Steroid cream after laser resurfacing for 3 weeks but now cheeks getting red and hot again? (photo)

During my 1 week check up I still had a lot of redness and was given topical steroid cream twice per day. I had this same procedure 3 years ago and redness lasted 8 weeks so not sure why he was concerned. I am very fair. Anyway, the cream seemed to help at first but now cheeks are getting red and hot again. Should I keep using the cream this long? I am worried it may do more harm than good at this point. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 2

Steroid cream after laser

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Steroid creams should only be used for about 10-14 days at a time as they can cause redness if used for extended periods of time.  You should check with your doctor - sometimes you can use a Vitamin C serum or other anti-oxidant cream which can work as anti-inflammatory for the skin.  After any laser resurfacing you want to make sure you also keep it very moist.        

Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Redness vs. Rosacea after Laser resurfacing

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Looking at the photo which shows your fair skin, I am thinking that you may be experiencing a small rosacea flare-up after your laser treatment.  This makes sense because you have had the reaction before.   I would not recommend relying on steroid for this because it can cause rebound redness and inflammation when stopped or acne and other side effects if overused.  Instead I would only use gentle anti-inflammatories like creams, gels or serums with aloe vera, cucumber or bromelain.  We like SkinMedica redness relief or SkinCeuticals Phytocorrective gel In the U.S. we have a nice new gel called Mirvaso which is essentially the medicine in Afrin spray which helps calm redness temporarily in rosacea-prone skin.  In addition, you can just go with a bland moisturizing cream like Cetaphil and a non-irritating sunblock with no chemical sunscreens (just zinc oxide and titanium dioxide)

Karen Stolman, MD
Sandy Dermatologic Surgeon

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