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What to Expect

Although our society is increasingly geared toward instant gratification, rushing the healing process is never a good idea. It’s easy for patients to get a little too active too quickly. Each body has its own pace, and your body's recovery speed is unique to you. As with any procedure, we have specific guidelines for preparation and recovery.

It is normal for the face to feel tight and for the skin to burn for 24 hours. Your new skin will be a bit swollen, sensitive, and bright pink for a few weeks. During this time, you can begin gradually resuming your normal activities. You can expect to be back at work in about 10-14 days. Redness gradually fades over several weeks to months, depending on the depth of the treatment. Makeup can be used to cover the redness once the skin is healed.

When your new skin is fully re-pigmented, the color should closely match the surrounding skin, making the procedure virtually undetectable.

A special note about sun exposure: Absolute sun protection is essential for the several months after any of these resurfacing treatments to prevent irregular pigmentation. Diligent sun protection for life will help to maintain your new, smoother skin.

For more information about our smoother skin surgery procedure, please contact us online or call us at We look forward to helping you look your best.

Following our instructions regarding medications and other post-operative measures is the key to a quick recovery. Herbal medications are available to reduce swelling and bruising and to speed the healing process.

It is important that your skin is subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Avoid wearing any clothing that must go over your head. We will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.

You will need someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.

Chemical Peel: Your skin will look fairly normal for 12 hours. If one area is treated, swelling can be minimal. If your entire face is treated, swelling can be significant for 24-48 hours. After the first 24 hours, your skin will begin to ooze serum. You should keep it coated with a thin layer of Vaseline or antibiotic ointment. It is safe to get your face completely wet in the shower. Don’t be alarmed if your face looks worse at 3-5 days. That is completely normal. At that point, the dead skin will begin to flake off, revealing new, soft, pink skin below. Once the skin is healed, no more ointment is required.

Dermabrasion: A gauze dressing is applied that will dry and create a scab over the treated area. Right after the procedure, your skin will be red and swollen; eating and talking may be difficult. You will probably feel some tingling, burning, or aching. However, any pain you feel can be controlled with medications. It is safe to get your face completely wet in the shower. The swelling will begin to subside in a few days to a week.

If you remember the scrapes you got when you fell down as a child, you'll have an idea of what to expect from this type of surgery. A scab or crust will form over the treated area as it begins to heal. This will fall off as a new layer of tight, pink skin forms underneath. Your face may itch as new skin starts to develop.

Laser Resurfacing: A fine mesh dressing is applied, over which Vaseline is placed. Patients should keep a light coat of Vaseline over the gauze at all times. Cold compresses can also be used and should be left in place for 10-15 minutes at a time, and when they are removed they will lift off much of the dried yellow serum. It is safe to get the face completely wet in the shower. Once the skin is healed, the gauze can be removed. If the gauze falls off it can be replaced or left off. Ointment can be applied directly to the skin.

You will be given specific instructions that include:

  • How to care for the peeled site
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in overall health
  • When to return to the office

We will see you the day after procedure and then again on the 4th or 5th day to check your progress. At one week you can resume normal activities, at two weeks you can begin light exercise, and at four weeks there are no restrictions.


Resurfacing treatments can offer dramatic improvements in the surface of your skin, but it will take some time before you will see the final results. A series of treatments may be required to achieve improvement in skin texture and clarity and a good skin care program is essential to maintain your results.

Facial resurfacing doesn't stop the aging process, but turns back the clock on your face and age. Following your treatment of skin resurfacing or rejuvenation, your skin will continue to age naturally and you may develop similar conditions—or other skin conditions—to those that have been treated. If you look five years younger after resurfacing, it will take about five years or more for your face to age back to the preoperative condition.

It's natural to feel impatient about seeing the “new” you, but you'll need to be patient as your face heals from the procedure. The visible improvements appear as swelling subsides. Occasionally, wrinkles may temporarily appear deeper at about fou weeks because the swelling leaves the wrinkle sooner than it does the nearby skin.


BEFORE AND AFTER Laser-Skin: Before & After Photos: Alexander Cosmetic Surgery San Diego, California (CA) Laser-Skin: Before & After Photos: Alexander Cosmetic Surgery San Diego, California (CA) Laser-Skin: Before & After Photos: Alexander Cosmetic Surgery San Diego, California (CA)

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