FRACTIONATED CARBON DIOXIDE LASER: POST-OPERATIVE SKIN CARE

To download a PDF of this file click here

Fractionated Carbon Dioxide laser: Post-operative skin care

What you might experience after the procedure:

1. Redness and swelling are common. While swelling may resolve within 1-2 weeks, prolonged redness may last up to 3 months.
2. Exudates/bleeding/crusting. Because the laser beam penetrates into the deep dermal layer, clear fluid (exudate) or blood may ooze onto the skin. Crusting or scabs may form if exudate or blood dries. Keeping treated areas moist helps prevent crusting and subsequent scarring.
3. Pain may linger after the procedure is completed.
4. Risk of infection from bacterial, viral or fungal agents exists despite our best preventative efforts.
5. Scarring may occur from crusting, infection, or simply being exposed to laser.
6. Pigmentary changes: After treatment, skin may appear darker (hyper-pigmentation) or lighter (hypopigmentation) than before. Although most are transient, it could be permanent.
7. Itching may occur as part of infection, poor wound healing, contact dermatitis, or normal wound healing process.
8. Ectropion: Rarely, a downward pull of the eyelids can result after treating the around-the-eye area.
9. Acne or milia formation: Flare-up of acne or formation of milia due to use of semi-occlusive dressings.
10. Non-responsiveness to laser treatment: You skin condition may not improve or may worsen.

What to do:

1. You may shower normally the day after the procedure and then proceed with the wound care.
2. Limit movement of the face and neck as far as is possible. This facilitates healing.
3. Hand-washing is the most important thing you can do to prevent infection. Wash your hands every time before you touch treated areas.
4. To reduce swelling and for pain relief, you may place ice packs, bags or frozen peas on the treated area for first 2 – 3 days. You may also take paracetamol 500 mg, two tablets, every 6 hours.
5. Keep your head elevated while resting, and for the first few nights. This helps reduce swelling and promote healing.
6. Remember to finish all of your oral medication as prescribed.
7. Follow wound care instruction below.
8. Call us if you experience any one of the following:
• Pain that is not relieved by paracetamol.
• Excessive redness, swelling, bleeding, and/or scab formation.
• Excessive itching, especially when accompanied by sign of infection.
• Signs of infection: whitish to yellowish film on treated area, with or without foul odour.
• If you develop a fever of 100.4F or above.
• or, if you are just not sure. If you cannot reach us and it is an emergency, call 999.

 

Fractionated Carbon Dioxide Laser: Wound Care Regime

What you need:

Dermol 200 Shower Emollient
Cotton Wood Balls and Buds
A clean container
50:50 (Vaseline and Liquid Paraffin)

 

What to do:

1. Wash hands thoroughly with soap, rinse and dry before each wound care session
2. Half fill a clean 1pt (500ml) container with warm water and add a tablespoon of Dermol 200.
3. Using a fresh cotton wool ball each time, gently wipe the areas with the diluted lotion. Soak any crusted areas and use cotton buds gently to remove any crusts. Pat dry. Apply 50:50 generously over entire treated area after each cleansing.
4. Wash every 2 – 3 hours during the first 24 hours. Set alarm to wake up at least once during first night for cleansing. You may gradually increase to every 3 – 4 hours after 24 hours. Continue to wash twice a day for one week. You may change to a bland unperfumed moisturiser after 2 – 3 days.