Skincare Regimen After Laser Skin Resurfacing

Has acne, aging, or too much time in the sun left your skin looking less-than stellar? Laser skin resurfacing may be the answer for fixing your imperfections and reversing the hands of time. However, your skin won't reap the benefits for long if not properly cared for after, making post-treatment care of the utmost importance for guaranteeing successful results for years to come.

Laser Skin Resurfacing | What is It and Who is It For?

Bad skincare habits can leave your face plagued with blotches and discoloring, wrinkles, fine lines, scars, and wrinkles. However, such ailments are no longer permanent with the help of laser skin resurfacing. Using a laser, your plastic surgeon will create microscopic wounds in the layers of the skin that are experiencing imperfections. This can be limited to small areas, such as the forehead, mouth, or skin near the eyes, or the treatment can be applied to the entire face. New, healthy cells form during the healing process, promoting tighter, more youthful skin.

Patients seeking minimal corrections to localized areas will typically be given a local anesthetic before undergoing the procedure, which can last from half hour to 45 minutes. Those who opt for a full-face treatment may require general anesthesia for the two-hour process. Both treatments are considered outpatient procedures, meaning you will not be required to remain in the clinic overnight. Once the procedure is complete, your doctor will bandage the treated area and you can go home. It will be your responsibility to remove the bandages 24 hours later and apply a soothing ointment to the freshly-wounded skin in order to prevent painful scabbing (and, therein, scarring).

Immediate Post-Treatment Skincare

Swelling, redness, itching, and stinging sensations are not uncommon after the treatment and can last up to three days. However, many report zero irritations after undergoing treatment. Regardless of whether you experience any of these side effects, it's important to take extra care of your skin following a laser treatment. Cosmetics- particularly foundations and concealers- should be avoided for the first few days after the procedure, as the fresh wounds and newly forming skin needs 'time to breathe'. Using make-up can interfere with the healing process, but this does not mean that you want to leave the skin completely bare. As your surgeon will tell you, it's extremely important to keep the treated areas moisturized by applying a moisturizing product heavily and multiple times throughout the day. This promotes the healing process, as well as preventing painful scabs from forming. Products containing glycolic acid or retinol are to be avoided, as they have irritating properties. Based on your particular skin, your surgeon can make recommendations for specific products. Around a week after the laser resurfacing procedure, the skin will naturally dry out and begin to peel.

Complete healing typically takes around three weeks. Once the peeling has stopped, it's acceptable to begin wearing oil-free cosmetics again. Redness may be present for up to three months after the procedure as the new skin forms, but other symptoms should be reported to your doctor. You may notice that your new skin feels lighter and more sensitive, and catering to these is crucial for reaping the benefits of the treatment. Applying sunscreen should no longer be considered a beach-day option: you should apply it multiple times a day, every day. Use precaution when selecting a sunscreen, opting only for those specifically formulated for the face. Search for products with a high zinc oxide content (upwards of seven percent, at least). After undergoing laser treatment, the skin is extremely sensitive to light, so regulating your exposure is certainly necessary. Limit time outside, avoid tanning beds and exposure to other UV light, and protect your face with a hat.

However, adopting a responsible skincare regimen is crucial for lasting results. The same bad skin habits that created imperfections before will do so to your new skin if you do not change them, so paying extra attention to your routine ensures the maintenance and upkeep of your vibrant appearance.

Long-lasting Maintenance and Upkeep

Laser skin resurfacing is an effective option for reversing the signs of aging and eliminating imperfections, but making the same mistakes again will only land you the same position, regardless of the perceived strength of your new, healthy skin. Protecting the skin from the sun is the most important element for keeping it healthy, and this is especially true for the naturally more sensitive face. Don't give up on the serious moisturizing once the peeling has stopped and the skin returns to 'normal', either. Lines and wrinkles appear in large part due to dehydration, so regularly applying a deep moisturizer is the first line of defense against it. Decreased collagen production also plays a huge role in wuthering elasticity and suppleness. Making a few simple lifestyle changes can combat this, as well as making your healthier in general. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night, eat a clean, balanced diet, drink lots of water, exercise regularly, and amp up for your vitamin C levels. These tiny tweaks can (and do) make a world of difference for your face.

Additionally, using non abrasive cleansers, exfoliants, and other products will strengthen the chances of the procedure working a complete overall of the face after only one treatment. Your unique skin type, along with dietary, exercise, and lifestyle habits all play large roles, so discussing product options with your surgeon is the perfect place to start.

Knowing how to best treat your unique skin characteristics requires the expertise of professionals. If you're interested in laser skin resurfacing in Miami, the renowned team of Marcelo Ghersi, Jason Altman and John Oeltjen at the Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami has years of experience fulfilling patients needs and seeking to guarantee them with the best results possible. 

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