What are lasers
Clinical laser history
Lasers and tissue interactions
Laser treatment anesthesia
Skin care post laser treatment
Laser treatment side effects
Laser treatment legal negligence
Vascular laser treatments
Lasers used in vascular treatments
Port wine stain laser removal
Telangiectases laser removal
Spider angioma laser removal
Cherry angioma laser removal
Pyogenic granuloma laser treatment
Venous lake laser treatment
Hemangioma laser removal
Vascular malformation laser removal
Varicose vein laser treatment
Pigmented skin lesion laser removal
Laser skin resurfacing
Laser scar removal
Laser tattoo removal
Wound healing laser treatments
Laser hair removal
Actinic keratoses laser treatment
Basal cell carcinoma laser treatment
Squamous cell carcinoma treatment
Psoriasis laser treatment
Vitiligo laser treatment
Acne laser treatment
Other skin disease laser treatments
PRK laser eye surgery
LASIK laser eye surgery
LASEK laser eye surgery


Postoperative care is a vital necessity in laser treatments. All types of laser procedures leave some aftereffects that need to be handled and treated with restorative and precautionary measures. Let us take a look at the details of the aftercare, according to the various laser treatments.

Vascular lesion laser therapy

Purpuria accompanied by hyperemia is the immediate effect after the application of a 585-nm pulsed dye laser to treat vascular lesions. Intermittent wave (CW) lasers for instance copper vapor, krypton, KTP and argon-driven dye lasers, result in reddening of the skin with widening of the tiny blood vessels near its surface and extra fluid accumulation in tissue cells.

Restorative measures typically include:

  • Safeguard skin from the sun .
  • Use a topical antibiotic ointment 7 to 10 days after the laser application.
  • Use only gentle, soothing soap e.g. Catrix Correction Cream Wash, BiOz azulene cleanser, Cetaphil or Aquanil, twice daily on the healing spots.

Pigmented lesion and tatoo laser treatment

The pigment or tattoo becomes ash-white or purpuric after the laser therapy.

Restorative measures typically include:

  • Rinse the corrected spots with gentle soap and water twice daily, 1 to 2 weeks after the laser application.
  • Use antibiotic ointment after each wash and continue this regimen till the spot is restored.
  • Use sunscreens and bandages to safeguard the treated areas from the sun.

Laser treatment for vascular lesions, lentigines, tattoos, hypertrophic scars, or keloids

Here the corrected skin is highly sensitive and requires great care 7 to 10 days after the therapy. The post treatment blemishes take weeks to fade out.

Restorative measures typically include:

  • Use bacitracin, polysporin, or Bactroban ointment and apply a protective Telfa pad with adhesive. This should be done once to twice daily for 7 to 10 days. Avoid Neosporin on corrected spots.
  • Take short showers but avoid longs baths. After a bath, gently pat dry the corrected areas with a soft cloth. Never wipe hard with a towel.
  • Apply acetaminophen (Tylenol) when there is any kind of short-term irritation. In case of long-term irritation, consult the physician.
  • Do not take aspirin or aspirin-based drugs during the restorative period, which is generally 1 to 2 weeks after therapy.
  • Use an ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes every hour (for 4 hours) on corrected area to soothe swelling.
  • Use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 to prevent sunburn during and after therapy.
  • Do not swim and undertake any contact sports during the healing time.
  • Never prick the blisters or scabs that may occur.

Cutaneous laser resurfacing

The skin turns light pink and slightly inflamed right after the therapy. After a day or two there is intense reddening, fluid buildup, accompanied by inflammation, oozing and crusting of the corrected spots. Take rest and avoid socializing in the first 7 to 10 days after therapy.

Restorative measures typically include:

  • Immediately after laser application, use ice packs, frozen peas, corn packs or a cooling mask on the corrected areas. This must be done judiciously at an interval of 1 to 2 hours for the first 3 days after surgery. Thereafter continue to routinely use icepacks, cooling masks or cold-water compress on the corrected area coupled with anti-inflammatory drugs such as acetaminophen to soothe the inflammation and discomfort.
  • Regularly use curative ointments like Aquaphor, Bi02 healing balm, Catrix-10, Theraplex, or Elta, to ensure hydration of the treated area. This speeds up the healing process. You can also seal the spots with semipermeable hydrogel wound dressings such as Vigilon, Second Skin or Flexzan. The best way to use these ointments is to gently apply them with your fingertips every 1 to 2 hours while awake.
  • You must keep your head elevated while relaxing or sleeping for the first few days after therapy, to minimize inflammation.
  • Safeguard from sun exposure with sunscreens, Banucci sun block masks, protective hats, UV-blocking eyeshades etc.
  • Take oral antiherpetic drugs (e.g., acyclovir, famciclovir, valacyclovir) for 10 days, if large areas have been treated or if you have a propensity to herpes labialis.
  • Take antibiotics (staphylococcus and streptococcus) during and after therapy, if you have a history of valvular heart disease and if large areas have been laser corrected.
  • Also, use anti-inflammatory medication (acetaminophen, steroid), non-narcotic pain relievers and sleeping pills if necessary.
  • Do not use topical antibiotics on the sensitive treated spots as it may cause allergic and irritant reaction.
  • Try not to forget the doses of medication prescribed.
  • Do not apply any cosmetics or personal care products before 10 days of the therapy and then too under expert consultation. Make up is also often used to mask the laser marks till they fade out.

After these initial post therapy restorative measures, the patient must go for a follow-up visit, which is generally within a week after the therapy. After that, patients are generally advised to check up every 3 to 4 weeks.

However, there may be variations according to individual patient response and situations. Full-face corrected patients are generally recalled on the fourth day after therapy. Those patients who witness severe skin resurfacing may have to visit the physician regularly until the condition is restored.

Postoperative skin care and follow-up visits will go on for many months. Proper care and caution taken during this period hastens the healing process.

Make sure to talk with your laser treatment specialist for advice specific to your condition and your treatment.


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