When Can I Resume Outdoor Activities After Laser Resurfacing?

I am an athlete and am accustomed to wearing at least 70 spf, sweat proof and water proof, sunscreen when riding my bike for 2- 3 hours. I have also purchased a belaclava (think burka) to cover my face (fabric is spf 25). I recently had laser resurfacing and am trying to determine when I can resume my bike riding. I live in Va, its December, cloudy and overcast frequently. Would a 1.5 hour long ride with these precautions be safe in the morning light?

Doctor Answers 7

Biking after laser resurfacing

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Get up early in the morning and go for a ride. You will not have  much of a problem at that time. Once you have  fully healed/peeled/un-crusted you can use a sunscreen. I would do that daily before going even to the mailbox. I prefer a physical block to a chemical(zinc oxide or titanium dioxide). No need for a Burka

Birmingham Dermatologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Outdoor Activities After Laser Resurfacing

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As your questions suggests that you know, sun protection is critical post laser resurfacing. However, there is insufficient information to properly address your question. What type of laser was utlililzed and how aggressive were the settings? How much time has passed since the treatment? How much have you healed and how much do you still need to heal? Your physician will be able to answer these questions and lay out an appropriate workout schedule.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Sun protection is critical after laser resurfacing

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Sun protection is critical after laser resurfacing.  I think you are taking reasonable steps to protect your skin with the sunscreen and belaclava.  Exercise will also increase the flow of blood to your skin which could worsen swelling etc.  As long as most of your inflammation has decreased after laser resurfacing then you should be OK for exercise.

In my Salt Lake City plastic surgery practice I perform many laser skin resurfacing procedures each week and typically counsel patients to resume exercise 7-10 days later if they feel up to it as long as they are protected from the sun.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 299 reviews

Sun protection and Fraxel Repair resurfacing

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If you are prone to melasma, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, you must be more diligent than someone who does not tend to get brown skin after injury. laser resurfacing is a very special treatment and the extent of resurfacing (energy level, density, number of passes) along with the topical therapies recommended before and after can make a difference in the likelihood of developing pigmentation problems. Therefore, you should be directly asking your provider who evaluated you and your skin prior to doing the resurfacing with the fractional carbon dioxide laser as to your post procedural instructions.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Resumption of activities after laser resurfacing

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The quick answer regarding timing of resumption of activities after Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is "listen to your body". Strict daily sun protection goes without saying, even without laser resurfacing. Holding off vigorous exercise or outdoor activities can be helpful to minimize post-treatment redness. In addition, your board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon may have given you mild sedation for Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing which would obligate you to take things easy for the first couple days after the procedure.

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Facial lasre and biking

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Tough call in terms of waht to suggest. How deep was the laser, are you healed/ How red are you?  These are sjust some questions. You should probably ask your doctor. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Outdoor Activities After Laser Resurfacing

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Your skin is extra sensitive to the sun after a laser resurfacing treatment, so it is best to avoid outdoor activities for as long as possible after the procedure. I typically recommend that my patients abstain from direct sun exposure for at least a week to 10 days after their laser resurfacing treatment. If you must go outside, please wear a cap or visor and apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to protect your healing skin. 

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 79 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.