I had CO2 laser, microneedling and PRP injections two days ago and have loads of swelling and itching. Is this normal? (Photo)
Doctor Answers 2
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Itching after microneedling and PRP is part of the healing process, and possibly from exposure to allergens after the procedures
I can certainly give you some guidance on this issue. To give you a little about my background — I am a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and a Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, practicing in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years. I’ve been using the CO2 laser since the mid-90s, and before that I did chemical peels, so I am quite familiar with this type of concern. This is a common part of any type of resurfacing procedure where in the goal is to restore new skin and stimulate collagen.
In our practice, I use the fractional CO2 laser quite frequently. This device basically generates columns of energy into the skin with the intention of re-epithelializing or restoring fresh new skin, and stimulating the dermis to generate collagen and to tighten up. Creating these defects on your skin will certainly result in itching, and this is simply just a normal part of the healing process. Similarly, microneedling will also generate the same type of response, since you are basically pricking your skin with a needle.
If you feel that the type of itching you’re experiencing is extremely uncomfortable, it is possible that it is associated with some kind of allergy. It is important to understand that when you have any resurfacing procedure done, the protective barrier of the skin is reduced and eliminated. The aquaphor does play an essential role in protecting your skin while the epithelium heals, but keep in mind that when the barriers are removed, you become more vulnerable to various allergens in the environment. It is possible that the itching you’re experiencing is also due to something else you are applying aside from the aquaphor, so I think it would be good for you to meet with the doctor who performed this procedure.
In our practice, after procedures like this, we tell our patients to expect at least a week’s worth of downtime to allow for proper healing. Since you had a dermal treatment, you can expect a redness that will persist for a few weeks. Looking at your photos, it doesn’t look like contact dermatitis, which is one of the things that come to my mind when patients talk about itching. Contact dermatitis is similar to getting stung by poison ivy, and like contact allergies, if you can catch them early and treat them early, you can avoid complications later on. But certainly, like I said, some itching and some swelling is just part of the natural healing course.
I personally have an open door policy with my patients. If they have questions, our doors are always open, and they can come right in and get evaluated in person. This is more preferable because photos are not an ideal way to diagnose or determine the severity of one’s concern. I suggest you meet again with your doctor, and see what can be done to help things progresse further away from what is undesirable. A little itching and swelling may be normal for doctors, but for a person who is experiencing it for the first time, it can be worrying and distressing, so meet with your physician as soon as possible to put your mind at ease.
I hope that was helpful and I wish you the best of luck!
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