Before we get into your post-care instructions, let’s talk about what you can expect: Immediately following your treatment, it’s common to have mild to moderate redness and a sunburn/heat sensation, but these side effects typically subside by the following day. Areas of hyperpigmentation or sun damage may darken and form a superficial crust (called a “micro-crust”—read below for more on care for this), and these will slough off on their own in about one week (face) to four weeks (body).
REMEMBER TO MOISTURIZE
After your treatment, moisturize the treated area with Vaseline® or Aquaphor® at least three times daily for three to four days or until micro-crusting has sloughed off. This will reduce any irritation and promote healing.
STAY OUT OF THE SUN
We strongly recommend you avoid direct sun exposure (including tanning beds!) on the area being treated after your treatments, and always apply sunblock with SPF 50+ any time you are outside. We also recommend barrier protection such as wide-brimmed hats, large sunglasses and protective clothing.
Time to reschedule your beach, spa & trainer sessions...you should avoid steam rooms, saunas and exercise/sweating for 24 hours, and avoid swimming for at least three days after your treatment.
CHILL OUT IN THE SHOWER
Hold the hot baths & showers and take short, cool or lukewarm showers and avoid scrubbing or shaving the area for a minimum of three days. After showering, gently pat the area dry with a clean towel.
These include harsh soaps, medicated washes, scrubs, peels, and topical prescription products, such as retinoids for at least three days. We recommend applying only Vaseline, Aquaphor, hydrocortisone 1%, or sunscreen as needed, as well as same-day makeup if you need to. Reminder: refrain from scrubbing the area!
What To Do If You Experience These Common Side Effects….
FOR REDNESS, SWELLING OR DISCOMFORT
Apply cool ice packs to the affected area, taking them on and off every three to five minutes for one to two hours (do not apply ice pack for more than five minutes at a time). Also, apply Hydrocortisone 1% and Vaseline® or Aquaphor® to the affected area up to three times a day until it goes away.
We recommend taking oral liquid Benadryl®, Allegra® or Clartin® (antihistamines available over-the-counter) as needed, as well as applying hydrocortisone 1% and Vaseline® or Aquaphor® to the affected area up to three times a day until it resolves. Also, avoid scratching the area.
It’s common for areas of hyperpigmentation/sun damage to darken and form a superficial crust (called a micro-crust) following an IPL photofacial treatment. It is important that these crusts remain intact for as long as possible—do not pick, scratch, or scrub them. Keep the area moisturized by applying Vaseline® or Aquaphor® 3-4 times a day until they slough off on their own.
Questions? Experiencing anything not covered here? Come in to any LaserAway or give us a call at 1-888-965-2737. You can book your next IPL photofacial appointment in four weeks!