24 April 2009

The amount of time needed for recovery depends on the depth of the resurfacing and the individual’s capacity to heal. You will probably experience some mild swelling and discomfort after laser resurfacing. This can be controlled with ice packs and medications prescribed by your surgeon. There may be a red, crusted appearance for 10 or more days. Redness may persist for several weeks, or longer. The redness gradually lightens to pink, and then to a lighter, more natural color.

If a bandage was applied after your procedure, it may be changed with a the new one after a day or two. After about a week, your bandage will be removed, and a thin layer of ointment may be applied to your skin. Some physician’s use a tape that retains moisture to bandage the treated area. Because this bandage must remain dry, you will not be able to shower normally until the bandages are removed.

At this stage your surgeon will provide instructions on how to gently wash and care for your healing skin.

If the treated area is not bandaged, you will need to wash your face several times daily and you do it carefully. After each washing, you will need to apply an ointment, such as petroleum jelly, to the treated area. Scabs may form, and last for about 10 days. You must not pick at the scabs. If you experience pain, an over-the-counter pain medication can be taken.

During this phase of healing, it is very important that you not pick the crusts off the treated area, or scarring may result. Most patients are free of crusts after 10 days, but redness may persist for several weeks. Make-up can be applied approximately two weeks after the procedure to cover-up the redness.

Laser resurfacing generally removes most of the fine wrinkles and imperfections in the treated area, but natural facial movements and expressions eventually cause some of the lines to reappear. Like most other methods of skin resurfacing, laser treatments may be repeated to maintain the desired results.

After laser resurfacing, daily sunscreen is highly recommended to protect the sensitive new skin from sun exposure. Ask your doctor to recommend a sun block with both UVA and UVB protection, and apply it daily. If resurfacing was done around your eyes, you should use sunglasses.

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