Pre & Post Consultation Guide
Pre and post-treatment instructions for PIXEL laser resurfacing:
PIXEL LASER- PRE TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS
The Pixel laser resurfacing treatment is designed to perform “micro” ablation (epidermal removal) to your skin’s surface. Microablation or minimal resurfacing is achieved through the process known as fractional photothermolysis. It is this “fractional thermolysis” process that allows your skin to be treated in “small pin point like sections.” This process leaves your newly lased skin with untreated skin around the treatment sites that hasten the overall healing process. During any given laser session with the Pixel laser, approximately 30-70% your skin’s surface is actually being treated, depending on the aggressiveness of your treatment. If you looked at your skin closely, you would see a “net” like pattern, or what appears to resemble the pattern of a window screen or off abric netting. It is this 30-70% of treated skin with the pixilation that creates this “netting” pattern.
• You can anticipate having some degree of redness to your lasered skin, as well as inflammation within 15 minutes to 1 hour of your treatment. The amount of redness depends on your own genetic make up, as well as the aggressiveness of the treatment performed. Some people tend to become redder than others and some will experience a longer lasting redness as well.
• You can expect swelling for up to 12-24 hours, and redness from 3-4 hours up to 3 to 4 days. After the redness subsides, anticipate a chapped or rough texture to the skin. This treated skin may darken a bit and slough off on its own within 5-7 days. We ask you to plan your laser treatments when you do NOT have any social engagements, vacations, or photo requirements within 7 days of your treatment.
The PIXEL laser treatment is indicated for the following:
• Improvement of the skins surface; weathered, sun damaged, pigmented irregularities
• Wrinkles / fine lines
• Superficial moles and actinic lesions
• Skin tags
• Scars (This includes acne scars of the face, neck, chest, back and arms)
PRIOR to your treatment, you may prefer to have a test spot done so that you know what to expect as well as how much “social” downtime you need to plan for.
You may be asked to begin using a “fading cream” on your skin prior to and during your laser treatments. Research has shown that the use of such creams enhances the results of your laser treatments by participating in the overall reduction of discoloration, mottling, melasma and solar induced sun spots. If you have a history of cold sores, you MUST inform the office prior to any laser treatments.
This is done to avoid any cold sores.
You will be expected to use Cetaphil cream, Aquaphor ointment, a gentle cleanser or other products recommended by your technician. Make sure you have these on hand prior to your treatment.
It is advisable to have Advil, Tylenol, aspirin, or something of that nature on hand for any inflammation you may develop. You may also want to have Benedryl tablets as well, since it too can decrease inflammation. Take ONLY if you are not allergic, and do not take if you are on other medications that contraindicate their use.
Make sure you have all of the necessary items listed below PRIOR to your treatment:
*Bring a hat that will shield your face from the sun – large brimmed – this is very important for your drive home.If your hands were treated, bring gloves or sunscreen to apply so you do not have sunlight exposure to them.
*medication for cold sores – if applicable – begin taking one tab 2 days before, the day of and the next 2 days after your laser
*Mineral powder make-up / powder brush applicator – lightly apply only if necessary (if applicable)
*SUNSCREEN > 30 SPF (you can purchase from our office)
*Gentle cleanser – Cetaphil liquid cleanser is recommended
*Aquaphor ointment (over the counter). You will need this for the first two days and then each night for 5-7 nights.
*Advil, Tylenol, Aspirin and /or Benedryl tabs as needed for discomfort, swelling.
To insure your laser treatment yields the best possible results, it is necessary that you follow the pre-laser as well as the postlaser instructions completely
PIXEL LASER- POST TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS
After your laser treatment, your skin will feel warm to touch and sting as though you have bad sunburn. You may also experience swelling. THIS IS NORMAL. The stinging sensation, as well as the pink / red coloration usually begins about 15 minutes after the treatment and lasts a few hours. Swelling usually subsides within 12-24 hours, while the redness decreases and resolves over 48-72 hours. Your skin will then feel somewhat dry and rough and may appear a bit darker during this time, usually 4-5 days.
Upon completion of your laser procedure, it is imperative that you follow the guidelines given below:
• You may apply a cool, water soaked cloth or a water mister to your skin to calm any stinging, redness, or irritation. This can be done as often as necessary, throughout the day and evening hours for 5-10 minutes.
• Do not rub or scrub your skin.
