CO2/Erbium Yag Laser Cortex™

The dual CO2 and Erbium Yag Laser transmits laser beams deep into the dermis to resurface tired, damaged surface skin while stimulating new healthy growth deep from within. This remarkable treatment is customized for each patient and helps to restore the natural glow and beauty of healthy, smooth skin.

The Erbium YAG Laser allows superficial ablative skin resurfacing, with less downtime if used without the CO2 laser. It works well for:

  • Superficial skin resurfacing, acting as a micro laser peel, improving skin texture
  • Treating shallow wrinkles and lines
  • Reduce brown spots

The Erbium Yag Laser could be used as alternative to a chemical peel. We will determine which treatment option is best for you based upon your skin concerns, history and expectations.

​Fractional CO” laser resurfacing allows to treat the following:

  • Chronologic aging/elastosis
  • Photo damage that includes laxity
  • Early rhytids
  • Acne scarring
  • Pigmented discolorations and scars
  • Ablation and resurfacing of soft tissue
  • Textural irregularities
  • Large pores
  • Reduce brown spots


What type of patient can be treated with the Cortex™?

The Cortex™ CO2/Erbium Yag Laser is recommended for patients with fair to moderate skin who fall within the Fitzpatrick scale of I-III. The laser could cause hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin) in patients with darker skin. The patient should not be in nursing or pregnant women, in immunosuppressed patients, or with particular skin conditions. The patient should be in good general health, with realistic expectations.

How long does treatment take?

This depends on the area being treated. Treatment can take as little as 15 minutes, but as long as 60 minutes if there is a large service area to be covered. The Cortex™ CO2/Erbium Yag Laser procedure is done in our state-of-the-art center located at Centre de Chirurgie du Visage, ORL et Plastique.

What should I do to prepare for treatment?

Stay out of the sun and refrain from any laser or chemical peel treatments for at least 3-4 weeks prior to treatment. Retinoids should be stopped a few days before and are usually used to condition the skin before treatment. Discuss any current medications that you are taking with the doctor. Fill any medication prescribed by the doctor prior to treatment.

Is treatment painful?

Every patient has a different pain threshold, but usually the Erbium:Yag resurfacing is not painful. Many patients describe the pulses of energy as warm and sometimes sharp. To reduce discomfort, we can apply a numbing cream with lidocaine prior to treatment to numb the area. This is left on approximately one hour prior to treatment.

What is the recovery time?

Patients should expect approximately 8 days of downtime. Outlined below is what you can expect on each day following treatment.

  • Day 1 – you will look sunburned and your skin will feel tight
  • Day 2 – your skin raw and darker
  • Day 3 – your skin is still raw and the area feels itchy
  • Day 5 – If needed, you can wear make-up (mineral make-up recommended)
  • Day 6/7 – you are usually back to your baseline
  • Day 8/9 – Redness typically resolves

Please note that the recovery time of the neck area is usually longer. It takes approximately 2 -3 weeks to bronze and peel.

What are the post-treatment instructions?

It is vital to continually keep the skin moist after treatment with an ointment or moisturizer. Occlusive products such as Vaseline and Aquaphor work well to retain moisture and should be applied at least 2-3 times daily. We may provide patients with a post treatment kit. Purchase a gentle cleanser and a quality SPF to protect the area from the sun. Cool compresses such as wet paper towels or frozen peas helps to ease the sunburned/tight feeling normally felt on day one. To relieve itching, it is helpful to create a solution of vinegar and water (1 teaspoon of vinegar and 2 cups of water). Avoid the sun, excessive dryness or heat. Eat healthy, refrain from alcohol and drink plenty of water. You may take Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen after treatment to reduce pain or discomfort.

 How long do results lasts?

This depends on how well the patient has followed post op instructions and maintains an appropriate skin care regime. It also depends on the aggressiveness of the treatment parameters. Please keep in mind that as you get older, skin continues to age and you may benefit from receiving additional treatments to sustain results.