Lasers are commonly used to treat skin conditions like rosacea and acne; they can also remove tattoos, freckles, birthmarks, and even unwanted hair. If you receive treatment from an experienced laser technician and follow their advised post-procedure instructions, laser skin treatments are typically safe. However, in my 21 years of experience, I’ve learned that no matter what the skill of the laser technician, patients who neglect proper aftercare are more likely to experience adverse effects. With that in mind, I believe it’s my job to educate my patients on proper laser aftercare.
The most common side effects patients sometimes experience immediately following their laser procedure are itching, redness and swelling. During your procedure, we’ll apply numbing cream to minimize any discomfort (if you need it). Some laser treatments are more painful than others (typically determined by the location of the treatment areas). Patients who experience post-treatment discomfort should take over-the-counter pain medication. Ice or a cold compress may also help.
In rare cases, bruising, scabbing, and temporary pigmentation changes may occur. These issues usually occur due to a technician with lack of experience. Luckily, Laser Lights’ laser technicians are highly skilled; however, it’s still important to explain appropriate aftercare instructions for these rare occurrences. Medicated anti-bacterial ointment may be prescribed to prevent infection and aid healing if scabbing or other significant irritation occurs. Bleaching creams can be used to correct pigmentation problems, but it’s very important to visit a skin care professional for bleaching as it can cause permanent unwanted hypopigmentation if not administered properly.
Another thing to be mindful of after any laser skin treatment is that sun exposure should be very limited. Exposure to the sun can increase the risk of uneven pigmentation, so if complete avoidance is not possible, apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
I most commonly use lasers to remove age spots and freckles, birthmarks, unwanted hair, scars and tattoos. Laser skin treatment can also reduce the appearance of wrinkles, spider veins, and rosacea. For more information on the laser services or other skin treatments we perform, visit our website. Keep reading the blog for cosmetic skin treatment news, and be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.