One of my favorite lasers for skin tightening is fractional CO2 laser (Smartskin). This laser has the ability to penetrate deep into the dermis and stimulate collagen. It is my laser of choice for tightening the skin around the eyes to help open the eyes.
One of the drawbacks to the Fractional CO2 laser is that there is a downtime. While the downtime has considerably shortened with the advent of fractional technology, patients will still look swollen for 4 solid days. On day number 5, they may return to wearing make-up, but will have some redness that will dissipate over the next 1-2 weeks.
Patients often asked what the healing looks like so I am attaching photos of immediately post and day 1, day 2 etc. While the amount of swelling can differ for each patient, this is a good representation.
We also recommend a healing cream that comes with the procedure (cicalfate).
While improvement can be seen after the swelling abates, the real improvement occurs around 2-3 months when the new collagen can visibly be seen as tightening of the skin.