Caring for your skin after laser resurfacing is essential to achieving the best results. But what does your skin need during recovery? If you receive laser rejuvenation at the West Institute, we’ll provide detailed post-treatment instructions at the time of your procedure, and our team will be available to answer questions or concerns that arise while you heal. This guide will give you an idea of what to expect, so you can prepare for the recovery process before your appointment date.
Caring for Your Skin After a Laser Treatment Isn’t Difficult
Laser rejuvenation is one of the most effective options for refreshing the skin’s appearance. The right laser treatment can fade sun damage, tighten loose skin, or smooth away common signs of aging. Dr. West works with each patient to choose an effective laser treatment for their specific skin concerns. We offer a range of treatments, including the gentle Clear + Brilliant laser for younger patients or for maintenance; Fraxel Dual non-ablative laser resurfacing to reverse sun damage, erase acne scars and even out blotchiness;and AcuPulse ablative CO2 laser resurfacing to tighten skin and erase wrinkles, especially in the delicate undereye area
Consistency in your skin care is the secret to achieving the best results. For example, if you apply protecting serums daily, you’ll have better results than if you forget for a week and try to catch up by doubling down for a few days. Perform small, simple actions routinely until you’ve fully healed.
Skin care recommendations after treatment will vary depending on the laser treatment you receive, but the fundamentals are similar for most of our laser treatments. Refer to the specific instructions you receive from Dr. West when planning your recovery.
Cleanse the Area Gently
You’ll want to keep your recently treated skin clean. That might mean you get creative when it’s time for cleansing, depending on how intense your laser treatment was. During the first days after laser skin resurfacing, Dr. Tina West might recommend washing your facial skin with saline or a weak vinegar solution. Or she may recommend a medical-grade cleanser.
Keep the Skin Moisturized
Your skin may feel dry, peeling, and irritated after a laser treatment. To keep this dryness at bay, Dr. West often recommends frequently moisturizing your skin. Topical products proven in clinical trials to speed healing will be provided after your treatment and you will be encouraged to apply generously to ensure the best result.
Protect the Skin
Sunscreen is critical after a laser treatment. The skin may be more photosensitive than usual for several days to weeks, depending on your which laser treatment is performed. After treatment, your skin can burn faster and more severely when exposed to the sun. If you’ll be outdoors, make sure you’re using sunscreen that contains zinc oxide +/- titanium dioxide daily and reapply often.
Mild redness and swelling are common after laser skin resurfacing. Ice packs and cold compresses help resolve swelling and minimize redness. They can also soothe irritated skin.
Skip the Strong Ingredients
If you use skin care products with retinol or other potent ingredients, hold off using them in the days to weeks following your treatment. While your skin recovers from laser treatment, active skin care ingredients may do more harm than good. Consult with Dr. West on which skin care products are permissible after treatment.
Keep Your Head Up
Sleeping with your head elevated helps reduce swelling after laser skin resurfacing. Try sleeping on your back with your head propped on pillows after skin resurfacing. When you’re awake, avoid lowering your head below your heart to help reduce swelling and fluid buildup.
Wait to Wear Makeup
After laser skin resurfacing, your skin may initially look worse than it did before. Flakiness, redness, and crusting are common side effects. You may be tempted to cover your facial imperfections with makeup to hide those scabs and flakes. But makeup can irritate your healing skin. It’s best to wait until your skin has had a chance to heal completely before applying makeup.
Schedule Your Laser Treatment Today
To learn how laser skin resurfacing boosts skin appearance while giving you long-lasting and immediate results, call Dr. West at The West Institute for Skin, Laser + Body Contouring at 301-986-9378 or fill out our online form today.