How Much Downtime After Pro Fractional Laser?

I am going in to have the pro fractional laser treatment. Im wondering how much downtime I should allow myself. Does it cause bruising and or marks that can be seen for more than a couple days? I appreciate any responses.

Doctor Answers 7

Downtime following Profractional

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The beauty of the Profractional laser is that it can be tuned to a precise depth and concentration. Your downtime will vary from 1 day of pinkness to 3-7 days of pinkness. The healthy skin in between the laser pulses allows for the more rapid healing following fractionated lasers. So decide on how much downtime you can have then work with your doctor to put together the laser settings that will achieve your desired results with the right amount of downtime

Boulder Dermatologist

Downtime following proFractional laser

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Your downtime will vary from 1-2 days of redness , swelling  depending on the settings that the doctor will use that could take up 7 days .The  treated areas stimulate the production of new collagen and increase the skin's vitality, while enhancing tone and texture.

Joseph Doumit, MD
Montreal Dermatologist

Downtime for Pro-Fractional Laser

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ProFractional uses a laser microbeam to treat pinpoint areas of your skin, reaching depths appropriate for correcting wrinkles, fine lines, acne scars, age spots and sun damaged skin. These treated areas stimulate the production of new collagen and increase the skin's vitality, while enhancing tone and texture.  The laser targets only the affected areas of the skin, the procedure is comfortable and healing time is short. Deep treatments, including treatments for acne scars, normally heal within 3-6 days.

Pro Fractional laser

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The beauty of the pro fractional laser is the ability to tailor the treatment to the expected results and downtime.  These two go hand in hand.  I would discuss with your doctor the expected results and what you are willing to have as downtime to guide the settings used during the treatment.  Sometimes it will take more treatments to have the desired results with less downtime.

William Alan Dulin, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Profractional laser recovery depends

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It all depends on how deep the setting is and the percent 'pitch' or percentage of skin treated. It also depends on your individual skin type. Generally speaking I can time the amount of downtime and predict it within a day or two for a patient depending on their needs and desires. Acne scarring or other procedures that require deeper treatment are going to have increased recovery time associated with them. Lighter treatment for skin discoloration or fine wrinkles will have minimal downtime.

Samson Lee, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

It depends- anywhere from 3 days to 12 days.

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Downtime really depends on two factors, the density your specialist uses, and also the depth. ( a third factor, which is less important is if 'coag' is used- extra heating of your tissue. 
If your problems lie on the surface of your skin, a treatment such as Profracitional with a very superficial setting, and less coverage, will give you a downtime of say 4-5 days. 

If we are chasing wrinkles and go super deep and add 'coag' or heat- then the downtime will be longer than a week, with persisting redness for several weeks. The deeper we go the better the outcome for wrinkles, crinckles, and scars. 

I hope this helps, but an in depth conversation with your Dermatologist will give you a better idea. 


Dr Davin Lim
Laser and Cosmetic Dermatologist

Healing after profractional lasers

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I have used the profractional and profractional xc laser for a few years now, and can tell you that the down time varies according to the patient's wishes.  When you consulted with your doc, your healing time was most likely part of that conversation.  Armed with that information, the doc will set their preferred depth, density, and coagulation (tightening parameter) that ensures you stay within your tolerance time.  Light treatments can heal in 24 hours, but require more treatments.  Deeper treatments can be selected to heal in 2,3,4 or more days.  Deep treatments, including those for acne scarring, usually heal in 5-6 days.  Deeper treatments also promise more results. 

Bruising rarely occurs, but is possible from two sources.  ONe, if you treat with aggressive settings, you might require local anesthesia injections for maximum comfort, and therefore might bruise from that.  Two, the eyelid skin is thin, and therefore deep treatments here can also bruise.  But again, both are very unlikely.

The other mark that might persist is a fine, burlap pattern to the skin surface that reflects the density pattern of treatment.  Not common, but can occur, especially in light skinned patients.  It too goes away with time, but might persist subtly for a few weeks.  Even a microlaser peel done right before the profractional treatment (a common combo treatment) will make it less likely, but still possible.

Kevin Robertson, MD
Madison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 15 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.