Recovering from Laser Skin Treatments

Female Receiving Facial Beauty Treatment While Removing Pigmentation in Clinic During Pulsed Laser Light Therapy or IPL Rejuvenation.Horizontal Image

Laser skin treatments are a popular choice for individuals looking to address a variety of skin concerns, including wrinkles, scars, discoloration, and more. While these procedures can offer remarkable results, the success of your treatment largely depends on how well you care for your skin during the recovery period. Here’s your comprehensive guide to recovering from laser skin treatments, ensuring you get the best results while maintaining healthy, glowing skin.

Understand the Healing Process

Each type of laser treatment varies in intensity and depth, which means the recovery process can differ significantly. For instance, ablative lasers, which remove the upper layers of skin, may require a longer healing time compared to non-ablative lasers that target the underlying skin tissue without damaging the surface. Immediately following the procedure, it’s common to experience redness, swelling, and a sensation resembling sunburn.

Immediate Post-Treatment Care

Keep it Cool: 

Applying cool compresses to the treated areas can help reduce swelling and soothe discomfort. However, avoid using ice directly on the skin, as this can cause damage to the sensitive post-laser skin.

Stay Moisturized: 

Your skin will be particularly dry and sensitive after a laser treatment. Use a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated; your clinician will recommend the best type to use.

Avoid Harsh Products: 

For at least a week after your treatment, steer clear of products containing retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), or any other potentially irritating ingredients.

Protect Your Skin

Sun Protection: 

This is crucial following laser treatment. The new skin is more susceptible to sun damage, so apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily, and reapply it every two hours when outdoors. Consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat and staying in the shade as much as possible.

Skip the Makeup: 

Avoid applying makeup for the first few days after treatment to prevent the risk of infection and allow the skin to breathe and heal.

Follow-Up Care

Gentle Cleansing: 

Wash your face with a soft, non-abrasive cleanser that doesn’t contain alcohol. Pat the skin dry gently with a soft towel; do not rub the skin.

Stay Hydrated: 

Drinking plenty of water helps your skin heal from the inside out. Staying hydrated supports the overall health of your skin and can improve the healing process.

Attend Follow-Up Appointments: 

Keep any follow-up appointments with your skincare professional. These visits are important to monitor your healing and address any concerns post-treatment.

Signs to Watch For

While complications are rare, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider if you notice signs of infection such as increased redness, swelling, pus, or if you develop a fever.

Long-Term Care and Maintenance

After your skin has fully healed, continue taking good care of it by maintaining a healthy skincare routine, staying hydrated, and protecting it from sun exposure. Regular follow-ups with your skincare professional can help maintain the results of your treatment and address any new skin concerns.


By following these guidelines, you can help ensure a smooth recovery from laser skin treatments, leading to more effective results and healthier skin. Remember, the better you care for your skin post-treatment, the better your outcomes will be!

Lee A. Kleiman a doctor at Anne Arundel ENT

Dr. Lee A. Kleiman is a double board certified ENT & plastic surgeon at Anne Arundel ENT in Annapolis, Maryland known for his superior clinical outcomes in all Surgical and Non-Surgical ENT, specializing in Sinus Care, Voice and Swallowing, Rhinoplasty and Revision Rhinoplasty, and Facelifts and Non-surgical Aesthetic. He also continues to attend conferences internationally and nationally to keep abreast of the latest treatments and technology.