Acne Scar Laser Skin Resurfacing Aftercare & Recovery

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Recovery time varies depending on the patient, the extent of the treatment and the type of laser that is used. Your practitioner should discuss your aftercare with you after the procedure. If you have any questions, do not be afraid to ask or to request more information after your treatment.

Aftercare for Laser Skin Resurfacing

You may have been given a dressing of some description after your treatment. The type of aftercare can vary depending on your skin and your practitioner. Some practitioners use a cling-film-like dressing over the resurfaced area while some use bandages, gauzes or simply an ointment such as Vaseline to avoid infection. You should have been instructed about how to deal with this dressing after your procedure and if you are at all unsure, contact your practitioner.

Generally speaking, if you have had a covering applied it should be changed after about two days and removed completely after around a week. If you have been given a dressing it is likely that you are expected to keep the area dry and should avoid showering, bathing and swimming until the bandage is removed.

If you have not been given a bandage or covering it is likely that you have been instructed to apply a cream, such as Vaseline, to the area. Only apply the ointment that has been recommended and ensure you do so as often as you have been instructed. This is only very general advice as you will almost certainly have been given individual care instructions. If you are unsure about how to deal with your skin immediately after treatment, do not hesitate to contact your practitioner or your regular medical professional.

The most important thing is not to tamper in any way with the treated area. Do not pick, scratch or irritate your healing skin at all as this can cause even more scarring and defeat the entire object of the acne scar surgery. It can even cause infection, which could make the situation even worse. You should avoid wearing make-up until your skin has healed, or until your practitioner advises you otherwise.

If you experience any pain, over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can help, although you should always read the instructions on the box to ensure you take the right dosage. Your pharmacist should be able to advise you more thoroughly about the best painkiller for your needs.

Recovery from Acne Scar Laser Skin Resurfacing

Depending on the type of laser that has been used during your skin resurfacing your recovery could last a fortnight (CO2 lasers), just over a week (Er:YAG lasers) or just under a week (fractional lasers). The severity of the side effects will also vary according to the treatment. For example, you should expect to experience redness in the treated area for up to three months after the use of a CO2 laser. The depth of your treatment and your natural healing potential will also affect how quickly you recover from treatment.

Sometimes, after laser skin resurfacing, discolouration known as hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) or hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin) can occur. Sometimes this effect is permanent, though it can be treated with skin bleaches etc, but often the unnatural colouring will fade over time. This can take anywhere between a month and several years.

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Guide to Laser Skin Resurfacing for Acne