Patient response can vary after a MLP treatment. Erythema (redness) and possibly edema (swelling) are the desired responses within a few minutes after the completion of the procedure. The degree of redness and length of healing time will increase with the depth of your peel.
- Immediately following the procedure, you will have a thin layer of an ointment applied to your skin. You should leave this ointment on for the first day of your treatment.
- A cold compress or an ice pack can be used to provide comfort if the treated area is especially warm. This is typically only needed within the first 12 hours after the treatment. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
- The day after your procedure you can very gently wash the treated areas. You should use a gentle cleanser (preferably Cetaphil soap) or dilute vinegar for these washes. To dilute the vinegar, use 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water. The vinegar can be very soothing to irritated skin. Do not attempt to remove all of the ointment with washing. Wash your skin with a dabbing motion, not a rubbing motion. Then rinse with lukewarm water. Pat the face dry with a clean cloth and then reapply the ointment. Do these washes two times a day. It is important not to rub the face.
- After cleansing your face, reapply the ointment taking care to cover all treated areas. The occlusive barrier is needed to provide a protective barrier that will hold moisture into the skin and provide protection to the skin from pollutants in the air as the skin heals.
- As a rule of thumb, the occlusive barrier is needed 1-2 days per 10 microns of skin treated or once skin has re-epithielized. For example: a 20 micron MLP = 2-4 days of wearing the occlusive barrier. Reapply the occlusive barrier as needed. Do not allow the treated area to dry out.
- Peeling and flaking generally occur 24-48 hours post treatment and should be allowed to come off naturally. DO NOT PICK, RUB, OR FORCE OFF ANY SKIN DURING THE HEALING PROCESS. THIS COULD RESULT IN SCARRING AND INFECTION! Gently washing the skin more frequently will help to promote the peeling process.
- If an antiviral or antibiotic was prescribed for you, continue to take as directed.
- Post treatment discomfort may be relieved by oral pain relievers; i.e. Extra Strength Tylenol.
- Avoid strenuous exercise and sweating until after skin has healed.
- Avoid direct sunlight for up to 2 months post treatment. After 5-7 days, or when your skin is healed you should start wearing a zinc or titanium based sunscreen daily to protect your skin from UV rays. Our office has several options of appropriate sunscreens that are good for post-procedure skin. Wearing sunscreen will help prevent any hyperpigmentation issues that could be caused by direct and indirect sunlight.
- Once skin has healed (no longer wearing the occlusive barrier) you may begin to wear makeup.
- You can typically resume using Retinol products 2 weeks after the treatment. If you were started on a lightening cream prior to the laser, these can also typically be restarted 2 weeks after the treatment.
There may be some degree of swelling immediately post treatment, however, if you have excessive swelling or any of the following signs of infection, you should contact the office immediately. Signs of infection include:
- Drainage – looks like pus
- Increased warmth at or around the treated area
- Fever of 101.5 or greater