(In Office Surgical Facility)
DAY OF AND DAY AFTER PROCEDURE
- Sleep. Sleep on your back with your head elevated about 30-40 degrees (2-3 pillows). Do not sleep on your side. Keeping your body more upright will minimize swelling. You do not want the laser treated areas to be pressing against your pillow. Continue this for one week.
- Alastin Ointment. After treatment we will apply Alastin to the skin. Make sure to keep your face covered with a thick layer of Alastin ointment at all times.
- Reapplying Alastin. Morning after your procedure you may gently wipe off the Alastin ointment with a moist cotton ball and immediately reapply Alastin. Do NOT scrub off any skin crusts. Apply this ointment 4 times daily.
- Pain. You will be prescribed a pain medication for post-procedural pain control. If your discomfort is not strong you are welcomed to take Tylenol in place of the prescribed medication. Do not take Tylenol with the prescribed pain medication, often the medication you are prescribed will have Tylenol in it. Do not exceed 4,000 mg of Tylenol in any 24-hour time period. Take medication with food to minimize risk of nausea.
- Antibiotic. Antibiotic is to be started 24 hours prior to your procedure. Continue to take the antibiotic until finished.
- Nausea. If you are experiencing nausea, which is a common side effect of some stronger pain medications, we advise that you take your nausea medication.
- Constipation. You will experience constipation if taking narcotic pain relievers. Miralax or other over the counter laxatives are recommended. Do not wait to take until you are constipated. Begin treatment with narcotic use.
- Medications to Avoid. Take only those medications approved or prescribed by your surgeon. Avoid medications containing aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin and others) for two weeks before and after procedure. These medications may increase bleeding.
- Diet. A low-fat diet is best after surgery. You may start a regular diet after your procedure as long as you are not feeling nauseous or vomiting.
- Hydration. Stay hydrated by drinking 8 -10 glasses of water a day. Avoid alcohol while you still have to take pain medications.
- Sun Exposure. Strict sun avoidance for the first eight weeks after treatment. You will burn and hyper pigment if you have direct sun exposure. If you must go outside wear a wide brim hat, sunglasses, and stay in the shade.
- Return to work. Most patients require approximately 5-7days off work depending on their job responsibilities and face-to-face interactions.
- Driving. Do NOT operate a vehicle or make important decisions until you have been off pain medications for 24 hours. Use good judgment.
- Exercise. Light physical activity may be resumed 1-2 weeks after the procedure. Remember to start easy and build back up to your previous exercise levels. Just know that swelling may transiently be worse with exercise.
- Heat. Saunas, hot showers, and hot tubs should be avoided for 2 weeks. These activities may further irritate the skin and delay proper healing.
- Cool Compresses. Cool compresses with a damp soft cloth for 10-20 minutes at a time may relieve temporary discomfort.
- Showering. You may shower and wash your hair. Make sure to avoid getting soap or shampoo on your healing face. Apply Alastin immediately after you get out.
- Wash Your Face. Skin should be washed 4-6 times a day with only cool tap water and soft cotton balls for the first week following the procedure. DO NOT USE ANY CLEANSERS, SOAPS, OR TONERS. After you have cleansed the skin with cool water apply a thick layer of Alastin.
- Essential Recovery Kit. At your one- week follow up appointment you will be given a Skin Repair Kit containing skincare products to use until gone.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- Bruising. You can expect to have bruising. Most bruises will heal after about 2-3 weeks. The bruise will go from a purplish color to a yellow/green shade as it starts to resolve.
- Swelling. Swelling of the face and/or eyes is common, and typically begins to reduce by the third day after treatment and may improve with intermittent rest. Physical activity can transiently worsen swelling.
- Pinpoint bleeding. Pinpoint bleeding may occur, but will stop after the first 24 hours.
- Itching. Itching at the laser treated areas are normal for the first few weeks. You may take Benadryl to help with this.
- Oozing. Oozing is common and generally looks like yellowish drips on the skin. Blot these areas gently with a soft tissue and reapply the Alastin ointment as needed.
- Discomfort. It is normal to experience tightness, soreness, and fatigue for several days to weeks following your procedure as your skin recovers.
- Burning. Burning, hotness, redness, warmth, and a sunburned sensation are normal and anticipated following your resurfacing procedure.
- Do NOT pick at any crust or puss that may form on the face. This may cause permanent scarring of the area.
- DO NOT soak in baths, Jacuzzis or hot tubs until all the skin has fully healed.
- DO NOT take Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen or other blood thinners until your physician advises you it is safe.
- Do NOT expose your skin to the sun for 8 weeks Use a wide brim hat, sunscreen, and/or sunglasses.
WHEN TO CALL THE OFFICE (703-481-0002) OR GO TO THE HOSPITAL
- Signs of Infection. Spreading of redness, worsening of swelling, increased drainage or drainage of pus, worsening pain, warmth at incision site and temperature over 101°F.
- Excessive Bleeding. If the dressings are saturated with bright red blood and you are making very frequent dressing changes.
- Other Emergency Situations. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest pain, lightheadedness that does not quickly resolve, severe vomiting, pain, or asymmetric swelling in your legs.