Preparing for your Fraxel Treatment
For 2 weeks before your treatment, do not use active skin care products containing any of the following: retinol, glycolic acid or salicylic acid. Do not tan,either naturally or artificially. Do not have any other laser or microdermabrasion treatments in the area to be treated and do not wax or use abrasive scrubs.
What to Expect After Fraxel Treatment
Fraxel® Laser Treatment produces side effects. The intensity and duration of your side effects depends on the treatment aggressiveness and your individual healing characteristics. Generally, patients who are treated more aggressively experience more intense and longer lasting side effects; however, some patients who receive a less aggressive treatment may experience side effects of greater-than-expected magnitude, while others receiving more aggressive treatments may experience side effects of less-than-expected magnitude. Notify your physician if the severity of your side effects becomes a problem for you.
- What you may feel and look like:
- Immediately after the treatment, you will experience redness, swelling and sometimes pinpoint bleeding. You will notice most of the swelling on the first morning after treatment, particularly under the eyes. Swelling usually lasts two to three days. To minimize swelling do the following:
Apply cold compresses to the treatment area for 10 minutes of every hour on the day of treatment, until you go to bed.
Sleep elevated the first night. Use as many pillows as you can tolerate.
- Heat sensation can be intense for the following 2 – 3 hours. Occasionally oozing can occur in isolated areas for a few days as well.
- Over the next few days, redness may worsen. Swelling may be significant and cause some discomfort.
- You may also notice that your skin appears bronzed or little dark dots will appear on the treated area. Your skin may feel dry, peel, or flake. You may notice a “sandpaper” texture a few days after treatment. This is the treated tissue working its way out of your body as new fresh skin is regenerated.
- This dead skin is a normal result of laser treatment, and should start sloughing off 3 – 4 days after the treatment. Most patients complete this process 5 – 7 days after a treatment on the face. (On off-face areas, such as hands/arms, where healing is slower,the process may take up to 2 weeks.)
- Once the sloughing is complete, you may notice some pinkness over the next few weeks. Most redness resolves during the first week after treatment, but a rosy “glow” can remain for several weeks. If you wish, you can apply makeup to minimize the redness.
- Some patients have also experienced itching.
How to Care for Your Skin After Fraxel Treatment
You have taken the first step toward more healthy and radiant looking skin by having a Fraxel® laser treatment. Now it is important to help your skin heal quickly and protect your skin investment.
- Skin Care Products. All of your skin care products should be non-irritating and non-clogging for the first week or so after a Fraxel treatment. Examples of brands that offer very gentle and inexpensive products that are ideal to use: Aveeno®, Dove®, Neutrogena®, and Cetaphil®.
- Scrubs, Toners, Glycolic Acid, and Retin A. Your skin will be sensitive for the first week or so after treatment. Do not use products that will cause irritation during this time. Do not use abrasive scrubs, toners, or products that contain glycolyic acids or Retin A. Read the product labels.
- Normal Skin Care Regimen. Once the sloughing is complete, you may resume your routine skin care and make-up products, as long as they are tolerable to you.
- Sunscreen. It is very important that you use sunscreen to prevent sun damage to the skin. Sunscreen should offer broadband protection (UVA and UVB) and have a sun protection factor (SPF) 30. Once sloughing is complete, use sunscreen daily for at least 3 months after your last treatment. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside, and again, immediately before. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. If direct sun exposure is necessary, wear a hat and clothing that covers the treated area. Your practice of diligent sunscreen use may lower the risk of laser-induced hyperpigmentation (darker color).
- Moisturizer. Remember that peeling and/or flaking is normal during the healing process. Therefore, the moisturizer you use should be non-irritating and non-clogging, or else you could develop breakouts. During the healing period, your normal moisturizer may be too occlusive, so consider products from the brands listed above. Instead of using 2 separate products, use moisturizers that contain SPF30+. Reapply whenever your skin feels dry.
- Bleaching Creams. Discontinue use of your bleaching cream while your skin is tender. Restart your bleaching cream once skin has recovered completely.
- Resume your normal skin care regimen when your skin has fully healed.
- Cold Sores. If you have a history of cold sores, follow the preventative regime that has been prescribed for you. Contact the office on 95526277 immediately if active cold sores develop.
- Abnormal Healing. If you notice any blisters, cuts, bruises, crusting/scabs, areas of raw skin, ulcerations, active bleeding, increased discomfort or pain, pigment changes (lighter or darker than usual complexion), or any other problems, please contact us on 95526277as soon as possible.
- Questions/Concerns. Post-treatment healing varies from patient to patient. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact us at any time of the day or night on 9552 6277.