Exact Answer: 3 to 5 days
A CO2 laser resurfacing treatment is a skin resurfacing treatment used to treat the facial skin of the patient. The special infrared wavelength emitted by the laser is used to treat and correct various skin disorders like viral warts, moles, sunburns, etc.
The procedure itself is quite easy, but there are several pre and post-operative protocols to be strictly followed by the patient in question. Aquaphor, on the other hand, is a curative ointment that is generally prescribed after a CO2 laser treatment. This healing ointment helps the patient cope with the after-effects of the CO2 treatment. Applying Aquaphor is considered mandatory after the treatment.
How Long To Use Aquaphor After CO2 Laser (And Why)?
There are certain important post-procedure protocols to be followed after the CO2 laser treatment is completed. This mainly includes the process of taking care of the affected areas of the skin- including its cleansing, moisturizing, and healing regimes. Certain over-the-counter pain medications can be taken to manage pain, but keeping the area in a prime state is equally important.
Technicians performing the CO2 laser treatment usually help the patient understand all the nuances of the care guidelines before the treatment commences. They emphasize that Aquaphor needs to be used by the patient for a period of 3 to 5 days. The ointment must be used in a way that the formula covers the whole face.
The lower limit is for patients who are experiencing a speedy recovery and feel that the ointment is no longer needed to heal the affected areas. The 5-day limit is applicable for those who feel the area still needs some artificial support to heal and return to normal. The frequency of the ointment’s application on any given day can vary according to the specific skin requirements of the patient in question.
After the treatment, it is important to remain away from cosmetics for at least a week, preferably 10 days. In some cases, medical professionals also state that Vaseline is a possible substitute for Aquaphor. A patient can opt for either of the two after the CO2 laser procedure is completed. Both of these options need to be used for the same stipulated duration of time after the procedure.
|Aquaphor Use||Time Period|
|Lower Limit||3 days after the treatment|
|Upper Limit||5 days after the treatment|
Why Is Aquaphor Used For So Long After CO2 Laser?
Aquaphor is a healing ointment that is used to soothe irritated or affected regions of the skin. Since after the CO2 laser procedure, the skin tissue generally becomes hypersensitive, doctors prescribe the use of this smoothing moisturizer to keep the skin supple and moist.
A CO2 laser uses infrared radiation to penetrate the top layers of the skin to reach the dermis. Here it creates microscopic areas of thermal damage so that new collagen production can be initiated. This helps stimulate the growth of new cells that replace the old and damaged ones.
However, the procedure is quite traumatic for the skin. The use of ablative carbon dioxide lasers makes the skin irritable and dry. Aquaphor acts as an occlusive barrier in this case. Using the healing ointment initiates the construction of this barrier that acts as a protective layer- one that retains extra moisture in the skin. This helps keep the skin supple and moist for longer durations.
Moreover, the protective occlusive barrier created by Aquaphor also helps protect the exposed skin cells from pollutants in the air. And lastly, as the ointment has healing properties, it helps speed up the process of recovery.
It is important to cognize that the initial 3 to 5-day period is considered most crucial. During this time the affected areas of the face cannot be allowed to dry out. Thus, the use of Aquaphor is considered important during this time. By the 4th day, the moisture-retaining capacity of the skin improves and healing accelerates, thus negating the use of Aquaphor any further.
CO2 laser treatments are considered to be very effective in reducing skin disorders in patients. After skin resurfacing treatment, there are several care protocols one has to follow. Aquaphor is one of the core medical ointments to be used after the procedure.
Generally, medical professionals recommend that the ointment be used for a period of 3 to 5 days after the treatment is done. The specificity of the time frame may vary, but it usually falls in this window of time. After this period, the patient can stop using the Aquaphor ointment. A week after the treatment, the individual can also return to work and her daily activities.