Most signs of aging — sun damage, brown and red patches, minor scars, and of course, those pesky wrinkles — dwell in your epidermis, the outer layer of your skin. Anti-aging treatments all have the same goal of reducing the appearance of these problem areas, but nothing is more effective than laser skin resurfacing, which strategically removes your epidermis and all your spots and wrinkles along with it.
Dr. Robert A. Guida is a double-board certified plastic surgeon who understands the intricate layers of your delicate skin and specializes in the science and art of aesthetics. From minimally invasive treatments like Botox® and dermal fillers to surgical facelifts, he offers patients throughout the greater New York City area safe and effective treatments to help them reach their aesthetic goals.
One of our most popular options is laser skin resurfacing using UltraPulse®, ActiveFX™, and DeepFX™, powerful CO2 lasers that are incredibly precise and extremely comfortable for patients. ActiveFX has a wide range of settings that work well on most mild skin conditions, and the DeepFX addresses set-in scars, wrinkles, and lesions.
In Dr. Guida’s expert hands, laser resurfacing is an excellent way to turn back the clock. But the reason your skin looks so much younger after the treatment is that the process strips away your old skin and leaves you with brand new, fresh skin on the surface. If you don’t protect it, the sun and other external elements can easily damage the delicate new layer. Here’s how to take care of it.
Your skin after laser resurfacing
Most people say they feel mildly sunburned after laser skin resurfacing. But even mild sunburns can be overly sensitive to touch and heat. Others report a more intense reaction like a severe sunburn. You may even notice some tiny pinpoints of bleeding or oozing — this is normal.
These symptoms may last up to two weeks as your skin gradually sheds the epidermis layer. You can also expect some dryness and peeling during this time. As the old skin sloughs off, it reveals a fresh layer of pink skin underneath that’s very vulnerable, so follow Dr. Guida's instructions to the T.
Keep it clean
Dr. Guida recommends a cleansing routine with mild, nonabrasive products.
Keep it cool
To reduce swelling and discomfort, it’s a good idea to have cool packs of ice wrapped in a soft covering on hand so you can apply it to your eyes, cheeks, or anywhere you have inflammation. Use it for 15 minutes at a time every hour or two during the first couple of days after your treatment.
Keep it elevated
Another good way to keep the inflammation down is to keep your head slightly elevated when you sleep. Prop up with an extra pillow or reading wedge that positions your head above your heart.
Keep it calm
Although there are no specific restrictions on your activities after laser skin resurfacing, it’s best for about two weeks to avoid strenuous exercises and high-stress situations that tend to make you flush.
Keep it untouched
Your skin will go through phases of change as it heals: oozing, peeling, blistering, scabbing, itching. Resist the urge to pick at scabs and blisters, as this can easily lead to scarring on your new skin.
Keep it protected
Sunscreen is absolutely necessary after laser skin resurfacing, and this is not negotiable. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that filters out both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of at least 30. Dr. Guida may also recommend a daily moisturizer to keep your new skin hydrated.
If you follow these guidelines, you can expect your new skin to be clear and ready to face the world in a week or two after your treatment. The time and effort you put into caring for your skin immediately after your laser resurfacing will make all the difference in how beautifully it heals and how long the results last.
If you’re ready to uncover the fresh new layer of skin just beneath the surface, call us at either our Staten Island or Manhattan location or book an appointment online today.