. Most people feel a mild to moderate discomfort during treatment. Dr. Kolstad will prescribe strong pain medicine if necessary but most patients fine Tylenol is enough to be comfortable.
Redness. Many patients notice a rosy, pink color to the skin. The redness may last a couple weeks to several months. In rare cases redness may last three to six months. This is more common in patients who have a history of flushing and multiple capillaries on the skin.
Wound Healing. The Phoenix Fractional CO2 laser evaporates the superficial layers of the skin. We recommend a minimum of seven days to heal with up to 10-14 days for slow healing patients. Superficial bleeding and peeling is common. The skin can be sensitive to the sun for 2-6 weeks.
Pigment Changes. The treated area may heal with increased or decreased pigmentation. Without sunscreen and sun protection there is an increased risk of hyperpigmentation. This is especially common in San Diego in the summer months. People with darker skin complexion have higher risks of hypopigmentation after treatment.
Excessive Swelling. There will be swelling of the skin immediately after San Diego laser surgery. This is not a complication and is expected after thermal injury to the treated areas. Swelling typically resolves over the next three to seven days.
Scarring. There is a very small chance of scarring including hypertrophic scarring and keloid scarring. If you have a history of poor scarring make sure you inform Dr. Kolstad during your consultation. To minimize chances of scarring, it is important to follow post-operative instructions carefully.
Eye Exposure. There is also a risk of harmful eye exposure to laser surgery. Dr. Kolstad will provide all necessary protective eyewear. It is important to have protective eyewear at all times during the laser treatment.
Infection. Occasional infections can occur. Patients with a history of cold sores are advised to use antivirals before and after treatments. Inform Dr. Kolstad of any signs of infection. If not treated promptly infections can result in scarring.