Laser Skin Resurfacing: Side Effects and How to Address Them By William P. Baugh on June 30, 2020

female patient undergoing laser skin resurfacingNo matter your age, imperfections in the skin on your face can lead to low confidence and self-esteem. Laser skin resurfacing is a popular dermatological procedure that improves skin tone, texture, and health. Unlike other treatments, like microdermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing promotes natural collagen production, leaving your skin softer and more supple. Dr. William P. Baugh performs this advanced treatment at Full Spectrum Dermatology in Fullerton, CA

As with any procedure, there are certain side effects that patients can expect following treatment. In this article, we will highlight the most common laser skin resurfacing side effects and explain how to minimize them.

Possible Side Effects of Laser Skin Resurfacing

Individuals may experience a range of side effects following their procedure. Some of the most common, as well as rare effects, include:

  • Redness, itchiness, and inflammation: After laser skin resurfacing, the skin may develop redness that lasts for several months. If you have certain skin conditions, like rosacea, it could exacerbate the irritation. Some patients also develop slight swelling and itchiness as well.
  • Changes in skin tone: In some cases, this procedure can cause hyper- or hypopigmentation, meaning the skin may become darker or lighter than it was prior to treatment. This is most often temporary, but permanent changes are more likely to occur in individuals with darker skin.
  • Acne: Avoid excessive bandages or creams following treatment. This can lead to the development of acne.
  • Scarring: In rare cases, laser skin resurfacing may lead to permanent scarring.
  • Infection: Some patients experience a fungal, viral, or bacterial infection following their procedure. The treatment may trigger a flare-up of the herpes virus, which manifests in cold sores. 

Who Should Not Have Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Laser skin resurfacing is not for everyone. The dermatologist at our Fullerton practice may recommend alternative treatment if you:

  • Are prone to scarring
  • Suffer from an autoimmune disease
  • Have a darker skin tone
  • Are prone to cold sores
  • Have taken isotretinoin for acne within the last year
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding 

How to Minimize Laser Skin Resurfacing Side Effects

In order to minimize side effects and promote a successful recovery, it is important that you closely follow all recommended post-treatment guidelines. Here are a few recommendations to keep you on the right track:

  • Clean the treated areas thoroughly two to five times every day as directed by Dr. Baugh.
  • Elevate your head with pillows when sleeping for the first few days.
  • Apply cold compresses to reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Apply skin care treatments to protect the treated areas.
  • Avoid tobacco products. Smoking impedes the body’s natural healing process.
  • Once healing is complete, wear appropriate sunscreen every day. In general, we recommend sensitive skin formulas that are at least 30 SPF.
  • If recommended by Dr. Baugh, apply moisturizer liberally every day.

Schedule a Cosmetic Consultation Today

If you are curious about laser skin resurfacing, it is important to know what to expect before, during, and after your procedure. Schedule a consultation at our Fullerton, CA, practice and explore your treatment options with our knowledgeable team. You can contact us online or give us a call at (714) 879-4312.

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William Baugh, M.D.

Full Spectrum Dermatology William Baugh, M.D.

Board-certified dermatologist William Baugh is dedicated to providing the best professional dermatological services. He is proud to be affiliated with the:

  • American Board of Dermatology (Diplomate)
  • American Academy of Dermatology (Fellow)
  • American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (Fellow)
  • American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery (Fellow)
  • Orange County Medical Association
  • Christian Medical and Dental Society

For an appointment at Dr. Baugh's modern, spa-like practice, please contact us online or call (714) 879-4312.

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