There are many different types of great resurfacing modalities and brands, and the treatment goes by many names. Fraxel, Fractionated (DOT) CO2, Erbium (Microlaserpeel or Arctic Peel, for example), and Halo (ablative and non-ablative fractional mix), are just a few of the great technologies available to resurface and ‘anti-age’. These fantastic treatments can be performed at many levels for varying lengths of social downtime. Depending on the type and level of your treatment, some of the below guidelines may or may not apply to you. Read on for a few things that I go by when preparing a patient (or myself) for resurfacing, but always, ALWAYS follow the specific instructions given to you by your provider.
E’s Top Ten:
Preparing For Your Laser Resurfacing Treatment
1) Use a Retin A (generic: Tretinoin) in the months beforehand. Your provider can write you a prescription or dispense this out of the office. Your provider may ask you to stop using this anywhere from two weeks to a few days before your procedure.
2) Use a topical growth factor and/or peptide blend topical product. Using highly stabilized and potent healing serums like TNS Essential Serum, TNS Recovery Complex, or Neocutis Microserum will help to get your skin in gear for the healing process. The more prepared your skin is for treatment, the quicker your recovery will be, and you'll likely have a more predictable -and potentially better- outcome.
3) Avoid Sun Exposure, and wear a broad spectrum SPF daily.
4) Keep your provider in the know. Let your provider know if you have any auto-immune or other health issues, allergies, or upcoming vacations (i.e., upcoming sun exposure, or if you're not going to be around for follow ups, etc). Also be sure to let them know if you get cold sores.
5) If your provider wrote you a prescription for an anti-viral, begin this before treatment as directed. (Very important) Also fill any other prescriptions with plenty of time to spare before your treatment, in case you have any issues or hold-ups at the pharmacy.
6) If applicable, prepare your vinegar soak so it's ready when you want it. Read more about that here.
7) Pick up any necessary post-care products. Your provider will recommend or give you products to use. DO NOT add or omit any products. Resist this urge!
8) Find or buy a zippered or button up-and-down top so you can remove it easily afterward. You may also want to locate your spare, cruddier pillow cases so when you hit the hay you won't get ointment on your good linens.
9) Make your follow-up appointments. Your provider may want to see you multiple times during the healing process. These are important check-in's to make sure you're healing properly and answer any questions that come up. Making them in advance ensures you get the most convenient times for you.
10) Plan fun stuff to do at home while recovering. Have you been meaning to organize your closet but never have the time? Use your social downtime (no matter how short) to accomplish something great! Or, if it's more your style, have yourself an 80's movie marathon. :)
I hope some of these tips help as you plan your laser procedure! Remember to always, always follow the guidelines given to you by your provider, and prepare to enjoy your firming, smoothing, pore-reducing (and fabulous) results!
Until next time, stay fabulous my friends!