Aftercare for Cutera Pearl Treatment?

I just had this done yesterday, and I was told to wash my face with Cepaphil 3 times a day, apply the vinegar soak with a washcloth, and then apply vaseline. That made sense until I tried it. Do I actually rub and completely cleanse the vaseline off every time?

It takes a lot of rubbing to get all that vaseline off. Am I supposed to get it 100% clean or is that irritating my skin too much? Plus, how do I apply the vinegar soak afterwards?

Do I simply soak a washcloth with the vinegar/water solution and then lay it on my face for a minute or two? Please help me understand these specifics. I've searched all over on line and my doctor's office is closed. I don't want to be washing and soaking the wrong way. Thanks so much.

Doctor Answers 4

Don't rub the skin after Pearl Fractional Laser

Pearl Fractional is an excellent treatment that is providing great results for our patients. The after care is critical and our staff spends a lot of time and attention with each patient going over what to expect.
Below are our patient instructions for at-home soaking after Pearl Fractional.

• Apply a thin layer of Aquaphor Healing Ointment or plain Vaseline to treated area.
o Always thoroughly wash hands before touching treated area.
o Re-apply frequently as needed to maintain a continuous layer on your skin.
• Soak the treated skin with a plain white vinegar solution at least 4 to 8 times each day.
o You can’t soak too much. Soaking reduces redness and speeds healing!
• Do not pick, rub, scrub or irritate your skin while it is healing.

How to Soak:

Dip a clean, soft, cloth into vinegar solution and place the wet cloth against your skin, gently pressing to ensure the vinegar solution wets the skin. Rinse and repeat for 10 to 15 minutes.
Most of the ointment should come off during the soak (do NOT rub).
o Solution:
1 teaspoon of plain white vinegar to 2 cups of water. Solution may be mixed up ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.
o Apply a thin layer of ointment to the treated area immediately after soaking. If the skin gets dry or scabs appear, you need to soak more often and apply more ointment.

You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience intense pain, drainage, severe redness or fever, increased itching, the appearance of a cold sore, blister or a tingling sensation, or if at any time you feel that you are not healing normally.

Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

No rubbing after Pearl

Pearl is an excellent option for hyperpigmented skin and for early photoaging. Because it is ablative, the wounded skin must be kept moist to prevent crusting. Prophylaxis against herpes activation is also important. All this should be explained by your doctor before you leave the office. The doctor likely would want to be accessible to you and has an answering service.

Do NOT rub the skin when cleansing. Just do frequent cool vinegar soaks with a clean wash cloth and very clean hands to apply and soak the area. Do this every 2 hours. It is not important to remove all the vaseline as this would be too irritating to the skin and may delay healing.

Good luck.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Post operative instructions for Pearl Laser

We instruct all of our patients in this manner:

  1. Prepare a bowl of water and mix in your vinegar. Put a wash cloth in the bowl. Set bowl aside.
  2. Then wash your face with the Cetaphil cleanser, but do not scrub your face. Get as much of the Vaseline off as possible.
  3. Then wring out the wash cloth in your vinegar and water bowl and apply the wash cloth to your face. Once again do not scrub with the wash cloth. Go over your face gently. We suggest going over the face for about 20 minutes.
  4. When finished immediately reapply your Vaseline.

We tell our patients once they peel they can discontinue the Vaseline and then go in to Cetaphil moisturizing cream. Then the patient (if female) can apply their makeup.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Avene post Laser Skin Care works wonders

W have found found the entire Avene line made especially for post-procedure skin or sensitive skin very effective. A majority of our post Pearl and Pearl Fractional patients have used the Avene line vs. Aquaphor and Cetaphil. A week post laser and using the Avene products, patients have much less redness and healing time is much quicker. Plus you don't have the texture of the Aquaphor that is so thick and difficult to wash off. Avene allows your skin to breathe, and doesn't clog the pores or cause breakouts. Vinegar soaks also increase healing time and take out redness. Mix 1 cup water with 3 tsp. distilled vinegar. These soaks may be done several times a day for the first week of healing.

William J. Hedden, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 319 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.