Dermabrasion Instructions

Before Your Surgery:

If you develop a cold, fever or any other medical symptom, please call the office right away.

Do not take any aspirin or aspirin containing drugs for ten (10) days before surgery, this applies only to dermabrasion. This is extremely important since aspirin can thin the blood and cause you to bleed more. We have included a list of prescription and over the counter drugs that include aspirin. You can download and print the list here – please read it carefully.

You should have received prescriptions for medications. If you have not, please call our office right away. Fill all the prescriptions at least 48 hours (2 days) prior to surgery. On the day before your scheduled surgery, start taking your antibiotics  in the morning, following the instructions on the bottle. It is best to take your antibiotic with food or shortly after eating, to avoid stomach upset. It would be a good idea to have Tylenol or another over the counter, non-aspirin medication for pain on hand at home.

People who are prone to cold sores may have a flare-up following dermabrasion. If you have had cold sores or fever blisters in the past, you need to begin taking Zovirax (400 mg four times a day) or Valtrex (500 mg three times a day) to reduce the risk of a cold sore from forming or spreading throughout the treated area.

In addition, you will need to purchase a new can of Crisco solid shortening, Vaseline ointment, Bacitracin antibiotic ointment, or Polysporin antibiotic ointment.

If you are having a dermabrasion, you may be asked to purchase “Second Skin”.

If you are a smoker, you must stop smoking two weeks prior to your scheduled surgery. Smoking causes small blood vessels to constrict, which would result in your peel area not receiving adequate blood circulation. It takes a minimum of one week to reverse this effect of smoking. In addition, it would be best if you did not smoke for two to four weeks after surgery.

Do not drink any alcoholic beverages for 48 hours before surgery.

Please arrange to have someone drive you to and from surgery. You may not be allowed to drive yourself.

On the Day of Surgery:

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the evening before surgery. This includes water and chewing gum.

On the morning of surgery, please take a shower using DIAL or other antibacterial soap. Do not use any body lotion on the day of surgery. Remove all makeup, nail polish and contact lenses at home before you come to your appointment.

After Surgery:

Swelling will occur over the treated area and it may become very puffy in the next 24-48 hours. The swelling will gradually subside over the next two weeks.

Most patients find that they are slightly uncomfortable, especially the first few days. The pain from dermabrasion is usually relieved with Second Skin or an ointment such as Catrix . A mild pain relieving agent will be prescribed if necessary. Usually Extra Strength Tylenol or aspirin will control the pain.

Do not wear contact lenses for at least 5 days. It may be difficult to remove the lenses because of local swelling.

Wash the face, eyes, and treated areas twice a day with a mild soap and reapply the ointment or Crisco after washing.

Keep the area that had the dermabrasion coated with either Crisco solid shortening, or one of the other ointments you’ve purchased. (It may be necessary to apply this six times a day to keep the area moist and softened). Crusts will form in a few days. DO NOT PICK CRUSTS – THEY WILL FLOAT OFF AS YOU APPLY THE OINTMENT OR CRISCO. If you pick the crusts, you may cause permanent scars.

After the crusts come off, your skin will be rather pink and somewhat dry. The pink color usually fades within 3-4 weeks and may be covered with makeup.

Your new skin is very delicate and sensitive. Do not use strong astringents or exfoliatives for one month following surgery. Protect your skin from sun with sunscreen for at least 3-6 months. Sun exposure will cause blotching and permanent discoloration could occur.

Tiny white bumps (milia) may occur after these procedures. These may be treated with a sterile needle or removed at the office.

Please call the office if you have any questions or problems.


LASERBRASION INSTRUCTIONS

(Laser Cosmetic Skin Resurfacing)

Before the Surgery Date:

If you develop a cold, fever, or any other medical symptoms, please call the office right away. If you have taken Accutane (for acne) within the past two years, then the surgery needs to be postponed for 12 to 18 months, because of increased risk of scarring. Do not take any aspirin or aspirin-containing drugs for TEN (10) days before surgery. This is extremely important since aspirin can thin the blood and cause you to bleed more. We have included a list of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that include aspirin. Please check it carefully. Also avoid Vitamin E and some herbs (gingko, etc.) which can cause bleeding.

You should have received prescription for medications. If you have not, please call our office right away. Fill all prescriptions at least 72 hours (3 days) prior to surgery. On the day before your scheduled surgery, start taking the antibiotic (Keflex, Erythromycin, or Ciprofloxacin), following the instructions on the bottle. It is best to take your antibiotic with food or shortly after eating to avoid stomach upset. It would be a good idea to have Tylenol or another over-the-counter non-aspirin medication for pain on hand at home. Also, a prescription pain pill will be given to you for postoperative use. Healing is accelerated by taking Vitamin C 1000 mg daily two weeks pre-op plus three weeks post-op.

People who are prone to cold sores may have a flare-up following Laserbrasion. To prevent cold sores or fever blisters from developing you need to begin taking Zovirax 400 mg three times a day starting three days before surgery, and then for 10 days after surgery. This is recommended even if you do not have a history of cold sores.

