Best Skin Aftercare Following Laser Resurfacing?
Doctor Answers 27
Recommended Aftercare following Laser Resurfacing
Skin Care After Laser Resurfacing
As a general rule, after laser resurfacing the skin should be kept moist until healed. We use a special type of bandage for the first 24 hours called Vigilon and then after that an ointment called Aquaphor. But each doctor probably has a particular product or regimen that they prefer. By keeping the skin moist it heals twice as quickly as letting it dry out. Its an old wives' tale that you let the air get to a wound to speed healing; its just the opposite. After the skin is healed following laser resurfacing a continuing regimen utilizing a retinoid will help stimulate further collagen deposition and improve and maintain the result.
Best care after laser treatments
Generally, after laser treatments, the most important thing you can do for about a week is to make sure the skin stays moist. There are a whole variety of things to do that from Vaseline to more complicated creams. About a week after treatment it’s important to start up with topical agents that maintain and further improve the results from the laser treatment. At the top of the list are products that contain glycolic acid and growth factors.
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Skin care after laser resurfacing
Skin heals best when it is kept moist. The best way to accomplish that is to apply an ointment with no irritants in it, such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline) every two-three hours for three days after the procedure.
It is also extremely important to stay out of the sun while the skin is healing. The skin has very little protection after a resurfacing procedure and may be damaged more easily by ultraviolet light. In addition, exposure to the sun may lead to complications, such as hyperpigmentation.
After the skin is healed and all the scabs/crusts are gone, a good skin care regimen with a mild cleanser, a moisturizer and a retinoid cream will help maintain and improve the results of the procedure.
After Laser Care
My routine after a deep laser is:
- Elta cream (a Vaseline type ointment) applied immediately after the procedure, keep reapplying as it dries out until you first get in the shower
- Starting on day 2, the patient gets in the shower and gently washes the face (no soap) 4-6 times a day
- Reapply the Elta cream after each shower
- Keep this up until all the crusting, flaking and peeling is gone. This usually takes 7-10 days following a deep Erbium treatment
- Once the skin is not peeling anymore, you an apply a coverup makeup to hide some of the reddness
- Moisturize with a very hypoallergenic lotion like Cetaphil
- Keep using very mild moisturizers until the pinkness and reddness has faded (be patient as this can take weeks or even months)
Creams and Lotions Are Sufficient
This is an excellent question. Using quality, medical grade, skin care creams, serums, and lotions after having a laser skin resurfacing treatment can help promote healing and enhance the results of your procedure. It's important to keep the skin moist during the recovery process. More important by far, however, is the use of skin care products before the procedure to precondition the skin. This results in faster healing and less chance of hyperpigmentation. At my practice, we provide a post-procedure care kit to laser skin resurfacing patients, which helps ensure a prompt and safe recovery. Once the skin is fully healed, following a daily skin care regimen is an excellent way to promote continued skin health.
Aftercare depends on the type of laser treatment performed
There are two major things that need to be avoided during the post-operative period. Firstly, it is very important to refrain from picking at your skin. Secondly, excessive sun exposure during this time can result in unsightly hyperpigmentation that may take a while to fade.
The above are general guidelines. Any laser specialist at a reputable and professional establishment will give you a thorough pre-operative assessment and will then follow up with you very regularly during the immediate post-op period in order to ensure that your healing is on track and to implement any changes to the standard care routine that may be necessary based on your own individual and unique healing patterns. Hope that helps!