Taking care of your skin after a Fraxel procedure is as important as the actual treatment itself!
Listed below are instructions on how to make your healing process as comfortable and easy as possible.
- Your face will feel very warm. Soothe your hot skin by placing ice-packs (or bags of frozen vegetables) on the treated area for as long as possible. (At least 20 minutes an hour until bed.)
- In order to prevent undue swelling, try to keep head elevated when lying down by using an additional pillow or two.
- When looking at your skin up-close, you may notice a ?grid? texture to your skin. This is completely normal, and each of those microscopic dots represents an area of skin that was treated today. (The criss-cross pattern marks the actual path of the laser beam as it treated your skin.)
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. (Diuretics such as alcohol or caffeine should be avoided.)
- If your skin feels tight or itchy, apply a noncomedogenic moisturizer* liberally, as many times as needed. (Leave your moisturizer and sunscreen in the refrigerator! It makes applications feel especially soothing.)
- Your skin is especially fragile, and needs to be shielded from the sun. Sunscreen (at least SPF-30) is a must.
- If you need/want to, you can apply makeup as soon as the treatment is over (and thereafter).
- If your skin feels tight, dry, or itchy, continue to apply noncomedogenic moisturizer as often as needed. (You will likely be applying moisturizer at least 3 times a day.)
- Make sure to apply ample sunscreen after washing face in the AM. (Even if you are not going to be outdoors, you can still be exposed to incremental sunlight from windows, or being in the car, etc. Protect the skin you are trying to perfect!)
- Although cold compresses will no longer benefit your healing process, the coolness against your skin will still feel good. For comfort?s sake, you are welcome to continue to ice your skin for as long as you like. ?
- If you are experiencing uncomfortable swelling, any over-the-counter anti-inflammatory (such as Aleve or Motrin) can be beneficial in reducing puffiness. (The most common areas of swelling are under the eyes and around the mouth. Do not worry, if this happens to you ? it will go away!)
- You may notice that the ?grid? texture is more pronounced today, and possibly turning brown, with a rough, sand-papery texture. This is completely normal, and is simply a sign of your skin?s healing process ? each of those tiny spots represents a treated area that is being pushed out as your skin heals from underneath.
- You may notice tiny white bumps all over the skin. These are pockets of solidified oil, and will wash/slough away within a day or two if left alone. (Do not try and pick these ? your skin is very sensitive right now, and even the most gentle of attempted extractions can greatly complicate a situation that would naturally and quickly resolve itself.)
- Your swelling should be going down, however it is not uncommon for some puffiness to remain for up to 7-days after treatment.
- Continue to apply moisturizer and sunscreen as needed.
- You may still be pink/brown. Once peeling starts, do everything you can to NOT pick or peel it off. The skin will come off as it heals, and in the meantime any forced peeling can result in scarring or permanent discoloration.
- If you are noticing any pimple-like breakouts, again? do NOT pick or pop! If the Fraxel came into direct contact with any debris lurking in a pore, your body?s healing process has expedited the cleansing process and pushing out the clog now. (In other words, any pimples you are experiencing now are breakouts that would have occurred in the future.) Your skin is still very fragile, so any extractions you attempt can easily go awry. If you leave any break-outs alone, you should notice a quick and easy natural clearance as your skin continues to shed and heal. ?
During the first week after treatment, you should avoid:
- Pulling at skin that is not ready to come off.
- Trying to pick, pop, or scratch anything on your skin.
- Prolonged exposure to the sun.
- Any harsh skin care products; do not use any Retinols, exfoliating products, Clarisonic brushes, Benzoyl Peroxide, Glycolic or Salicylic Acid products. (If you have questions about a product, please feel free to ask us! 215-923-5001)
- Waxing hair on treated areas. (Gentle shaving or tweezing is fine however.)
- Washing your face with hot water. (Hot water will not do any damage to your skin, but when your skin already feels so warm, it won?t feel good. Warm water feels much better against the skin.)
After one week:
- You should be able to go back to your original skin care regimen a week after treatment. However, your skin will ?speak? to you, and if your regular products cause irritation after a week?s time, you should abstain from using for another day or two.
After two weeks:
- If Acne is a concern, we recommend an Isolaz treatment at the 2-week mark to ensure that your skin is thoroughly cleansed of any debris that the Fraxel stirred up.
- If you are intending to have multiple Fraxel treatments, your skin is ready for a subsequent treatment a month after your first.
* Some moisturizers, such as Vaseline or Aquaphor, are ?occlusive? and too heavy for your skin. In order to prevent unnecessary clogged pores, please feel free to run your moisturizer of choice by us.
Please keep in mind that healing time varies from person to person ? be patient with your healing process.
You will see improvement after even the first treatment!