Recovery after Laser Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing is one of the cosmetic procedures performed to enhance facial features. There are various types of laser resurfacing treatments, such as Fractional laser skin resurfacing, Superficial Erbium, Plasma Skin Resurfacing and Infrared Laser Resurfacing, which are performed using different types of laser lights. In this treatment, various short pulses of laser light with high energy are focused on the treatment areas. The heat energy from this laser light helps to vaporize thin layers of old skin. With the healing of this wounded area, new skin emerges, giving a youthful and radiant appearance to the skin without any wrinkles, age spots and scars.


The recovery time required for the healing of the wounded skin depends primarily on the size and the extent (depth) of the damage caused by the laser. It also varies with the type of laser resurfacing done. This means that pain will be more in the case of ablative laser treatment than that experienced for the non-ablative ones. For example, the healing time for a complete facial resurfacing is longer than the healing time required for small areas of the skin.

After the Procedure

In general, all those who have undergone laser resurfacing experience a mild tingling effect in the treated areas. These areas will look swollen, pink and will be tender to touch for several days. This happens because of the damages caused to the tissue by the laser beam. Itching may be felt for 5 to 7 days, and after this, peeling of the damaged skin layer begins. Skin may remain red for some weeks even after the new skin has grown. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have to be used in order to alleviate the swelling and redness.

Skin Care for Proper Recovery

Post-resurfacing, there are some care steps to be followed religiously, especially for the ablative laser resurfacing which needs longer recovery time. Some of the important things that you have to take care are summarized below.

  • Apply cold packs on the treated area to prevent the formation of crust.
  • Rinse the treated skin with cold water several times a day in order to keep the infection at bay.
  • Take the prescribed anti-viral drugs (prescribed only if a large area has been treated).
  • Avoid the use of soaps or perfumed cosmetic products on those treated areas.
  • Quicken the healing of the wounds by applying ointment and changing the dressing in the treated areas. (Ointment has to be applied to retain the moisture in the treated area.)
  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight until peeling has completed.
  • Use sun screen after the peeling is over whenever you go out in sun.
  • Stop smoking in order to facilitate quicker healing

If this post-procedure care is not done properly, complications may occur. So, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist or a cosmetologist before you go for this type of facial enhancement. As the procedure involves the use of high-energy laser light, there is a possibility of potential side effects and risks to occur. You can go for it only if you are a suitable candidate for this procedure, and it is important to get a dermatologist's opinion.

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