The pre-operative treatment will differ depending on the type of laser surgery. In general, patients should avoid sun exposure and have good routine skin care. For patients undergoing laser treatment for wrinkles and scars, pre-operative creams and medications may be prescribed by your doctor.
Laser skin surgery is carried out as an outpatient procedure. Local anesthetic creams or injections are given before the treatment to minimise pain. The appropriate laser system is then used to treat the specific skin disorders. The procedure is generally painless, although patients may experience some discomfort. The procedure will last from about 5 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on the type of procedure and extent of treatment.
Good skin care is necessary to ensure optimal healing of the skin after laser surgery. The treated area should be kept clean with skin cleanser and ointment. Oral antibiotic antiviral and painkiller may be necessary after laser treatment for wrinkles and scars.
Laser treatment is generally safe. Some procedures, such as laser treatment for scars and wrinkles carry higher risk for side effects compared to other laser treatments. Some of the potential side effects include:
1. Redness of skin after treatment.This is usually transient and resolves within months.
2. Hyperpigmentation (darkening of skin).This can be minimised by sun avoidance both pre-operative and post-operatively. It can also be treated with sunscreens or bleaching agents. It usually fades with time.
3. Hypopigmentation (lightening of skin).This is less common but will improve with time as well.
4. Scarring.This is extremely rare if all the necessary precautions are taken. It usually occurs secondary to wound infection during the healing phase after laser surgery. Good wound care after laser surgery can help to reduce the risk of scarring.