Pimples After a Micro Laser Peel

I had a 10 - 15 micron laser peel 3 days ago - now I have a big cystic type pimple right on my jawline - is that normal? I am really disappointed!

Doctor Answers 8

Microlaser peel in Santa Monica and Los Angeles

It is completely normal for the skin to breakout after any type of skin treatment, including a MicroLaser Peel to the face.  I would recommend a good exfoliant and retin-a post laser to help reduce acne and breakouts. Kare - Raffy Karamanoukian, Los Angeles 

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Healing after MicroLaser Peel

It is not uncommon to have some breakout in your skin following this type of procedure.  There may be some healing over of some of your pores following the treatment and will typically resolve within the next several weeks.  Please make sure to continue close communication with your physician regarding use of facial cleansers, occlusive dressing and moisturizers to make sure you obtain the optimal result.  
Best Regards,

Jacque P. LeBeau, MD


Jacque P. LeBeau, MD
Pensacola Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Pimples After a Micro Laser Peel

This is normal for some people to have break outs and white bumps after a laser peel.  It usually goes away shortly and is no need for concern. 

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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Micro laser peel

Microlaser peel resurfaces the top layers of the skin and sometimes patients can break out with pimples or miliae after the treatment.  It's not a cause for concern and most reactions are self-resolving and long-term results are good.

Anatoli Freiman, MD
Toronto Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Pimple after laser peel--what causes this?

Laser "peels" or superficial laser resurfacing (a 10-15 micron tissue removal is extremely superficial, mostly epidermis only) remove tissue and stimulate a healing process from the very precise "injury" that tissue vaporization via laser causes.

During the healing process, re-epithelialization occurs, and pores or hair follicles can seal shut causing a tiny pimple (termed milia). Swelling during the healing process can temporarily block pores as well. In some cases the healed-over pore may be "durable enough" or swollen enough to cause the development of a somewhat larger acne cyst.

These are temporary, and if they don't resolve on their own (or if they are the larger ones like you are describing), your doctor can easily puncture and drain them with a sterile needle.

BTW, the occlusive dressings used during the healing process keep the skin moist, enhancing re-epithelialization and reducing redness and swelling. It's the swelling (or the healed-over pore) during the healing process that causes the blemish, NOT the occlusive dressing. This is easily proven by discontinuing the occlusive dressing (patients who are misinformed do this on their own), and finding out that redness and milia formation is actually WORSE! The better the occlusive dressing is used (assuming the skin is being kept clean also, but not excessively washed, especially with drying and irritating soaps), the quicker the swelling and redness resolves, and the sooner the milia go away.

By now you already know this, but other readers may want to know. Thanks for asking!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Pimples after laser peels

A pimple after a laser peel is not a cause for upset. The post-laser regimen sometimes makes people break out. Sometimes, it is just a tissue reaction. Most reactions are temporary and results are good.

Barry Resnik, MD
Miami Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Acne after Micro laser peel

The post-laser treatment instructions for a micro laser peel is to apply an occlusive ointment for several days until the skin is no longer dry and peeling.  This occlusive ointment, although great for skin healing, can block pores and cause an acne breakout. 

If you are not prone to acne, this should be temporary and resolve after you stop the ointment.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Cystic Acne after Micro Laser Peel

It is normal to break out after Micro Laser Peel. It is an ablative treatment , so during the healing process the skin can react differently, and cause temporarily cystic acne.

Mansour Bendago, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 72 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.