Patients feel partly relieved after an Active FX procedure, feeling anxious about seeing the results from the treatment. However, the results will largely depend on what the patient does from this point on. How well recipients care for their skin after treatment will be crucial to the degree and the longevity of improved looks.
Aftercare starts immediately after the completion of the procedure. At this point, the skin should already feel tighter than before, but it may feel intensely heated. The doctor will provide ice packs or cold compresses to relieve the burn and maintain coolness.
Avoid sun exposure en route to home. The skin will be extremely sensitive to sunlight, and any sun exposure will deter the healing process. Stay indoors for at least a week after treatment.
The first few days of recovery are most crucial to a successful treatment. This is the time when a patient is most uncomfortable and vulnerable to side effects. Take prophylactic medications as prescribed by the doctor, and when the heat subsides, use Vaseline or other occlusive ointments to cover the treated area. The ablative nature of the procedure makes the skin susceptible to infections, which can cause serious swelling, oozing or scarring. Taking medications and protecting the skin will minimize the chances for severe side effects.
Some pain, swelling and redness are common after treatment. Patients can take an OTC acetaminophen or other prescribed pain relievers to help reduce the pain. Antihistamines like Benadryl can help reduce the swelling and redness. If the skin still feels too irritated, splash the treated area with tepid water to get extra relief.
Keeping well hydrated, staying on a healthy diet and sleeping with the head slightly elevated will also help the healing process.
Strictly follow the doctor's orders on skin care. Wash the area 2 to 4 times per day with the prescribed cleanser. Remember to always reapply the occlusive ointments after each wash.
Peeling of the skin will start to occur about 2 to 4 days after procedure and the skin can become itchy and turn pinkish. This is a part of its normal healing process. Continue to follow the skin care regimen to aid its recovery.
The skin's healing process should take about 4 to 6 days, at which point the patient should be able to see the initial results from the procedure. These results will become increasingly apparent over the next couple of weeks.
Follow up with the doctor in about a week to ensure correct healing.
Long Term Maintenance
Though the skin may look healed, it will still be highly photosensitive. Avoid direct sun exposure for a minimum of 4 more weeks. Always wear a SPF30+ sun block and use protective covering for any outside activities.
The skin's collagen regeneration ability is greatly improved after Active FX, but exposure to environmental or physical hazards such as sunlight, alcohol or smoke will negate the effects of the treatment. In most cases, an Active FX treatment will continue to benefit a patient for 2 years, but if they follow a good health plan, the rejuvenated looks should be much longer lasting.