Skin Laser Resurfacing (CO2 and TRL Laser)

Smooth deep wrinkles and acne scarring, significantly improve sagging skin and enhance skin’s clarity and overall tone with Ablative Laser Resurfacing.

As our skin ages, several factors contribute to it appearing older. Years of environmental damage and sun exposure can result in irregular pigmentation, brown spots, deep wrinkles, and sagging skin. A history of acne in our youth can result in scarring that appears more prominent as we age due to the natural breakdown of collagen and elastin in our skin. When symptoms of aging are more serious or pronounced, your physician may recommend Ablative Laser Resurfacing.

Laser Resurfacing

All laser resurfacing involves the removal of some or all of the surface layers of our skin. Some technologies fractionate the laser energy so smaller portions of the skin are treated in each session, allowing for shortened periods of downtime. Ablative Laser Resurfacing, on the other hand, does NOT divide or fractionate the laser energy, so treatments are more powerful, deeper, and can require extensive downtime. In fact, Ablative Laser Resurfacing is sometimes used in place of a surgical facelift, or used with it to enhance its outcomes. Your surgeon will discuss which procedure you are a better candidate for and why.

How Does It Work?

Ablative Laser Resurfacing uses laser energy that is attracted to the water in your skin and blood. As a result, it is ablative, which means it can actually remove layers of your skin while carefully controlled by your surgeon. The laser energy causes thermal (heat) coagulation of tissue. This, in turn, triggers a significant wound healing response in your skin. As the skin heals, an almost “shrinkwrap” effect takes place. Your skin heals tighter, smoother, and with more firmness. Improvements in coloration and clarity of tone, reduction in pore size, and smoothing of wrinkles and scarring results as well.

Ablative Laser Resurfacing is a highly advanced form of resurfacing and should only be performed by a surgeon with extensive training. Depending on your current skin condition, age, area of concern, and overall health, your surgeon will carefully tailor your treatment specifically to you. This includes customizing your energy settings and cooling parameters during the treatment to keep you comfortable, and your skin safe, and optimize your outcome.

In most cases, the treatment is performed under local anesthesia during an Ablative Laser Resurfacing procedure. During the procedure, you may feel a slight but tolerable stinging sensation. On the days following your treatment, your skin will feel hot, tight, tender, and sore. There may be areas that are weeping and you will be advised to keep your skin moist. Your skin will look sunburned for up to one month, sometimes longer, as it heals. Properly caring for your skin and protecting it from the sun is imperative at this time.


  • Deep wrinkles
  • Acne scarring
  • Extensive Environmental Damage
  • Pigmentation, Sun Damage
  • Sagging skin / Skin laxity


  • Smooth Wrinkles
  • Lessen the appearance of acne scarring
  • Reduction in pore size
  • Improvements in skin coloration and clarity
  • Enhanced tightness and firmness

“Dr. Griffin spent plenty of time with me and discussed lots of options. He was honest and direct about my appearance and ways to improve it. He was not at all pushy. I was very happy with the treatment and would recommend Dr. Griffin to anyone interested in facial plastics or esthetic skincare.”

CO2 VS TRL Laser Treatment: Which Is Right For Me?

CO2 laser resurfacing excels in treating deep wrinkles and scars, while TRL laser treatment offers precision for surface imperfections. The best choice depends on your specific skin concerns and desired outcomes.

Am I a Good Candidate for Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Ideal candidates include people with sun-damaged skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars. A personalized consultation with our medical team will help determine the most suitable approach to address your concerns.

What to Expect During the Consultation?

Before going through any skin laser resurfacing treatment, you will have an informative consultation with one of our doctors. They will assess your skin, discuss your concerns, and formulate a customized laser resurfacing plan. This collaborative approach ensures your expectations align with achievable, beautiful results.

How to Prepare for a Laser Skin Resurfacing Treatment?

Prepare for your laser skin resurfacing treatment by avoiding sun exposure, discontinuing certain skincare products, and informing our team of any medications like blood thinners, anti-inflammatory medicines, or herbal supplements. These steps contribute to a seamless and effective procedure.

Recovery and Results

Day 1-10: Prepare for up to 10-day home recovery. During the first 48 hours, you will experience a burning sensation, like a severe sunburn. For the first 8 to 10 days you will experience oozing and crusting. All treated areas must be kept moist with the dressing applied after surgery or with Aquaphor (or any other topical your surgeon recommends).

Beyond Day 10: Most female patients can return to wearing makeup after day 10. Some areas of your skin may feel quite tight and dry. Aquaphor can be necessary beyond this point, but most patients require the use of a more emollient moisturizer. Itching is common and your surgeon may prescribe a medication to keep you comfortable. Your redness will gradually fade after a period of weeks to months.

As your swelling subsides, you may notice wrinkles reappearing. This is normal. Many of these wrinkles will disappear completely or improve dramatically as new collagen forms over the next few months. Optimal improvement may take three months or longer to be fully realized. Some patients may require more than one treatment.

Because this is a deeper form of resurfacing, your downtime post-procedure will be longer than other forms of resurfacing. In turn, we recommend that you and your surgeon plan your procedure far out from any social events or obligations on your calendar. Your surgeon will also discuss properly prepping your skin before your treatment to enhance your results and avoid complications during your treatment. You will receive extensive directions on how to care for your skin after your treatment and may be asked to visit regularly with one of our Licensed Estheticians to monitor your progress.

Skin Laser Resurfacing Cost

The price of skin laser resurfacing varies widely depending on multiple factors, including the number of treatments required to achieve optimal results and the cosmetic or medical concerns you want to address. Contact us today and find out what’s best for you.


Is laser skin resurfacing painful?

Through topical anesthesia, you won’t feel any major discomfort or pain. Our team will make sure that you feel at ease throughout the procedure.

What skin concerns does CO2 laser resurfacing target?

CO2 laser is effective for treating deep wrinkles, scars, and certain pigmentation issues.

How many sessions of CO2 laser resurfacing are typically required?

The number of sessions depends on individual skin needs, but significant improvement is often seen after a single session.

What is the downtime after TRL laser treatment?

Downtime varies due to different factors, but patients can typically resume normal activities within a week after TRL laser treatment.

Can a TRL laser treat fine lines and wrinkles?

Yes, TRL laser treatment is effective for addressing fine lines and wrinkles, promoting collagen renewal.

At Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery, we invite you to explore the possibilities of laser skin resurfacing. Book your consultation today, and let our medical team guide you toward a radiant, rejuvenated complexion.

Schedule A Consultation

Please contact us today if you have any questions about skin laser resurfacing in Minneapolis – St. Paul or would like to schedule a consultation at Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery & Esthetic Skincare. We will build the ideal treatment plan for you in order to help you achieve smoother, more radiant skin.


Before + After Results

View before and after photos of surgeries performed by facial plastic surgeons Dr. Christopher Tolan, Dr. Garrett Griffin, Dr. Zachary Farhood and Dr. Anna Bakeman in Minneapolis, MN.