Please stop any retin-A or retinols 3 days prior to your treatment. Anti-aging actives such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid should also be stopped at this time.
Minimal sun exposure prior to treatment is advised. Use a daily physical SPF for 2 weeks prior to treatment.
Avoid sun exposure for at least 8 weeks. Wide brim hat and sunglasses are recommended. A physical SPF 15 or higher should be applied every day. The skin is extremely vulnerable to the sun after a laser treatment. Protecting the skin and limiting sun exposure ensures you the best cosmetic results.
A prescription skin prep protocol is highly recommended 2-4 weeks prior to your treatment not only to enhance your results, but to decrease the risk of PIH (Post Inflammatory Pigmentation, a darkening of the skin). Please discuss this with your provider. It may include a combination of hydroquinone pads, vitamin C serum and retinol.
Start a one week course of Arnica oral pellets 24 hours before your treatment to assist with healing and recovery.
Minimal to no hair should be present in the treatment area, including the face.
Your skin will be red and sensitive for 1-3 days. You may experience swelling during this time as well. It is typically minimal swelling. On the 3rd day bronzing may occur. This is when the skin turns brown. The rough brown skin will begin to slough on day 4-5 and eventually reveal younger healthy looking skin. Sloughing and shedding of the skin may continue up to day 7.
More intense treatments can take longer for recovery.
If you are ok to take tylenol, please do for post treatment discomfort.
Avoid strenuous exercise, sauna, jacuzzi or any activity that will heat up your body temperature.
- Use cool compresses of distilled water/white vinegar to help soothe the skin and release heat. (2 cups water to 1 cap full of white vinegar).
- Then use occlusive ointment (Vaniply recommended) applied to a damp face.
- Rinse/Cool compress/Ointment cycles should be repeated 2-3 times per day.
- Use only tepid water to rinse the face, no cleansers/soaps, or hot water.
- Absolutely ZERO direct sun exposure; no sunscreen is allowed during this time.
- No makeup.
- To reduce swelling, drink lots of water during the day and keep your head elevated on a couple of pillows at night.
Days 4-7 (or once skin has normalized)
- Use gentle cleanser with fingertips in circular motion. Gentle use of a Dewpuff is permitted during this time.
- Do not pick, rub, or exfoliate the skin at all once it starts sloughing. This can risk scarring.
- Continue to keep skin moist with regular moisturizer and a physical SPF 30 or higher once the skin is no longer temperature sensitive.
- Continue to spot treat rough areas with occlusive ointment.
- Distilled water/vinegar soaks can help with healing/itching.
- Vitamin C serum can be resumed day 3-4 if you can tolerate it. This will help with healing and enhance results.
- Resume regimen of hydroquinone pads, vitamin C, and retinol day 7 or when skin has normalized and is no longer feeling sensitive.
- Mineral makeup can be used starting around day 4; resume normal makeup routine after day 7.
You may want to take a few days off of work and social obligations.
Cover your pillow with a fresh clean pillowcase. Wash your hands thoroughly before washing your face. Keep your face away from potential bacteria laden items such as your cell phone and sunglasses.
Schedule a follow-up appointment in 8 weeks. Repeat treatment can occur in 8-12 weeks.
Keep in mind, immediate results to texture and pigmentation can be noticed following your treatment, however collagen remodeling results can take 60-90 days.
Please call the office, or your provider, if you have any questions or are experiencing anything that seems out of the ordinary.