For those of you who have taken steps to rejuvenate your skin with a laser treatment at The Woodruff Institute, here are some things to keep in mind while your skin heals.
• Your skin will most likely feel sunburned and/or tight. Do not let your skin dry out. For the first several days, keep the area moisturized several times a day with an ointment such as EltaMD Moisturizer, Aquaphor Ointment, plain Vaseline Ointment, or Vaniply Ointment.
• Soak your skin in cooled vinegar solution daily. Mix 1 teaspoon of plain white vinegar in 2 cups of distilled water. Dip a 4x4 gauze into this solution and apply to the area for 10-15 minutes at a time. Store the misture in the refrigerator to keep cool. Plan to do this several times a day for the first few days to reduce redness and speed up the healing process. The more frequent you do it, the better!
• Avoid picking, rubbing, or scrubbing the skin. Let the skin flake off on its own.
• Avoid sunlight. If you have to go outside, use physical blockers such as wide-brimmed hat, large sunglasses, or scarf. When your provider says your skin is ready, use broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least a SPF of 30. Sunscreen should be applied even on cloudy days becasue the ultraviolet A (UVA) rays pass through car or house windows and can cause darkening or discoloration of the skin.
• Do not apply any other creams, ointments, or products until your provider tells you it is ok to do so.
• You may have swelling of the affected areas in the first few days. Sleeping elevated using 2-3 pillows may help. You may also use ice packs wrapped in clean gauze/cloth.
• You may experience itching during the healing process. You may take over-the-counter Benadryl (diphenhydramine) as needed by mouth. It is an antihistamine which may make you drowsy. Do not use the topical/cream formulation of Benadryl (or other antihistamines).
Please call the office if you experience intense pain not relieved with ice packs or Tylenol, fever, severe redness, blistering or tingling sensation, appearance of cold sores, pus formation, white or yellowish film, odd or unpleasant smell to the treated area, or any concern that you may have.