Laser resurfacing effectively removes the surface layers of skin to allow new, younger skin to grow in its place. During the healing process, this new skin is especially vulnerable to sunburn, abrasions, and (more rarely) bacterial infections. It is important to follow these post-operative instructions to ensure a quality outcome.
Following your laser resurfacing surgery at the hospital, the hypoallergenic ointment, Aquaphor, will have been applied to the resurfaced areas. You must continue to apply the ointment regularly at home. A mild pain medication will usually be enough to relieve discomfort. Use any medications according to the Doctor’s instructions.
You should call our office immediately:
• If you have a temperature exceeding 100 degrees
• If you experience extreme swelling, stinging or itching
• If you have a flare-up of pre-existing cold sores or fever blisters
Swelling is expected during the first 24-48 hours after facial laser resurfacing surgery. Sleeping with your head elevated by pillows is recommended. Sun exposure should be avoided entirely for 7 days after the procedure. After one week, sunscreen should be worn whenever leaving the house.
It is vital in the first 1 to 7 days to keep the resurfaced area moist with the Aquaphor to minimize crusting and irritation and create a protective barrier for the skin.
The target areas will weep a clear, reddish liquid for 3 to 7 days. It may be very pronounced within the first 24 hours. You can keep a towel around your neck to absorb fluids that drip. However, the towel should not be used to pat or rub the area.
During the first 7-10 day period, keep physical activity and sun exposure to an absolute minimum. Do not touch the affected area unnecessarily, and never pick or scratch at the affected area as this could lead to scarring.
DO NOT expose the skin to the sun for 6-12 months following your procedure. Sunblock must be worn at all times while outdoors and in all seasons
After surgery, redness is expected over the targeted areas of CO2 facial laser resurfacing. In the beginning the redness can be very intense and appear like severe sunburn. This is very normal and will gradually fade over a period of 3-6 months.
At least 7 days should be taken off before returning to work. However, if your job is image conscious, such as sales, involves environmental dust or debris, or involves sun exposure, we recommend taking up to two weeks off of work.
A post-operative appointment will be made for you when your facial laser resurfacing surgery is scheduled. Please keep this appointment.