CO2 Care - The Skin Center

CO2 Care

Smartskin CO2 Laser Instructions

It is important to follow all instructions. 

  • You will need to get the following supplies for post treatment care: 
    • Moisturizing occlusive ointment – Aquaphor 
    • Gentle, hypoallergenic skin cleanser such as Cetaphil  
    • Cold compresses –4×4 pads available at local pharmacy.  Keeping a bowl of water with the 4x4s in the fridge works well for post procedure cooling 
    • A broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunblock SPF 50 or greater for post treatment  
    • Tell your provider if you have any history of cold sores. Valtrex can be prescribed if needed  
    • Vinegar mixture in a spray bottle (See post care section) 

For one month prior to treatment, avoid sun exposure, as well as tanning beds and tanning creams. Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunblock SPF 50 or greater when treatment area is exposed to the sun. If you are tanned, you may not be treated. 

  • On the day of treatment, it is important that you clean the area to be treated 
  • Male patients that are having their faces and neck treated, you should be clean shaven before the procedure
  • On treatment day, you should wear comfortable clothes and shoes. If your face or neck is being treated, wear a button-down shirt 
  • You should not wear any a watch or any jewelry on treatment day. If you wear contacts, do not wear them on treatment day; bring your eyeglasses instead 
  • Begin Hydroquinone as directed as least 2 weeks prior to treatment date, discontinue use 2 days prior 
  • Discontinue Retin-A 2 weeks prior to treatment 
  • Prepare for 3-10 days of “downtime” according to treatment level 

If you have any questions about these instructions or the procedure, please contact your provider at 412-429-1151.

It is important to closely follow instructions after treatment.  

 First 24 hours post-treatment: 

  • Use cold compresses every two hours for 20 minutes to help control for swelling and discomfort 
  • Cover treated areas with Aquaphor every two hours 
  • Keep your head elevated by using two or more pillows when lying down 
  • You may experience mild/moderate pinpoint bleeding, swelling, edema/erythema 
  • You may feel nauseated or like you have a fever.  Your body is responding to the treatment and trying to heal 

 After the first 24 hours: 

  • Continue cold compresses every two hours for 20 minutes as needed for swelling and discomfort.  
  • Continue taking all medications as prescribed
  • If necessary, take over the counter acetaminophen as instructed on the bottle for pain relief. If you feel pain 2 days after procedure, call your provider immediately (412) 429-1151 
  • Your skin may feel sensitive and may appear red, pink or swollen. The treated area may itch.  This is normal and may last several days
  • Continue to keep treated areas covered with Aquaphor every 3-4 hours.  This will decrease the healing time and minimize discomfort such as itching.  After 48 hours, you can switch to post-laser treatment lotion, which is not greasy 
  • Begin gently cleaning the skin twice daily with a mild, hypoallergenic cleanser such as Cetaphil. Do not scrub. Reapply Aquaphor or post laser treatment lotion after each wash 
  • If you experience pin-point bleeding, which is perfectly normal: Soak treated regions with cold, dilute acetic acid soaks (1 tsp white vinegar per pint of tap water placed in refrigerator) for at least 15 minutes 3–4 times a day. After soaks, gently wipe treated areas using a gauze pad or clean wash cloth to removing dead skin. Do not scrub
  • For a one month following treatment, avoid sun exposure, as well as tanning beds and tanning creams. Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunblock SPF 50 or greater.  If possible, cover treated area with clothing or use a brimmed hat to reduce sun exposure 
  • Following treatment, normal activities may resume per level of comfort. However, no swimming or hot tubs/whirlpools while redness is present, usually for at least 24-48 hours 
  • Once you feel comfortable and healed, a normal skin care regime, including makeup or shaving, can be resumed. Be careful water is not too hot when shaving 
  • Resume Hydroquinone and Retin-A at one month, once healed, as directed by provider  
  • Call your provider immediately at 412-429-1151 if you experience any increase in pain, pain lasting more than 2 days, or increase in skin redness 

 If you have any questions or concerns, call The Skin Center at 1-800-429-1151

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