Introduction to Fractional CO2 Laser Treatments

Fractional CO2 laser treatments are a common procedure for Newport Beach plastic surgeon, Dr. Michael Sundine. He uses the most advanced technologies to improve wrinkles and skin texture, shrink large pores, and treat acne scars, age spots, stretch marks, and other vascular conditions. If you have various skin problems and wish to improve the look and feel of your skin, be sure to ask Dr. Sundine about laser skin resurfacing.

Fractional Laser Resurfacing non-surgical procedure

What is Laser Skin Resurfacing?

The Fractional CO2 laser is a skin rejuvenation laser that makes it possible for you to have healthy, younger-looking skin with minimal post-treatment downtime. A single treatment can show significant improvement in skin texture and color while softening wrinkles.

Patient Review

I had a wonderful experience with Dr. Sundine, he does excellent work and I absolutely love my results! – Nicole O.
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Who Is a Candidate for Laser Skin Resurfacing?

If you have certain skin problems, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure, as long as you are not prone to scarring. Prior to administering treatment, Dr. Sundine will take a close look at your concerns and evaluate the quality of your skin. If you have sensitive skin, be sure to disclose this information; also tell Dr. Sundine about any other health problems you have.

Laser Skin Resurfacing in Newport Beach

Laser skin resurfacing is performed at Dr. Sundine’s practice with a state-of-the-art laser that was designed just for this purpose. In order to ensure your comfort, Dr. Sundine will apply topical anesthesia on your face. During treatment, the targeted tissue absorbs specific wavelengths of laser light, which removes the damaged tissue and stimulates healthy tissue underneath. In many cases, laser skin resurfacing stimulates collagen production in the body, in turn leading to the formation of healthy skin cells.

How Fractional Co2 laser Treatment Work

The laser delivers a therapeutic matrix of tiny beams of light energy to the top and mid-layers of the skin with minimal discomfort. This results in:

  • Immediate shrinkage of damaged skin
  • Softening of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Removal of age and sunspots
  • New collagen production for up to six months following treatment

Fractional means that only a fraction of the skin surface is exposed to the laser beam, leaving untreated skin around each treated micro spot. This promotes fast natural healing and a short recovery time. The beneficial effects of the laser beam expand under the skin surface to stimulate new collagen production across the entire area.

Planning for Your Laser Treatment

Prior to your treatment: Dr. Sundine will discuss which areas of your skin will benefit from the Fractional CO2 Laser treatments as well as the results you can expect. In most cases, laser treatments can be safely performed on the face, neck, chest, and hands. Usually, a single treatment produces satisfying results. If desired, additional treatments can be scheduled 8 weeks after the first.

What to Expect on the Day of Treatment?

The treatment is done in the comfort of Dr. Sundines’ office. The areas to be treated are thoroughly washed and the skin is dried prior to treatment. Although most patients do not require a topical anesthetic, Dr. Sundine will determine what is best for you and your treatment. During treatment, you will feel a warm sensation on the skin. This is to be expected. Treatment time for a full face is approximately 30 minutes. Your Laser Skin Resurfacing will be administered at Dr. Michael Sundine’s office located in Newport Beach.

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Dr. Michael Sundine is a board-certified plastic surgeon offering advanced aesthetic procedures for the skin, face, body, and breasts. In addition to offering non-surgical enhancements such as Botox, he performs comprehensive procedures such as facelift and eyelid surgery in Orange County. Other popular procedures at his practice include breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and liposuction in Newport Beach.

Pre and Post Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure

Your Newport Beach Laser Skin Resurfacing Answers

Pre Treatment

Two days before your treatment begin Valtrex 500 mg, two times daily. The purpose of this medication is to decrease your risk of developing shingles or herpes zoster after your laser treatment. This complication is painful and causes the highest risk of scarring, therefore, Valtrex is mandatory. You will continue this medication for 5 days following the procedure.

Other medications prescribed are as follows: Keflex is an antibiotic to reduce your risk of infection after the procedure. Vicodin/Lortab is a pain medication to control any discomfort. Take these medications with food or milk to avoid nausea and/or vomiting.

Post Treatment

You will have a slight burning sensation similar to sunburn, which lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. Your skin will show a fine pinpoint-like pattern as a result of the therapeutic beams.

Day 1-2:

The fine pinpoint pattern will begin to disappear and the skin will have a tanned look. At this stage, makeup can be applied. Most patients return to their normal daily routine.

Day 3-4

The top layer of skin will begin to peel during normal washing, revealing newly rejuvenated skin with improved color and texture.

Day 5-6

The peel will be complete in most cases. Avoid prolonged sun exposure for at least 3 months. Apply a moisturizing SPF 30 sunblock every day.

You will see a continued reduction of fine lines and wrinkles over the next 6 months as new collagen is produced.

Dr. Sundine will discuss with you other skincare protocols that best suit your needs.

