Avoid aspirin, motrin (ibuprophen), vitamin E, fish oil, (or any agent that would potentiate bleeding/bruising) for 5-14days prior to you treatment. It is best to avoid alcohol consumption 48 hours prior to and after procedures as well. Please notify me if you are on any prescription blood thinners and stop them for 5-7 days prior to treatment but ONLY if this is allowed by the prescribing physician. Even following these steps does not prevent all bleeding/bruising. Point bleeding WILL be seen after profractional laser and most microneedling, this is normal and should not continue after the first day. Protect bedding accordingly.
Caffeine will sensitize pain receptors and is best avoided for 1-2 hours before a procedure. Take Tylenol 1-2hours prior or ask for a prescription mild sedative to be filled prior if preferred (but you must arrange to be driven to and from the procedure in that case). A topical anesthetic and/or cold air is used during the treatment to improve comfort. Injection of anesthetics may be employed as well which may incur a cost.
Please reschedule if you have a rash or infection at or near the treatment site (especially a cold sore). To prevent a herpes infection, take over the counter L-lysine 1000mg by mouth 1-3x daily starting the day prior and continue until the wound is healed. If you get a cold sore or a white film or blisters at the treatment site, contact me. These steps are recommended even if you have no history of cold sores. Topically applied antiviral therapies may also be used.
Your treatment is customized to suit your recovery time needs as best as possible. Less aggressive treatments will generally require 2-5 days healing and more aggressive treatments around 1-3 weeks. If your desired recovery time changes, discuss this with me prior to treatment. Please plan your treatment dates carefully and realize that the above time frames are estimates. I would rather we wait for treatment rather than try to rush recovery as this is just extra stress no one needs.
Immediately after Laser Spot Removal/Reduction, Arctic MiniPeel, MLP and/or Profractional treatments, the skin is bright red and feels tight like a sunburn. Keep an occlusive ointment like CB Skin Secrets exclusive, Calm Recovery, over the counter aquaphor (but note some people have or develop irritation to the petroleum base) or Colorescience products (available from my office) on your skin applying 2-3times a day and as needed to prevent dryness until this feeling resolves (~4 days for profractional, variable for Arctic MiniPeel (shorter) and MLP (longer)) and the wound is healed. After that, regular makeup and products can be used.
Do not use hot water or rub at the treated area until it is healed. Water can be splashed and gently patted/wiped when you are comfortable. Wait at least 24-48 hours to wash due to discomfort otherwise.
Some treated areas may swell, especially around the eyes/mouth. Keep head elevated and face up when sleeping for the first 2 nights or while swollen. Use cold packs or cold rags as needed. Over the counter antihistamines like cetirizine or benadryl may be helpful (but also may be sedating).
A pattern on the skin is noted for the first few days after treatment. With profractional, pinpoint bleeding is seen in this pattern. This should resolve by the morning after, but you may see specks of dried blood still. Use old sheets or towels over your bedding to avoid stains from blood and/or Calm Recovery or other approved barrier cream like aquaphor.
Avoid tretinoin or retin A products for one week after the wound is healed. Use hydroquinone or a prescribed lightening cream 1-2 times a day for 4-6 weeks prior to treatment and as soon as the wound is healed if you have melasma, hyperpigmentation or Fitzpatrick skin type IV or higher (Hispanic, Asian, African American or moderate to dark complexion).
Colorescience makeup speeds healing and covers redness. You must use some type of sunscreen/block daily and reapply at 2 hour intervals. Sun exposure increases risk of scarring, hyper or hypopigmentation. Many Colorescience products are available to help you cover, protect and correct all in one so you look and feel great, even immediately post procedure.
The skin will often flake/peel 2-3 days after and may persist up to a week or so. Do not rub or scratch. Redness will improve daily but may persist for weeks and will worsen with sun exposure/other irritants.
For questions or concerns, please text/leave a message for Dr. Stacey E. Whitehead at CB Skin Secrets 402-915-2756 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All contacts will be returned as able but if there is an urgent issue, contact your regular doctor or Urgent Care Clinic. If there is an emergency, call 911 or go to the ER. Please do NOT wait on my response if you need urgent help as I may not be able to respond as quickly as you need. I DO want to know of any problems or concerns, so PLEASE let me know of any issues. If for some reason I miss getting back to you within a few days (this is rare but occasionally there is a glitch in my system), PLEASE reach out to me again!