Everybody's Doing It
Are you thinking about Fraxel laser skin treatment but are a little worried about the recovery and aftercare process? Fraxel laser is a non-ablative laser treatment, which means it does not completely remove the topmost layers of skin as ablative lasers do. However, Fraxel laser does cause very tiny injuries just below the surface of the skin. Don't worry; these micro-injuries are part of the rejuvenation process and the journey to great-looking skin. The Innovations Medical Center offers patients these tips to help mitigate the side effects of Fraxel laser treatment.
What to Expect After Fraxel Laser
Most patients experience some irritation, redness and swelling right after their Fraxel laser treatment. The skin can also feel dry and tight. These effects occur because Fraxel exfoliates away the top layer of skin to allow new skin cells to form. You may also experience some flakiness and crusting, too. Don't be alarmed; these side effects are a sign that the treatment is working.
How to Stop Swelling
Although swelling is common after Fraxel laser, and it usually dissipates the day after the procedure, you can help minimize swelling by keeping your head up. This allows excess fluid to drain away from your face. Sleep propped up with a few pillows.
You can also use cold compresses and ice packs to help reduce facial swelling after Fraxel laser treatment. Cold compresses and ice packs have two benefits; first, they can help reduce swelling, and second, they can cool your skin (after Fraxel laser, your skin may feel warm for a bit).
After Fraxel, it is critical to keep your skin moist and hydrated. We suggest that you use gentle lotions and avoid products with potent ingredients such as retinol and alpha hydroxy acid. Avoid astringents and toners after your procedure, too.
Be sure also to drink enough water. This will help keep your skin hydrated, too. Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol, because these drinks cause your skin to lose moisture.
We also caution patients who choose Fraxel laser that their skin is going to be sensitive after treatment, so wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day is very important. When going outside, we suggest you add a wide-brimmed hat to your outfit to keep the sun away from your face. Better yet, avoid going outside as much as possible.
Don't Panic if Your Skin Looks Worse
Just like many cosmetic procedures, things may look worse before they look better. After Fraxel, your skin may develop tiny white bumps or scaly, brown patches. Do not stress out about these changes (and do not peel away the patches). These effects are a sign that the treatment is working, and peeling or exfoliating could cause damage to your skin.
Do you want to find out more about Fraxel? Call us at 214-643-8665 with your questions now.