• If the post treatment swelling of your skin is more than you anticipated, you may take aspirin, Advil, or Tylenol type products to calm the skin. You may also use Benedryl oral tabs, but this can make you drowsy and you must not drive, drink alcohol or take other medications that are contraindicated with
• Benedryl or one of the other medications listed above. Do not take any of these products if you have an allergy to or a known hypersensitivity to any of the components. You may find it difficult to sleep due to the sensitivity of your lasered skin. Try to avoid sleeping on your face if possible.
• Do NOT apply any glycolic / alpha hydroxy / beta hydroxy / tretinoin / tazarotene / adapalene / azaleic acid /benzoyl peroxide or exfoliating products or self tanners to your skin. These products will irritate your skin and may induce hyperpigmentation or discoloration to your newly treated skin.
• Cleanse your newly lased skin with warm or cool water only during the first 12 hours.
• You may begin using a gentle cleanser such as Cetaphil liquid cleanser at that time. Be sure the product you use contains none of the above mentioned ingredients that can irritate your skin. Cetaphil is available over the counter at most pharmacy and grocery stores.
• Any make up application should be kept to a minimum to avoid disrupting the newly lased skin. Avoid heavy foundations that must be rubbed on. Mineral based face powder is the ONLY acceptable face make up during the next 5 -7 days. It can be applied with a powder brush and removed quite easily with
• Cetaphil liquid cleanser. There are many mineral powder make ups available for purchase – all are fine for use after PIXEL, but be sure you check the SPF coverage – most do NOT contain a high enough protection factor for adequate care.
• A ZINC based sunscreen MUST be used at all times during any UV exposure to your treated skin. This is an absolute must, or you may find your skin hyperpigmenting, sloughing unevenly, and simply more damaged than before – due to the UV penetration to the freshly treated skin. A large brimmed hat is also highly recommended ANYTIME you are outside – this will insure full protection against any UV exposure.
• ALWAYS apply your sunscreen 20-30 minutes PRIOR to exposure to insure protection. Also, remember to apply it every two hours NO MATTER what SPF you are using. The ingredients in many sunscreens break down about the two hour mark and you are NO LONGER protected. This is regardless of the SPF factor your sunscreen contains. Apply evenly to all areas of exposure.
During the next 7 days – after your laser treatment, you may use a moisturizing, medical grade cream designed specifically for laser treated skin. We recommend Aquaphor, or Cetaphil lotion. These creams aid in the healing process of your skin by locking in moisture, reducing the chance of any bacterial infection, soothe, and reduce redness and irritation. These products can be used 2-6 times per day, as needed. Some of these products have an oily feeling to them and are best suited for evening use, such as Aquaphor. Aquaphor can be used all day each day, but it greasy, and doesn’t allow for make- up application, therefore, daytime cream best suited for your skin during the next week is Cetaphil or other product recommended by your technician.
Do NOT pick, rub, or use a micro-exfoliator or schedule a facial, waxing or other aesthetician services for at least 7days after your laser treatment. You do not want to remove the dry, rough, dead skin faster than your body wants to. It is serving a purpose during healing and will slough off within the standard
healing time of about 7 days. Do not be concerned if your skin takes on a rough, patchy, darkened quality a few days after this treatment, this is normal and expected. It will resolve on its own within 4-5 days.
Do NOT work out or perform heavy manual labor for 48 post laser treatment. This is to avoid sweating and the increase in heart rate that can cause your skin to become extremely flushed, due to the increase in blood supply about the area.
DO NOT swim in chlorinated water or salt water for 7days. These environments have a different pH and can irritate your newly treated skin.
After the initial 7 day period, you may return to your previous skin care regimen. We recommend that you begin a regimen that fits your life style and can add to the improvement and appearance of your skin. The post treatment moisturiser which is carried in our office, can be applied to your skin without experiencing dryness, irritation or redness upon initial use. It is soothing, hydrating and has been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as evening out the overall tone and texture of the skin. Our staff is happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have regarding this product line
DO NOT plan any outdoor activities or activity that exposes your skin to direct sunlight or artificial UV rays. Though we recommend that you avoid this activity always, we require your compliance for the next 7 days.
DO NOT wax any area treated by laser for 10 days after your treatment.
CONTACT the office immediately for anything that does not feel normal, such as oozing, weeping, blister formation, fever, chills, or a “hot” feeling to certain areas of your skin 2 or 3 days AFTER your laser treatment.
REMEMBER – Avoid touching your face or other treated areas. When you need to, make sure your hands are clean so you don’t contaminate your treated skin.