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 skincare 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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2275 Swallow Hill Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15220

11279 Perry Highway
Wexford, PA 15090

806 S. Aiken Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

301 Franklin Farms Road
Washington, PA 15301

1050 Beecher Crossing
Columbus, OH 43230

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