How To Care your Skin After Laser Treatments
Laser skin resurfacing technology is still one of the most effective ways for men and women of any age to improve the appearance of their skin. Scheduling regular laser treatments will ensure your skin keeps producing high volumes of collagen and elastin, which will result in a noticeably smoother, more radiant appearance.
As much as laser treatments are capable of producing amazing results, how you care for your skin after your treatments matters too. Not caring for your skin after your laser treatments will only leave you feeling disappointed and will require you to schedule treatments more often.
What to Avoid after Your Laser Skin Treatments
Here are a few suggestions on what to avoid after your laser treatments if you want to achieve the most desirable results.
Prolonged periods of sun exposure
Everyone knows how important it is to stay safe in the sun but this is particularly true for anyone who is undertaking laser treatments as it can completely alter your results. After every laser treatment, your skin is hypersensitive, which means the sun can cause lasting damage. To ensure the longevity of your results and prevent any premature ageing, Dr Michael Zacharia suggests that you avoid spending too much time in the sun and purchase a high-quality sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Just make sure that you actually wear the sunscreen every day, whether it’s in rain or shine.
Synthetic moisturisers and creams
In order for your skin to heal after a laser treatment, you need to keep it moisturised. However, not every type of cream or moisturiser is the right fit. Unscented or natural creams are a much better choice than scented or synthetic moisturisers. Aloe Vera creams and gels are always a good choice. Basically, make a point of avoiding any skincare products that are laden with additives as this will only end up irritating your skin.
If you really want to give your skin the best chance to recover after a laser treatment, heavy exercise and hot spas and saunas should be avoided at least until your skin has healed. If your skin is generally quite sensitive, you should avoid sweating after any type of treatment of this nature if you want to minimise the risk of irritation or infection. The minute your skin has recovered, you can jump straight back into your usual routine. Most patients only need to take it easy for about 5 days after their treatment.
Adjusting your treatment plan
Following your consultation with your doctor, a personalised treatment plan will be developed that you should stick to as closely as possible. Your treatment plan will be tailored to your specific needs and by sticking to a regular schedule, you can be sure that you’ll achieve the best possible results. Whether your appointments are spaced four or six weeks apart, it’s recommended that you attend all of your set appointments to avoid disappointment. Sticking to your treatment plan ensures that you’ll achieve your desired result in the specified time frame.
Treating the Initial Discomfort
Apply ice or cold packs to numb the treated area: After laser hair removal, you may feel some minor discomfort like a mild sunburn. The area might also be slightly swollen or red. Ice and cold packs are an easy way to ease this pain. You can use ice or cold packs immediately after the laser treatment, so put them in the freezer before your appointment.
- Wrap the ice or cold pack in a towel before you use it; directly applying the pack to the skin may cause more irritation.
- Ice the treated area for up to 10 minutes at least 3 times a day until the discomfort is gone. Wait at least an hour before reapplying the ice or cold pack. If you leave the ice pack on for too long, it will restrict the blood flow to that area and slow down your healing time.
Try aloe vera to soothe any redness or swelling: Many people say that aloe vera helps to reduce skin discomfort and ease redness and swelling. It is easy to find in the skincare or sunblock aisle in drug stores; make sure to keep the aloe vera gel refrigerated for the best results.If possible, use fresh aloe vera gel because it is more effective.
- Apply the aloe vera directly to the area where you had the hair removed. Wait several minutes for it to absorb into your skin. After the gel begins to dry, you can remove the excess aloe vera with a soft, damp, washcloth. However, leaving a small amount of aloe vera on your skin is also safe.Repeat this process 2-3 times a day until the pain, redness, and swelling is gone.
Protecting Your Skin Immediately Following Hair Removal
Protect the treated area from sunlight: The sunlight will irritate the treated area and possibly make the discomfort and redness worse. The easiest way to prevent this is to not expose the treated area to direct sunlight. If you go outside, make sure you cover the area with clothing. If you had your face treated, wear a hat to provide sun protection.
- Artificial UV sources such as tanning booths should also be avoided until the skin has completely healed and all discomfort, swelling, and redness has disappeared.
- Direct sun exposure should be avoided for a minimum of two weeks after the laser treatment, but some health care providers recommend avoiding the sun for 6 weeks.
- Use a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30. Make sure you reapply the sunblock often, especially if you get the skin wet or sweat profusely.
Avoid exposing your skin to heat sources until it has entirely healed: Laser treatment works by using heat to destroy the hair follicles; exposing the treated area to additional heat can increase the skin irritation. Hot water, saunas, and steam rooms should all be skipped for a minimum of 48 hours after the treatment.
- You can bathe the treated area; however, you should stick to cool or warm water to help the area heal as quickly as possible.
Avoid strenuous exercise for at least 48 hours after treatment: Raising the body’s temperature through exercise can also irritate the treated area. Wait at least 48 hours before strenuously exercising.
- Milder exercise, such as walking, is okay. Just try to avoid becoming overheated.