Laser Resurfacing Post-Operative Instructions
The laser procedure produces the most dramatic results of any other skin rejuvenation. It also has one of the more formidable recoveries. The first week after laser skin resurfacing is challenging in terms of care. You will be swollen, covered with Vaseline and not presentable to leave the house. This all begins to change at about day 5-6. After this the recovery is much easier. Just remember that the reward is at the end of the healing journey.
Laser resurfacing removes the outer layers of the skin. It is very important to manage this treatment to ensure proper healing. As with any burn, do not touch your face without washing hands. Bacterial and yeast infections can occur if you touch other body parts, then touch your face.
The immediate post laser treatment consists of covering the lasered skin with Vaseline and using cold packs for discomfort and swelling.
Your face will ooze and swell for the first 48 hours, then will quickly improve. Generally the procedure is not extremely painful, and feels more like a sunburn. The first 48 hours are the most uncomfortable and the discomfort should quickly subside. Many of our patients do not require pain medication. Your face will become very red over the first few days and remain red for a week, then it will gradually fade to pink, then over the next several weeks will normalize. Some individuals progress quickly from red to pink, while others may take weeks or in some cases months. The pinkness can be covered with makeup as soon as the skin heals.
The best treatment to be comfortable is to apply cold compresses to the treated areas of the face. We recommend that you take a salad bowl and wash it well. Fill it with water and ice cubes and soak several wash cloths (or gauze) in the bowl and keep the bowl in the refrigerator. Apply the cold cloth to the face and this will ease the discomfort and burning and assist the swelling. When the cloth becomes warm, replace it with a new cold soak cloth. You can do this as much as you wish, but doing this will wash off the Vaseline, so remember to place a good coat of Vaseline over the treated areas when needed.
Refer to the Chemical Peel Post-operative instructions for further detail as the instructions are very similar.