Many patients invest in laser treatments to help improve and revitalize their skin’s complexion. Laser procedures have increased in popularity because most have minimal or no downtime. More aggressive treatments, though, may have significant downtime.
There are two basic types of laser treatments: ablative and non-ablative. A non-ablative laser is less invasive and conducts heat deeper into the dermis, essentially bypassing the top layer of skin to treat the skin tissue beneath. But ablative laser treatments are more severe and can cause epidermal burning. Recovery time is longer and can extend up to 4 to 6 weeks.
For example, fractional or Fraxel lasers are non-ablative and offer low to no downtime, whereas CO2 lasers are ablative and may be require longer downtime after treatment.
It’s that reduced downtime, compared with more invasive treatments that require a week to 10 days or more from work & social obligations, that makes the non-ablative lasers so appealing in our busy lives.
However, in most cases skin will be sensitive after a laser procedure, even a non-ablative procedure. It is strongly suggested to stay out of the sun for the first 48 hours. Most likely you will see some pink skin or even redness in the treated areas. Some people will peel after a non-ablative laser treatment. Usually this will disappear in a few days but for some people, it could take up to a week.
If you’re concerned about downtime after a laser procedure and live in southern California, please contact us to speak with one of our professional skin specialists.