Fractional skin resurfacing can be uncomfortable, so your doctor will first numb the skin with a local anesthetic. Some patients prefer to also take a sedative to enhance relaxation. Typically, it is done as an outpatient procedure, but a general anesthetic is used when laser skin resurfacing is done in conjunction with other procedures like facelifts.
The doctor will start by providing you with eye protection and thoroughly cleansing the skin. When you are relaxed, Dr. Preminger will use the next-generation of lasers to deliver short, pulsed light energy to precisely targeted spots where the skin is irregular to remove the outermost layer of skin and heat up the dermis to stimulate the creation of smoother and firmer skin.
Well beforehand, you’ll need to think about having food on hand that will be quick and easy to prepare and not involve toiling over a hot oven. You will want to have books and movies to keep you occupied during your down-time, as well as button-down shirts and comfortable loungewear. Clean pillowcases will be needed each night to prevent infection.
For many, the first week can be uncomfortable. The sensation has been described as “feeling like sunburn” – tight, inflamed, and dry. Pain tolerances vary, but Dr. Preminger will ensure that you are set up with pain pills if necessary. Immediately after the procedure, your skin will be raw, oozing, slathered in ointment, and protected by bandages.
To facilitate a quicker recovery you should:
- Apply antibiotic ointment frequently.
- Take antibiotic and antiviral medicines daily for six to ten days.
- Avoid the sun for at least 6 weeks and liberally apply sunscreen every time you are out in the sun afterwards.
- After a few days, you may use oil-free makeup with a green tint to mask the redness.