Laser Skin Resurfacing After Care Instructions

Post Care Instructions

  • You will experience a burning sensation on the skin that will last between 30 minutes and 3 hours up to the first day.
  • You will want to take several days off of work. Treatment to the facial area will result in an appearance similar to a darker tan/sunburn for the first day. A fine scab will be formed by the skin. Do not be concerned, this promotes the healing process.
  • After 1-2 days the eschar/necrotic skin will disappear and the skin will have a tanned look. Redness may persist for up to 3 days. On days 4-5, your face will get darker and then near the 5th day, the skin will start to peel. More intense treatments can take up to 7 days to recover.
  • Wash your face using a mild soap like Purpose, Neutrogena, or a soap-free cleanser like Cetaphil.
  • Wash the treated area every day and apply Aquaphor Ointment to the treated sites and lips 4 times a day. Avoid hot water.
  • For the eye area: Treatment to the eyelids may result in swelling and create a slight squint. Redness may persist for up to 3 days. Cleanse your eyes with cool water and dab or pat lightly with a towel. Avoid hot water. Lubricating eye drops (i.e. Artificial tears) will help to decrease the dryness of your eyes. Ice packs may give some comfort and swelling around your eyes.
  • If the skin around the mouth is tight minimize extreme facial expressions and use a straw to drink.
  • Rest. Avoid strenuous exercise, bending, straining, stooping, or lifting heavy objects for 1 week after the procedure. These activities may cause more swelling and pain on your face and slow down your recovery.
  • Sleep with your head elevated on two pillows for one week after the procedure.
  • Avoid sun exposure for at least six months. A sunscreen SPF 15 or higher should be applied every day. Use a hat and sunglasses. Your skin is extremely vulnerable to the sun after having laser treatment. Protecting your skin and limiting sun exposure ensures the best cosmetic results.
  • At the time of scheduling the laser procedure, please schedule your follow-up appointment for 2 days after the procedure.
  • You may take Benadryl 25 mg tablets as needed every 6 hours for intolerable itching. Be careful because the Benadryl will cause sedation
  • Your skin should be healed 7-10 days following the procedure. At this point, you may use Oxygenetix makeup, which is safe for resurfaced skin. For the first 4-6 weeks following the resurfacing, your skin will be red and gradually diminish to a light pink color. You can apply a green cover-up make-up followed by a base make-up to camouflage the redness. Most patients can return to work or activities by 10-14 days after the resurfacing procedure without any difficulty.
  • It is important to be seen by Dr. Sundine after your initial post-op checks. He will see you in follow-up appointments at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year post-op. Call to schedule your appointments at 949-706-3100.


During the hours of 8:30 AM-5:00 PM, please call the office at 949-706-3100.  There is no such thing as a minor question. I would rather you call me than wonder and not do the right thing, so please call my office or e-mail me any time.

Dr. Sundine’s Office: 949-706-3100
Dr. Sundine’s e-mail: [email protected]

Professional Memberships:

American Society of Plastic Surgeons
American College of Surgeons-Fellow
American Academy of Pediatrics-Fellow
International Society of Craniofacial Surgeons
American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons
American Cleft Palate- Craniofacial Association
American Association of Pediatric Plastic Surgeons
California Society of Plastic Surgeons
Orange County Society of Plastic Surgeons
American Association of Plastic Surgery

Patient Reviews & Testimonials

  • "Extremely Qualified"

    I was referred to Dr Sundine by the Pelican Hill Resort while I was a guest there and I suffered serious facial injuries from a mountain biking incident. Dr Sundine and his staff were concerned and caring and extremely qualified. the work performed by Dr Sundine on my face is simpl astounding. I was so impressed with the quality of care and results I received that I have had additional voluntary facila work performed by Dr Sundine. My wife and some friends have also become patients of Dr Sundine's with the same results. It is a difficult decision to entrust someone to repair and maintain one's appearance. I trust Dr Sundine.
    - MJ

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  • "Thanks, Dr. Sundine!"

    After much research and multiple visits to other surgeons, I knew right away that Dr. Sundine was the perfect choice for me. He is gentle and kind and genuinely listens to you. I felt completely confident in his ability from the first visit to the last. Even the day of the procedure, he spent ample time talking to me, taking measurements, and making marks on my body so as to get the perfect results. I have been singing his praises to all of my friends and will recommend him to anyone searching for a plastic surgeon. Thanks, Dr. Sundine!

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  • "Excellent Plastic Surgeon!"

    Dr. Sundine is an excellent plastic surgeon! I have been using his services for almost 5 years. The office setting is state of the art and his office manager Toni makes sure that everything runs efficiently. They really listen to your needs before and after surgery to make certain that you walk out fully satisfied. If you want to look years younger and fully refreshed I highly recommend that you use his services. This is not your typical Newport Beach plastic surgeon’s office. Patients walk out looking naturally gorgeous, not overdone like some of the women in Orange County! The office offers a full range of injectables, peels, and lasers in addition to major cosmetic surgery procedures. Whether you need a little tweak or surgery this is the physician that you should see!
    - Susan

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  • "You are the Best Surgeon!"

    Dr. Sundine is the best plastic surgeon. Dr. Sundine’s excellent skills and knowledge has made my surgery turn out so well. But more importantly, it made me feel better about myself. Again, thank you Dr. Sundine for all you have done for me. You are the best surgeon!
    - Thy D.

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