Pigment laser treatment often causes mild damage to the superficial layer of the skin (epidermis). This appears as redness and swelling soon after the laser procedure and lasts for several hours.
You may experience some burning discomfort for several hours after the laser treatment. Pain and discomfort can be relieved by taking painkillers (e.g. 2 tablets of paracetamol) and by using an ice- pack.
The laser wound should be cleansed gently with sterile normal saline solution. Prescribed antibiotic ointment should then be applied to the treated areas twice daily for 5-7 days or until the surface wound is totally healed.
Showers are permitted but gently pat the area dry and avoid further injury to the healing skin.
Over the next 5-7 days, superficial scabs which form over the treated areas will fall off by themselves. It is important not to pick at the scabs as this may result in infection and scarring.
If the laser is used to treat a deeper pigmentation using a deeper penetrating laser wavelength, superficial pin-point bleeding on the surface of the skin may result instead of superficial scabs. This will take 3-5 days to heal.
Do not rub, scratch or pick at the treated area.
Do not apply make-up and avoid swimming and contact sports until the scabs disappears (usually 5-7 days).
If the treated area shows signs of infection (tenderness, redness, swelling or pus), consult your doctor or nurse-in-charge, Laser Suites, National Skin Centre for further advice and management.
Over the next 3-6 months, avoid direct exposure to the sun and use a broad spectrum sunscreen daily to reduce the risk or severity of post-laser hyperpigmentation.