After Co2 Laser Surgery [Instructions]

After Co2 Laser Surgery [Instructions]

Pre/Post-Information Co2 Laser

Approximate recovery after laser resurfacing treatment is as follows:

DAY 1 Return home. Keep treated areas moist by reapplying ointment frequently. The face will start to swell, get bruised or turn bright red.

DAY 2 Extensive bruising and swelling. The face may go scabby and brown. You can start soaks with vinegar if advised by us. Apply ointment and creams regularly and religiously after soaks or even without soaks. Repeat at 6 times per day or as advised. May start to itch (use hydrocortisone cream and take Antihistamines. The key to successful treatment after your Co2 surgery is how much you keep face lubricated and kept moist. Warning! At any point you were exposed to daylight, SUN PROTECTION IS COMPULSORY!

DAYS 5-14 Bruising and scabs starting to go away. Each time you clean your face you might experience pinpoint bleeding, just make sure you Do Not Tamper with scabs as they are a protective mechanism to the skin and they shouldn’t be picked or removed unless they come off on their own. Skin is being resurfaced. Discomfort much less.

WEEK 10 Usually the skin is fully resurfaced by now.

WEEKS 6-12 Redness usually faded by now.

3 MONTHS Enjoy your result and avoid the sun.

Makeup can be applied when the skin is fully resurfaced with no open wounds or scabs. To remove makeup and cleanse the face a non-irritating and non-soapy face wash should be used.

Before Treatment

Before your treatment, you may receive an antiviral, an antibiotic, pain pills and hydrocortisone cream depending on the severity and depth of your laser. (fully ablative or fractional ablative)

You should also purchase the following supplies prior to treatment.

  • 2 Litre bottle white wine vinegar
  • Generous supply of gauze sponges from a chemist
  • Antihistamine tablets of your choice, Normally Loratidine 10 mg is advised.
  • A large tub of CeraVe 454 gr pot from any chemist.
  • Sun Protection SPF 50+.
  • Painkillers such as Panadol Extra or Panadol Ultra .

Arrive for your treatment in comfortable clothing. Your top should button or zip rather than pull over your head.

Start taking the antiviral and antibiotic on the day or the night before.

Do not take any aspirin or any anti-inflammatory medicines for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after your treatment unless you first discuss it with the Doctor. If you have only mild discomfort, you may take pain killers.

It is advised to not smoke 2 weeks prior to treatment and 3 weeks after. Smoking can affect your blood circulation and can significantly compromise your results/recovery.

You should thoroughly wash your hair with an antibacterial shampoo or soap the night before treatment. You may also be given a prescription for antibiotic ointment before treatment. If so, apply as directed by the Doctor.

After Treatment

After the laser treatment, the treated areas will be covered with ointment. You may notice some clear or yellow oozing from these areas for up to 7-10 days after. This is normal and expected.

*It is critically important to keep the treated areas moist at all times. They should never be allowed to dry and form crusts.*

For the first 24 hours keep reapplying ointment to keep the treated areas moist. After 24 hours start using the gauze sponges to soak the treated areas. The solution is made of 1 tablespoon of white vinegar mixed with 1 cup of clean, cool water. This should be done for 20-30 minutes each time, up to 6 times a day. This is until the skin has fully Epithelialized. This generally takes 7-10 days. Do the soaks for 20 to 30 minutes at a time.

After each soak, you should apply your ointment to the treated areas. Do not pick crusted areas. Do not allow the treated areas to dry out or scab over. Itching is common as the skin heals, this usually occurs in the first 5/7 days. Hydrocortisone cream may be applied to the itchy areas before applying the ointment. You may also take Antihistamines to ease the itch. If you become itchy at night we advise wearing bulky mittens to avoid any damage to the healing skin.

Between 2 weeks and 2 months after treatment

You may notice what looks like whiteheads on the treated areas. This is what is known as Milia. They represent areas where fresh epithelium has overgrown the underlying glands. They may be gently scrubbed and removed.

You should not do vigorous exercise and avoid physical exertion, lifting or straining for a minimum of 2 weeks after your treatment, as this could affect your wound healing.

You should not rub/massage your face or apply make-up until you have been seen by the Doctor. This normally takes 7-14 days. At this time the skin will be fully resurfaced (no weeping, blistering or breaks in the skin) and soaks will no longer be necessary.

Contact lenses should not be worn for the first 10 to 14 days after the treatment, as applying them can affect the healing skin around the eye.

You should avoid the sun and use a sunscreen with at least SPF20  for six months after treatment. Sun exposure can cause hyperpigmentation. Therefore, avoid the sun, if at all possible.

Your skin will be bright red after the procedure. This is to be expected. The redness will gradually fade and begin to return to a more normal colour around the third week after surgery. However, some residual pink or light red colour will persist for 6 to 12 weeks. The length of time it will take for a complete return to the normal colouration of the skin will vary from person to person.

Please contact the clinic on 01702314497 should you need any further information or guidance, or please drop us an email as the emails are picked up out of hours.

Thank you for adhering to these instructions