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Best Skin Aftercare Following Laser Resurfacing?

Is there anything special I need to do (or not do) to recovery skin after a laser skin treatment or increase the effectiveness of the laser treatment?


Doctor Answers (16)

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Best skin care for laser resurfacing

Laser resurfacing removes skin layers and creates controlled damage to the underlying supportive structures. In response to this injury your body restores skin and collagen which yields a smoother skin surface and tightens the skin envelope. Since our cells are mostly water a moist environment is best to promote healing and minimize scarring. Almost any technique which provides this moisture will be of benefit. Commonly used approaches include ointments such as aquaphor or Vaseline till the top skin layer is healed then sunblock and perhaps collagen enhancing creams to enhance the laser resurfacing benefit. If you have a history of cold sores make sure you inform your surgeon as you should probably be on medicine to minimize a breakout which could affect your healing.

Web reference:

Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Best care after laser treatments


Generally, after laser treatments, the most important thing you can do for about a week is to make sure the skin stays moist. There are a whole variety of things to do that from Vaseline to more complicated creams. About a week after treatment it’s important to start up with topical agents that maintain and further improve the results from the laser treatment. At the top of the list are products that contain glycolic acid and growth factors.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

After Laser Care


My routine after a deep laser is:

  • Elta cream (a Vaseline type ointment) applied immediately after the procedure, keep reapplying as it dries out until you first get in the shower
  • Starting on day 2, the patient gets in the shower and gently washes the face (no soap) 4-6 times a day
  • Reapply the Elta cream after each shower
  • Keep this up until all the crusting, flaking and peeling is gone.  This usually takes 7-10 days following a deep Erbium treatment
  • Once the skin is not peeling anymore, you an apply a coverup makeup to hide some of the reddness
  • Moisturize with a very hypoallergenic lotion like Cetaphil
  • Keep using very mild moisturizers until the pinkness and reddness has faded (be patient as this can take weeks or even months)
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Skin Care After Laser Resurfacing


As a general rule, after laser resurfacing the skin should be kept moist until healed. We use a special type of bandage for the first 24 hours called Vigilon and then after that an ointment called Aquaphor. But each doctor probably has a particular product or regimen that they prefer. By keeping the skin moist it heals twice as quickly as letting it dry out. Its an old wives' tale that you let the air get to a wound to speed healing; its just the opposite. After the skin is healed following laser resurfacing a continuing regimen utilizing a retinoid will help stimulate further collagen deposition and improve and maintain the result.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

In order to achieve optimum results from a laser...


In order to achieve optimum results from a laser treatment, follow the treatment with either a glycolic acid or retinol serum and a ceramide containing moisturizer.

Santa Monica Dermatologic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Stay out of the sun before and after treatment plus...

  1. Stay out of the sun before and after treatment plus appropriate skin protection.
  2. Use constant application of gentle moisturizers every couple of hours after treatments.
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Skin care after laser resurfacing


Skin heals best when it is kept moist.  The best way to accomplish that is to apply an ointment with no irritants in it, such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline) every two-three hours for three days after the procedure.

It is also extremely important to stay out of the sun while the skin is healing.  The skin has very little protection after a resurfacing procedure and may be damaged more easily by ultraviolet light.  In addition, exposure to the sun may lead to complications, such as hyperpigmentation.

After the skin is healed and all the scabs/crusts are gone, a good skin care regimen with a mild cleanser, a moisturizer and a retinoid cream will help maintain and improve the results of the procedure.

Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Best Skin Aftercare Following Laser Resurfacing?

After laser treatment the older skin will become dry and peel off, during this time it is important to keep the skin lubricated. To care for the skin after resurfacing:
  • After laser treatment the skin tends to dry out, apply Vaseline or similar lubricating ointment regularly while the skin is crusting and peeling.
  • Wash your face regularly with a cetaphil skin soap (simple skin soap with few preservatives) to clean the skn from skin debris and body secretions. Cleansing gently with gauze sponges to clean the skin every 3-4 hours is recommended.
  • Keep using skin moisturisers and cleansers after peeling has completed
  • Keep using sun protection creams (SPF of 30 or above) for at least 6-months
London Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Skin aftercare following laser resurfacing


The skin aftercare depends on the depth of the laser resurfacing. Superficial lasers may just need some daily dilute vinegar water soaks . More aggressive lasers may need some oral medications. Usual skin care regimen in my office includes petroleum jelly for a few days with vinegar soaks.

Boulder Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Best Skin Care After Laser Resurfacing


In general, after a laser resufacing procedure, skin is delicate and needs to be hydrated, protected, and in some cases stimulated with growth factors.

1.  Hydration--The skin need to stay moist and application of a variety of ointments such as Aquaphor can be used.  Covering the face is another option for some patients with a specialized product to do so.

2.  Early cleaning-- If a deep laser resurfacing procedure was performed, patients may need to do rinses with apple cider vinegar rinse or other product for a few days to help.  We do not want patients using soap early on.

3.   Recovery-- Early on, growth factors applied can help skin recover faster.

4.   Protection--  Avoidance of sun and trauma to the skin is critical and review with your office the best means of protecting your newly lasered skin protected.

Web reference:

Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

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