How long does it take to recover from laser skin resurfacing?
Your recovery will depend on the technique and depth of treatment. A more superficial treatment will require less healing time than a deeper treatment. Your surgeon will let you know how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. Your surgeon will also give you and your caregiver detailed instructions to follow after your treatment, including information about:
- Typical symptoms you will experience
- Potential signs of complications
It is vital that you follow all the patient care instructions your surgeon provides. It is also important to know that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
What can I expect immediately after my laser skin resurfacing?
- Your surgeon may cover your skin with petroleum jelly or other protective ointment, and in some cases, apply dressings, tape or bandages.
- When the anesthesia wears off, you may have some pain. If the pain is extreme or long-lasting, contact your surgeon. You will also have some redness and swelling after your treatment.
What can I expect during the first few weeks of my laser skin resurfacing recovery?
- A deeper treatment will involve a more prolonged healing period. Your surgeon will advise you on how to clean your skin and if you need to apply ointments.
- For men who have undergone resurfacing procedures, you won’t be able to shave until your surgeon says it’s safe to.
- You must delay waxing or depilatory use for a while.
- Depending on the post-treatment regimen selected by your surgeon, a scab may or may not form over the treated area.
- Depending on the depth of your treatment, you might have redness that will gradually change to pink, signaling that your new skin has begun to form.
What can I expect during the first few months of my laser skin resurfacing recovery?
- Your skin may still be pink.
- Your surgeon will let you know if you can use camouflage makeup.
- Depending on the procedure and your surgeon's advice, it should be safe to expose the treated area to direct sunlight. You should always wear sunscreen outside to protect your skin from harmful UV rays to extend your results.
- If you have extreme or long-lasting pain or notice redness and swelling, contact your surgeon to find out if your symptoms are normal or a sign of a problem.