Post-op laser instructions

Post-op laser instructions

Patients can expect to receive specific instructions on how to care for the body areas after laser treatment sessions are performed in the office. That being said, it is always important and critical to sun-protect areas that have undergone laser treatment while the site is healing and thereafter, in order to prevent pigmentation changes (discoloration/hyper or hypo pigmentation) in that area. This article will discuss general instructions for the after-care of areas treated with lasers.

What are the after-care instructions for areas treated with lasers?

Specific instructions will be discussed in the office but patients can expect to:

  • Keep the treated area moist, often with Aquaphor or petroleum jelly (Vaseline). This helps minimize the risk of infection and helps new skin growth in that area. Additionally, keeping the skin moist minimizes scabbing and helps prevent scar formation. This is usually only required for a certain amount of days or weeks following treatment.
  • Prevent sun-exposure of treatment area with sun-protecting measures discussed below.
  • Directly following the procedure and for a few days to weeks, do not submerge the treatment area in bodies of water like oceans, pools, or lakes in order to prevent infection.

Why is it important to prevent sun-exposure to the treatment area after laser treatment?

Keeping the area covered prevents the sun from irritating or darkening the area. Initially, this may include wearing a bandage over treatment areas. After the treatment area has healed, it is important to sun-protect all treatment areas, in order to prevent repigmentation or darkening in the area. Sun-protective measures are discussed below. Sun-protective measures apply to situations even with short-term sun exposure, such as:

  • Walking to the mailbox
  • Driving around town
  • Doing errands
  • Going for walks in the neighborhood

What does sun-protecting mean?

Sun-protection means taking any of a variety of actions that limit and prevent exposure to the sun on exposed areas of skin. It is especially important to be cautious of the sun if an individual is taking medications that make them more sensitive to sun, such as some antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antifungals, blood pressure medications, and chemotherapies. Some common sun-protecting activities include:

  • Applying physical-blocker based sunscreen to exposed areas of the skin regularly, even when cloudy. Reapply sunscreen as needed depending on activity level. Swimming or sweating will require more frequent applications of sunscreen for maximal sun-protection.
  • Wearing sun-protective clothing such as hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved shirts and pants. Dark clothing is more sun-protective than light clothing.
  • Limiting the amount of time spent in the sun between 10AM and 4PM, when the sun’s rays are most intense.

Patients are always encouraged to call the office for specific instructions or with aftercare questions. These are general guidelines for areas treated with laser but the specifics will depend on the laser used, treatment area, and response of the patient.

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Dr. Bajoghli always has time for his patients, you never feel that he is rushing you and after you leave if you have any concerns he is very responsive to the point of giving out his cell phone number. I can’t say enough about him and his staff.

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Nurse Rassmussen answers all of my questions, listens to my concerns, examines my skin, goes over my treatment protocol and gets me out the door quickly, but without feeling rushed, so that I can get on with the rest of my day. I have already recommended this practice to a couple of friends, and I will continue to do so with confidence.

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I really appreciate the polite and professional service that Dr. Bajoghli’s practice provides in my dermatologic health. All of his staff make you feel welcome and are concerned for your care. Speaking as someone who neglected his skin care when I was young, I appreciate having a physician who is personally concerned for his patients.

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