Should I Prep with Retin-A and Bleaching Cream Before Mixto Laser?

I am getting the Mixto microfractional h20 resurfacing laser next month.... and the doctor has instructed me to begin prepping with retin-a and hydroquinone ( a bleaching agent) for 2-3 weeks before the treatment so that he would be able to perform the procedure more aggressively, hence better results. Is this right??.. I was always under thee impression that retin-a would thin the skin and is unadvisable before laser treatments or chemical peels. What should I do??.. should I start the creams?

Doctor Answers 3

Skin Preperation before laser resurfacing

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Our patients are put on a highly customized skin care regimen before Microfractuinal Laser Resurfacing. We  start with an antioxidant with vitamin C and Greentea. All patients are put on an exfoliator such as 10% Glycolic acid Lotion to thin the topmost layer of the skin. (Stratum Cornium) We do this so that a 6% solution of Hydroquinone can easily penatrate to the pigment producing cells (Melanocytes). This Medicine slows down extra pigment production. This prevents dark streaking and/or hyper pigmentation after surgery.

Retin A and Bleaching Cream Prior to MIXTO

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Using retinols and bleaching creams is often advised prior to and subsequent to MIXTO procedures to minimize pigmentation issues. Both medications can also irritate and sensitize the skin.  If you experience significant irritation, you should contact your doctor as they would be unable to perform the procedure on broken skin.

Melissa Toyos, MD
Nashville Ophthalmologist

Pre-op prep prior to laser resurfacing

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Pre-op prep prior to laser resurfacing is critical and should be customized by a board-certified dermatologist with the experience to minimize post-treatment complication such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. For ethnic skin, I have found pre-op prep using prescription-strength topical retinoid and hydroquinone based bleaching cream to be instrumental for overall treatment satisfaction.

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.