Laser skin treatments, even non-ablative ones like the Fraxel laser, cause some changes in the skin. While a non-ablative laser treatment isn’t going to completely remove the outer layer of skin cells, it does cause micro-injuries just beneath the surface. Those micro-injuries are what trigger the rejuvenation process.
Right after treatment, you’re likely to have some signs of irritation, such as redness and swelling. Your skin might also feel dry and tight. As the top layer is exfoliated to make way for new skin cells, there might be some flakiness and crusting. All those changes signal that the treatment is working. As you recuperate from your Fraxel treatment, here’s what you can do to protect your skin and make it feel better, faster.
Soothing Swelling After Fraxel
Swelling is fairly common after a laser treatment. It usually subsides within a couple of days, but there are a few things you can do to ease the process and help to minimize swelling more quickly.
The first thing you should do is to keep your head up as much as possible. Elevating your head will help to drain any fluids, which reduces swelling. When you sleep, prop your head up with a few extra pillows so that you aren’t lying flat.
Cold compresses or ice packs on your face can also help you get relief. Compresses will actually help your skin in a couple of ways. First, they’ll help resolve swelling. Second, they’ll help to cool your skin. After Fraxel, the heat from the laser can make your skin feel warm to the touch. The coolness of the ice packs will help to cool it.
Moisturizing Your Skin After Fraxel
You’ll want to keep your skin moist and hydrated after a Fraxel treatment. To do that, you might need to change up your usual moisturizer. If you usually use serums or lotions that contain strong ingredients, such as retinol, switch to a gentler product until your surgeon lets you know it’s OK to switch back. Gentle lotions such as Cetaphil or CeraVe are usually recommended. What matters most is that the moisturizer will not clog your pores and does not contain any active, strong ingredients. Depending on the intensity of your treatment, your surgeon might recommend using a petroleum-based ointment, such as Vaseline or Aquaphor, to keep your skin moisturized.
Another way to make sure your skin is properly hydrated after Fraxel is to drink plenty of fluids, especially water. You might want to steer clear of diuretics that can cause moisture loss, such as coffee, alcohol or other caffeinated beverages.
Protecting Your Skin After Fraxel
Your skin is going to be pretty tender and sensitive after your laser treatment. It’s important to protect it, especially from the sun. Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, even on days when you aren’t going outside. If you do go outdoors, wear a hat with a wide brim to keep the sun off of your skin as much as possible.
Protecting your skin after Fraxel also involves avoiding products that could cause inflammation and irritation. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, avoiding anything with alpha or beta hydroxy acids, retinol or exfoliating ingredients until your surgeon gives you the all-clear. You’ll also want to avoid exfoliating brushes and loofahs as your skin heals.
Removing Hair After Fraxel
If you usually remove hair from your face, some methods of hair removal are OK after Fraxel and some are best avoided. Anything that can irritate the skin should be avoided for the first few weeks. That includes depilatory creams and waxing, which tends to remove the top layer of skin cells as well as the unwanted hair. You’re likely to be fine with shaving or tweezing.
Don’t Be Surprised By Changes in Your Skin
As is the case with many plastic surgery procedures, things often look much worse after Fraxel before they look better. You might see tiny white bumps on the surface of your skin and you’re likely to see brown, scaly patches.
Although it’s tempting, do your best not to pick at your bumps or peel away the scaly, flaky patches. They are a sign that the treatment is working and are best left alone.
Fraxel can help to minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles, even skin tone, and improve skin texture. To learn more about what to expect during Fraxel treatment and how to take excellent care of your skin afterward, schedule a consultation at Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique. Call 281-810-9083 to book your appointment today.