Laser Skin Resurfacing Post-Operative Instructions
- Have someone drive you home after surgery and help you at home for 1-2 days.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Follow balanced diet.
- Decreased activity may promote constipation, so you may want to add more raw fruit to your diet, and be sure to increase fluid intake.
- Take pain medication as prescribed. Do not take aspirin or any products containing aspirin unless approved by your surgeon.
- Do not drink alcohol when taking pain medications.
- Even when not taking pain medications, no alcohol for 3 weeks as it causes fluid retention.
- If you are taking vitamins with iron, resume these as tolerated.
- Do not smoke, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.
- Continue to take the Acyclovir after your procedure.
- Start walking as soon as possible, this reduces swelling and helps prevent blood clots.
- Do not drive until you are no longer taking any pain medications (narcotics).
- More strenuous activities should be avoided for 4-6 weeks.
- May return to work in 2 weeks.
Treated Area Care
- Avoid exposing scars to sun for at least 12 months.
- Always use a strong sunblock, if sun exposure is unavoidable (SPF 30 or greater).
- If a bandage was applied, it may be replaced in 1-2 days and removed in approx. 1 week.
- Keep lasered areas clean and clear and inspect daily for signs of infection.
- Wash your face with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of vinegar in 1 cup of water at least 3 times daily. Do this as often as necessary to avoid a build-up of the weeping discharge and resulting crusts. Do not pick the crusts off the treated area.
- Apply a thin layer of prescribed ointment to the lasered areas after each washing.
- You may blot the area with a gauze pad, but be sure to reapply the ointment to keep the area moist.
- Ice packs can help control swelling.
- Do not apply makeup until approved by your surgeon.
- Protect the treated area from the sun until all color has returned to normal. Shade face with hat/visor whenever you go out into the sun.
- If resurfacing was done around the eyes, wear good quality sunglasses with UVA and UVB 100% filters.
What To Expect
- The day of surgery your skin will appear to be deep pink to red, as with a sunburn. This will increase in severity on the second day.
- You will have a weeping discharge from the lasered areas. This discharge will be light pink/gold in color.
- Swelling is expected and may be more pronounced in the lips and around the eyes.
- You will experience a stinging sensation immediately after the procedure. This may advance to a burning discomfort later in the day and evening but will improve over the next few days.
- Your skin will heal over the next 2 weeks, leaving the lasered areas with a bright pink coloration.
- Your skin will feel tight and smooth. Continue to use the recommended moisturizing agent to the skin surface.
- You will experience increased sensitivity to makeup and acute sun sensitivity.
- Return of pigmentation and light sun exposure in 6-12 months.
- Pinkness or redness of skin may remain up to 6 months.
- Usually, your skin will be free of crusts in about 10 days postoperatively.
- Final results of surgery may take several months to appear.
- You will be seen in the clinic on a weekly basis until you are healed.
When To Call
- If you have increased swelling or bruising.
- If swelling and redness persist after a few days.
- If you have increased redness along the incision.
- If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.
- If you have any side effects to medications; such as, rash, nausea, headache, vomiting.
- If you have an oral temperature over 100.4 degrees.
- If you have any yellowish or greenish drainage from the incisions or notice a foul odor.
- If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.
- If you have loss of feeling or motion.
- If you notice any hepatic lesions on the lasered surfaces.
For Medical Questions, Please Call:
- (734) 998-6022, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- After hours and on weekends, call Hospital Paging at (734) 936-6267 and ask for the Plastic Surgeon on call.