Laser Resurfacing Post-Treatment Patient Home Care Instructions

Congratulations, you are on your way to a younger, healthier looking you! The following are instructions that you will need to follow after your laser skin resurfacing procedure.

One Week Prior to the Procedure

  • Avoid medications such as any anti-inflammatories (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen,etc.), Vitamin E, Alcohol and Coumadin/Warfarin.

  •  Fill prescriptions given to you by the physician

  • You will require a large jar of Aquaphor and Eucerin Cream

  • You will also need Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo or No More Tears Shampoo (regular shampoo may irritate and burn treated skin)

Purchase 4x4 gauze for soaking. This can be purchased at any medical supply store.

Night before Procedure

You will be given a prescription for antivirals and antibiotic pills that you will start the night before your procedure, and continue for a total of 7 days.

Make sure to inform us of any medication related allergies, and give us a list of all of your current medications, so that we can insure there are no interactions.

Day of Procedure
You will meet our nursing staff who will guide you through your laser procedure. You will have the option of taking an Ativan or Valium that will help you to relax during the procedure, and a Tylenol #3 or Percocet for pain. Some patients find this quite helpful, whereas others find it unnecessary. Topical anesthetic along with local anesthetic will be applied prior to the treatment to also aid in the comfort of the treatment.

The procedure will take approximately one hour. You will likely be in our office for a total of 2-3 hours. Please bring someone along with you that will be able to take you home.

How to Care for the Area

    • You may apply ice packs (or frozen peas) to the treatment area as needed or until the swelling goes down. Place a fresh, clean plastic bag over the ice packs for each use.
    • Drink plenty of fluids, and take your prescribed medications as directed.
    • Avoid
      • Strenuous exercise, heavy lifting and cleaning
      • Swimming and hot tubs
      • Direct contact with animals
  • All contact with anyone with an active cold sore/herpes or impetigo (bacteria skin infection). Expect too have a swollen 
  • You may have blurred vision for the first 3-4 days because of the swelling and small amounts of ointment that gets into the eyes. This is safe, but a bit of a nuisance. It is difficult to wear contact lenses for the first 5-6 days, so you may want to wear just your glasses.
  • Your face will be very red and raw looking initially, and will gradually fade in colour over a period of weeks.
  • Oozing is a normal part of the healing process. Even small amounts of bright red blood are normal. Apply Aquaphor to entire treated area of the skin.

Soaking Phase

This phase to begin immediately when you arrive home from your procedure. You will need to soak every 1-2 hours for first few days and then every 2-3 hours as directed by our clinic. You will soak the skin for 10min at a time followed by a gentle scrub of crusted tissue. Do NOT scrub hard.

You do not need to soak throughout the night, but keep your new skin moist at all times, even if it means using your Aquaphor ointment 20 times daily.

To Soak:

  •  Fill a large bowl with warm tap water.
  • Submerge 4-5 gauze squares (at a time) in water and place on treated area.
  • Continue with more gauze squares until the entire area is covered. Let this soak on the skin for 10 minutes. Remove gauze and gently rub the treated areas of the skin carefully, but being aggressive enough to remove crusted tissue. No not rub so hard that your skin bleeds. The crusted tissue with appear yellow or brown in colour and once removed with reveal a red/pink skin colour.
  • Blot the treated areas dry with a clean gauze square and apply a generous layer of the Aquaphor ointment. Do not use Bactroban, Polysporin, or Fucidin, or any other equivalent antibiotic ointments. Use only the Aquaphor ointment. You can keep this in the fridge between applications to offer a soothing and cooling effect.

Once the scabbing phase is over, the skin will start to feel granular and dry. Continue to use the Aquaphor to offset this.


You will require frequent follow-ups to insure you are healing well. Staff may change care instructions based on assessment of your skin at each visit. You will need to be seen in the office the day after the procedure and then again 3-4 days later.

Expect to be red, and then gradually pink, fading to a normal facial skin colour over a period of a month. The pinkness can last several months and behaves like a sunburn effect, so it is important to be a good makeup artist!

Should you have any questions or concerns prior to your follow-up visit please call our office at any time during business hours.

Office: (905) 336-9624

I the area becomes increasingly red, has increased drainage, itching or if you develop a fever call the office. Please inform our clinic if you have an unexpected admission to any hospital, for any reason, if it occurs within 10 days of your surgery.

Sun Exposure

Sun exposure is to be kept to a minimum. Treat your skin like that of a newborn baby! Sun exposure on cloudy day or when simply driving in your car can create potential brown patches on your face in the resurfaced areas. The treated areas are more sensitive to sunlight for approximately 1 year. Use Elta UV Shield SPF 45 (or an equivalent sunscreen for a SPF 45 or higher and UVA/UVB protection) 365 days a year. In those patients who get the brown blotchy skin, it usually starts at approximately 6 weeks post procedure and eventually fades. We do have skin care regimes that can address these changes, and hasten the disappearance of the blotchy look.

Our staff can assist you in choosing the right skin care regime after you are fully healed to prolong and maintain your new healthy looking skin.

Just remember – Stay Positive and focus on your end results!