There are numerous creams and ointments you can use after laser skin resurfacing, generally with the intention of keeping the skin clean and moist. Your laser specialist may recommend one to use in the first week post-laser until the skin no longer appears raw. After this period, you will need to use a light moisturizer in the form of a cream or lotion.
Many laser specialists don’t recommend sun-protecting creams right after laser resurfacing procedure. But two weeks after the treatment, they recommend that you start using a moisturizer with SPF 30 and above for the next three months.
Taking care of your skin after laser resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing can be done to different penetration depths, which translates to different skin care protocols. But a rule of thumb after any kind of laser resurfacing is keeping the skin moist until it has healed. For the first 24 hours your dermatologist may use a special kind of bandage called Vigilon, followed by the application of Vaseline or an ointment called Aquaphor. Other products may be used, provided the skin remains moist so it can heal twice as fast as when left to dry out.
Besides keeping your skin moist, there are two other things that you should keep in mind: firstly, it is critical that you refrain from picking at the skin; and secondly, avoid excessive exposure during recovery as it can lead to unsightly hyperpigmentation that does not fade easily. Exposure to the sun can cause your skin to dry out, so it is best that you avoid direct sunlight for one month, and use sun-protecting creams as advised by your laser specialist five to seven days after the procedure.
Besides applying skin moisturizer and sun-protecting creams, you should be careful when washing your face. Generally, it is recommended that you don’t wash your face for two to three days after the procedure. And when you do wash your face, use a mild, non-drying soap and then dry your skin by patting it gently rather than rubbing it.
Post-laser care is very important to ensure a proper and speedy recovery. Working with a skilled and reputable laser specialist in a professional establishment will ensure that you receive proper preoperative assessment and regular follow-up during the immediate post-laser period to ensure that your healing and recovery is on track. Post-op care is also important in case additional treatments are necessary beyond the standard care routine owing to your own unique healing patterns.
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