Laser skin rejuvenation might leave the skin with little to no irritation afterward. However, that doesn’t mean skincare is no longer required. Whether it was to treat signs of aging, sun damage, or other imperfections, those laser skin rejuvenation treatments were done for a reason.
Now it’s time to make sure that the same mistakes that caused those imperfections aren’t made again.
Immediately After Laser Skin Rejuvenation Treatment
Even though most people don’t experience any side effects after their laser skin rejuvenation treatments, some have experienced slight redness, swelling, or stinging similar to that associated with a sunburn. For those who experience this, a cold damp cloth or ice pack can be used to soothe these effects. If the skin is extremely sensitive and painful, an over-the-counter pain reliever can help reduce this.
Up to Four Days After Treatment
It’s best to keep skin makeup-free for several days after each treatment. This is because the lasers have created microscopic wounds in the layers of the skin where imperfections lay. Using makeup can interfere with the healing process. For those who experience peeling, it’s best to wait until the skin stops peeling before applying an oil-free foundation.
This doesn’t mean that nothing should be applied to the skin during this time, however. It’s important to heavily apply moisturizer to the treated area of the skin for several days, as this prevents scabs from forming and encourages the healing process. Most licensed medical laser technicians will suggest using Aquaphor, or something similar, which can be applied to the treated area several times a day.
Aside from makeup, it’s also essential that any products containing retinol or glycolic acid are avoided after laser sessions, as they can irritate the skin. The medical laser technician will mention when it’s okay to begin using these kinds of products again.
Up to a Month After Treatment
After and between treatments, it’s essential to apply a generous amount of sunscreen to the area being treated each day. Not just once, but three or four times. The skin will feel sensitive to UV radiation for several days after treatment, so it’s important to not just wear sunscreen that first week but to also avoid being outdoors for long periods of time and to cover the area with a scarf or hat. After a few days, the skin will no longer feel sensitive to sunlight, but it’s still essential to apply sunscreen several times a day, especially if several treatments are still required.
It should come as no surprise that if avoiding the sun is a must, then tanning beds are out of the question. Any plans for a tan should be put on hold after laser resurfacing treatments. Tanning is off limits throughout the whole process, which can take several months depending on what’s being treated.
Maintenance and Upkeep
Now that the age spots are gone and wrinkles eliminated, it’s time to focus on maintaining this youthful new look. Bad skin habits often lead people to get laser skin rejuvenation, but that shouldn’t be the go-to answer for skin imperfections.
For those who sought out laser treatments to reduce the signs of aging, there are a few things that can be done to prevent those wrinkles from coming back. Most importantly, avoid the sun. Even being outside for a short period of time can damage the skin, so it’s important to wear sunscreen, not only around the treated area but everywhere that the skin is exposed. Tanning beds and laying out on the beach are now hobbies of the past, and umbrellas and sun hats should always be accessible.
Moisturizing is also an important part of maintaining the skin’s new appearance, as it will postpone the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as keep the skin hydrated. If collagen production is one of the biggest issues, moisturizing will also keep the skin’s elasticity around longer. There are also some other choices to reconsider, as changing diet and lifestyle can produce collagen. Some examples are:
- Add vitamin C to diet
- Get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night
- Consume healthy forms of protein such as seafood, eggs, meats, beans, and soy
- Exercising regularly
Laser skin rejuvenation is great for eliminating imperfections and reversing the signs of aging, but these treatments won’t last long if skincare doesn’t become the main focus after completing the necessary laser treatments. The combination of laser treatments and a proper skincare routine can keep those wrinkles and sun spots away for years to come!