The goal of skin resurfacing is the generation of newer, tighter skin, with collagen remodeling and improvement in wrinkles, texture, pore size and overall appearance of your skin. You should not expect it to change brown spots or red spots on your face. The laser peel can be performed at different depths, depending on the amount of wrinkle reduction desired and on the amount of “downtime” you have. For superficial peels, you can expect one or two days of mild peeling, and one week of redness. For medium depth peels, expect 3-4 days of peeling and up to several weeks of redness, and for deeper peels you may have 5-10 days of peeling and up to three months of redness. Depending on your desired correction, and the length of time you have to recover, the laser peel depth will be specifically tailored. Topical skin treatments that include Retin A and hydroquinone can improve your results and help maintain them. Abnormal scarring can occur and are more common on non-face skin. Any history of keloids or hypertrophic scarring should be discussed. Laser energy can produce burns to adjacent structures leading to blistering and/or bruising. Prior treatment with hydroquinone and regular sun screen use can reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation and/or hypopigmentation
- If you have a history of cold sores or “fever blisters”, please let Dr. Berens know. Microlaser peels can cause reactivation of the virus, and you may have a cold sore during the healing process. You will be started on Acyclovir the day before your treatment to prevent an outbreak, and you will need to continue this for the week following your treatment.
- You should not plan to be in the sun sooner than three months after laser treatment. Sun exposure increases the risk of pigment change and scarring. You should plan on wearing sunblock, and a hat every day for 3 months after your laser treatment if you are out in the sun.
- You need to come in 45 minutes PRIOR to your scheduled appointment to have a topical numbing cream applied.
- If you are particularly nervous about the procedure and have been prescribed a relaxation medicine (i.e. valium) , make sure you have someone drive you home.
- You should purchase Aquaphor and Cetaphil face wash prior to the procedure, as you will be using them after the procedure. These are widely available over the counter at almost all pharmacies. Please bring the Aquaphor with you on the day of your procedure.
- Benadryl and Claritin will help with post procedure itching as the new skin grows back. It would be helpful to have these at home prior to your procedure. You may take a claritin one hour prior to your procedure to help prevent itching. Benadryl will make you sleepy and should be used at night, or during the first few days when you are at home.
- You should start using a retinol based product 2 weeks prior to your procedure. Dr Berens' office will provide this for you- please pick it up 2 weeks prior to your laser skin resurfacing procedure, and use nightly until the day of procedure. This will help remove surface dead skin to improve the results of your treatment. After the laser treatment you will NOT use the retinol until 6 weeks later.
- You should not be taking Accutane for 6 months prior to any laser treatment.
- You will be taken into the laser room for the treatment.
- The numbing cream will be removed.
- Dr. Berens will have you put on protective eye wear.
- Dr. Berens will then tell you exactly what is happening and which areas are being treated.
- There will be an unpleasant smell during the treatment, similar to a burnt smell-this is normal.
- Dr. Berens will apply Aquaphor over the treated areas. This is a clear gel that cools and calms the skin. This is what you need to reapply over the next couple of days.
- For the first 2 days you should use cold packs over the treated areas. Frozen corn or peas in a ziploc works well. Do NOT wrap the ice pack in a paper towel/towel/wash cloth- you may end up removing skin when you take the ice packs off. ONLY use ice packs in a plastic covering that will not stick to your face.
- Continue to apply the Aquaphor two to three times daily until the peeling of your skin stops. Wash your face GENTLY in the morning and at night with Cetaphil, and then apply your Aquaphor. It is OK to do this in the shower. It is VERY important NOT to remove any dead skin, or peel off any flakes of the skin as this will increase scarring. Do NOT use wash cloths or other abrasive agents during the healing process (and for 6 weeks after). Use only gentle massage with bare hands to wash your face. Cooler water will also feel better on your face instead of hot water.
- Blistering may occur. If this happens, do not pop it or pick the skin around it. This will cause scarring. Apply antibiotic ointment over the area until it resolves.
- You may use acetaminophen/ Tylenol, ibuprofen/Motrin, or a similar over the counter pain reliever after the procedure.
- Sleep on your back or in a recliner for the first week to avoid accidentally rubbing your face on the pillow or towel.
- Benadryl and Claritin will help with post procedure itching as the new skin grows back. Claritin is typically used once per day, Benadryl dosing is 50mg every 4 hours as needed. Benadryl will make you sleepy and should be used at night, or during the first few days when you are at home.
- You will see Dr Berens approximately one week after the procedure for a followup.
- Once the peeling has finished, your face will continue to be red, and have the appearance of mild sunburn. At this point, it is okay to wear makeup. Oil-free makeup will be best. You may also want to buy new make-up to prevent infection. It may take up to 3 months for this redness to fade.
- Once the peeling has finished, you NEED to use at least an SPF 30 daily to prevent pigment change. It is imperative that you wear this daily, and reapply every 2 hours if outside. Failure to do this will result in darkening of the treated areas. Make sure there are no retinol products in your sunscreen (no retinoid, retinol, alpha tocopherol)
- If you use Retin-A or retinol product, you can resume this SIX WEEKS AFTER your peel.
- Do not get any facials or massages for 6 weeks after your treatment.
- Milia (small skin cysts similar to “whiteheads”) can occur in the weeks after the laser
- Most lasers multiple treatments to obtain the best result.
- As the aging process continues, additional laser treatments may be needed to maintain results..
Final cost will depend on consultation.