo the procedure at any time of year, winter is arguably the best time, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Let’s delve into why winter is the best time to have CO2 laser resurfacing.
After CO2 laser resurfacing, the skin is red, raw, and more sensitive than usual. The face is usually not fully bandaged, but does require regular application of moisturizing agents like Vaseline to keep the skin protected and prevent dryness. During this time, the skin is more sun sensitive. In fact, during recovery, sun exposure should be avoided altogether for about one to two weeks. After this period, sunscreen should still be applied generously and regularly.
Therefore, undergoing CO2 laser resurfacing in the wintertime naturally limits sun exposure. While you do still need to wear sunscreen, it is easier to carry on with your normal activities after the initial recovery period. Patients may even see faster healing if they undergo an ablative laser procedure in the winter versus the summer.