Avoid aspirin, motrin (ibuprophen), vitamin E, alcohol (or any agent that would potentiate bleeding/bruising) and prescription blood thinners for 5-10 days prior to treatment 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 and most Morpheus8 treatments. This is normal and to be expected in the first 24 hours. Protect bedding and clothes accordingly.
Caffeine consumption will sensitize pain receptors and is best avoided or reduced the morning of the procedure. Take Tylenol 1-2hours prior or ask for a prescription relaxing medication to be filled prior if preferred (but you must arrange to be driven to and from the procedure in that case). A topical and or injected anesthetic, vibration and/or cold air is used during the treatment to improve comfort.
Please reschedule if you have any illness or contact with someone potentially infectious, a rash or infection at or near the treatment site (especially a cold sore). To prevent a herpes infection, have treatment medication on hand, start a prophylactic dose of Valtrex 500mg daily, take over the counter L-lysine 1000mg by mouth daily starting the day prior and continue until the wound is healed. If you get a cold sore, a white film or blisters at the treatment site, notify me and immediately start taking treatment doses of Valtrex 2gm every 12 hours times 2 doses, 3gm L-lysine daily and topical over the counter Abreva. These precaution and preparation steps are recommended even if you have uncertain or a remote history of cold sores.
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 for redness, swelling and or bruising resolution. 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. It is better to schedule AFTER important events to avoid extra stress and worry than before if inadequate recovery time is available. Less aggressive treatments may require additional sessions but are often worth it if less intense recovery is desired. All treatments will have better results and duration with good preparation, regular maintenance and daily skin care including spf.
Immediately after Laser Spot Removal/Reduction, Arctic MiniPeel, MLP and/or Profractional, the skin is bright red and feels tight like a sunburn. Variable redness but usually mild to no discomfort is noted after Morpheus8; more with aggressive treatments or if Resurfacing is included. A pattern may be noted for the first few to several days afterwards. Keep an occlusive ointment like Aquaphor on in a thin to moderate layer to help reduce water loss and further tightness/dryness. Colorescience all mineral spf 50 with anti-inflammatory agents. All Calm or Even Up (available from me) must also be on your skin. Both of these should be applied at least 2-3 times a day and as needed to protect you the first several days. Once the tight, sunburn feeling resolves (~4 days for profractional), variable but likely shorter for Arctic MiniPeel or Morpheus8, longer for MLP or Morpheus8 with Resurfacing, regular makeup and products can be used. Colorescience and Obagi products are highly recommended to prevent re accumulating damage.
Do not use hot water, do not scratch or rub at the treated area until it is healed. Water can be splashed and skin gently patted/wiped with Obagi Gentle Cleanser when you are comfortable. Wait at least 24-48 hours to wash due to discomfort.
Some areas will swell, especially around the eyes/mouth. Keep head elevated and face up when sleeping for the first few nights or while swollen. Use cold packs as needed. Over the counter antihistamines like Benadryl, Zyrtec or generic equivalents, are very helpful. Stay well hydrated and nourished.
Avoid tretinoin or retin A products, other acids and exfoliants for 3-5days after treatment and wait for the wound to be 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). Obagi and Colorescience products are highly recommended for use prior to and after procedures as they are essentially daily mini treatments keeping your skin looking and feeling great! You must use some type of sunscreen/block daily and reapply at 2-3 hour intervals for 2-3 weeks after healing. Ideally, for life, spf 30-50 is recommended daily with reapplication at least during lunch and late afternoon. The best quick and easy method is to use the Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush On spf 50 for men, women, teens etc. You don’t need a mirror; it is dry, transparent, won’t stain clothing and it literally takes but a few seconds to apply. Sun exposure increases risk of scarring, hyper or hypopigmentation as well as causing about 90% of the signs of aging in skin. Even brief, incidental and indoor UV exposures daily over years accumulates to be problematic.
The skin may flake/peel 2-3 days after treatment and this may persist up to a week or so but tends to occur less with subsequent sessions. Do not rub, tear or scratch at flakes, it is good to use additional Hydrate or Hydrate Luxe from Obagi to moisturize but wait until the skin is not sore. Redness will improve daily but may persist for weeks and will worsen with sun exposure/other irritants. Again, a great reason to use Colorescience products is they are fantastic for immediate concealing discoloration as well as providing antiaging and protection for all skin types.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Stacey E. Whitehead at CB Skin Secrets 402-915-2756 during clinic hours. Other calls and emails will be returned as able but if there is an urgent issue, call 911 or go to the ER as appropriate. Please understand that I do NOT provide comprehensive medical care or emergency services.