Post CO2 Laser Care Instructions
Congratulations on completing your CO2 laser treatment!
Use Cetaphil, Cerave, or MehrabiMD soap less cleanser and water to rinse your face gently for 10 to 30 seconds, twice a day with lukewarm water. Pat your face dry. Do not rub!
Apply your moisturizer every day, including when you are “peeling.” This may be 10-20 times a day. Use it whenever you feel dry or itchy. If any crusting or scabbing occurs, use one of the antibiotic ointments (Bactroban or Polysporin) or as suggested by the doctor.
Do not let your skin dry out. Dryness causes pulling on the new skin underneath, which may cause red, irritated areas. Apply your moisturizer gently – Do not rub it in hard. This should reduce tightness and make you more comfortable. Do not worry if all of the ointment/moisturizer doesn’t come off when you wash; it won’t harm your face to leave some on.
Do not pick or rub your skin! Your dark old skin (which will peel off) initially serves as a protective bandage, which protects the fresh new skin underneath. The longer you can keep this natural bandage in place, the better the results your laser treatment will give.
Avoid exposure to the sun. You may begin to use sunscreen 1 week after the laser treatment. If you must be out in the sun (i.e. for a walk), do this early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is less intense. Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
It is important that you try to sleep on your back to avoid rubbing the skin off your chin or check area prematurely.
After the laser treatment, you must wear sunscreen SPF 30 or higher. Also, continue your bleaching cream twice daily for at least 2-4 weeks after the laser treatment. Cosmetics may be used 1.5 weeks after the laser procedure. We generally recommend non-comedogenic makeup brands such as Clinique, Neutrogena, or Avene. If you have any unexpected irritation or possible infection, call the office immediately. This is especially important if you are developing a cold sore or if crusted yellowish areas appear on your face.
1. You will continue to wash your face twice daily with the appropriate cleanser or lukewarm water.
2. You must keep your face moist with moisturizers, such as Vaseline, Aquaphor, or Double Antibiotic ointment.
3. You must not pick or rub your skin.
4. Do not go out in the sun at all while crusting or peeling – even 5 minutes. After the laser treatment, wear sunscreen daily.
5. Do not use any other creams or ointments (such as bleaching creams, Retin-A, or glycolic acid) until the doctor instructs you to do so when you return for your one week follow-up appointment.
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