If you have not been on the OBAGI skin treatment program pre-op, then a prescription for Retin A will be given to you, to start one month before surgery (at bedtime) and should be stopped seven days before surgery; which makes the skin more receptive to Laserbrasion. Avoid this drug after surgery for one month at least. Other prescriptions (such as pain pills, anti-nausea/anti-emetics, bleaching creams, and a steroid dosepack) may be given to help reduce post-operative pain, nausea and vomiting, skin redness, and swelling. The bleaching cream (4% Solaquin Forte) should be used twice a day for four weeks before surgery and be stopped 7 days pre-operatively, and resumed twice a day at two weeks after surgery until the redness is gone. The bleaching cream is included as part of the OBAGI skin treatment program (Clear, Sunfader).

In addition, you will need to purchase Aquaphor or Catrix 10 from our office to use as a post-operative moisturizing treatment for up to two weeks after surgery. Also, a prescription for Bactroban may be given to use twice daily after surgery to prevent bacteria from the nose from causing a facial infection. Also, Flexan occlusive dressings will be used after surgery for the first 3 days to 7 days.

If you are a smoker, you must stop smoking for at least 14 days prior to your scheduled surgery. Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict, which could result in your resurfacing area not receiving adequate blood circulation. It takes awhile to reverse this effect of smoking. In addition, it would be best if you did not smoke for at least two weeks before or after surgery. A prescription can be given for Nicoderm patches or Chantix pills or Nicorette gun to help you stop smoking.

Do not tan your skin prior to Laserbrasion or expose your skin to prolonged sun exposure during the first six months after surgery, and use sunscreen for the first year because the skin will burn easily and could cause scarring and increased pigmentation.

Do not drink any alcoholic beverages for 48 hours before surgery or after surgery.

Please arrange to have someone drive you to and from surgery. You will not be allowed to drive yourself.

On the Day of Surgery:

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the evening before your surgery unless otherwise directed. This includes water and chewing gum. On the morning of surgery, please take a shower and shampoo using Dial or other antibacterial soap (Hibiclens). Do no use any body lotion on the day of surgery. Remove all makeup, nail polish and contact lenses at home before you come to your appointment.

After Surgery:

Swelling, oozing, and crusting will occur over the treated area, and it may become very puffy and red in the first 24 to 48 hours. The swelling will gradually subside over the next 5 to 7 days. Therefore, please arrange time off from work and other social obligations for the first 1 to 2 weeks.

Most patients find that they are slightly uncomfortable. The pain from the Laserbrasion persists for 3 to 5 days and is usually relieved with the Catrix 10 or Aquaphor ointment or Flexan. A mild pain-relieving agent will be prescribed, but Extra-Strength Tylenol or Advil will control the pain. Flexan is a cool, soothing dressing that may be placed after surgery, and needs to be changed daily for the first 2 to 3 days, but then may be left for 5 to 10 days.

Do not wear contact lenses for at least five days. It may be difficult to remove the lenses because of eyelid swelling.

Place ice wrapped in a towel on the treated areas during the first 24 hours after surgery, and keep your head elevated to help minimize swelling. Also, the Medrol Dose Pack will help decrease swelling.

Once the Flexan has been removed for good, wash the face, eyes, and treated areas twice a day with a mild soap (Dove) and reapply the Catrix 10 or 5 or Aquaphor after washing, using a Q-tip (cotton-tip applicator) or your clean fingertip. The ointment keeps the area moist providing a better environment for wound healing. Also, apply Bactroban ointment to the inside of each nostril twice a day to prevent nasal bacterial contamination of the face.

Vinegar soaks (1 teaspoonful vinegar in 1 pint water) may be used (on Q-tips, cotton gauze, or soft cloth) twice a day to help soothe the skin after cleaning with a mild soap (Dove, Ivory, etc.).

Keep the area that had Laserbrasion coated with either Catrix 10 or 5 or Aquaphor you have purchased (it may be necessary to apply this five to six times a day to keep the area moist and softened.). Crusts will form in a few days, but DO NOT PICK CRUSTS – THEY WILL FLOAT OFF AS YOU APPLY THE OINTMENT. If you pick the crusts, you may cause permanent scars. Hydrogen Peroxide (diluted with an equal amount of water) can be used with Q-tips or cotton gauze twice a day to help the crusts float off.

After crusts come off, your skin will be rather pink and somewhat dry. The pink color usually fades within 4 to 12 weeks and may be covered with makeup after 7 to 14 days (such as Dermablend, etc.). A bleaching cream (4% Solaquin Forte) or low concentration steroid cream (1% Hydrocortisone) can be prescribed to help fade the pink color after the first 2 weeks after surgery. The OBAGI skin treatment system has bleaching creams (Sunfader and Clear) and a steroid cream (Tolereen). Your new skin is very delicate and sensitive. Do not use strong astringents or exfoliative for one month following surgery. Protect your skin from sun with a waterproof sunscreen for at least 6 to 12 months (SPF greater then 15). Sun exposure will cause blotching and permanent discoloration could occur, therefore, apply the sunscreen several times a day when outside (even if only for short periods of time). The OBAGI skin treatment program has moisturizing creams (eye cream or Action cream) to be used on dry areas post-operatively.

Tiny white bumps (milia) may occur after theses procedures. These may be treated with a sterile needle and removed at the office.

Please be patient with the healing process as it is prolonged. It will be worth the wait when your skin looks younger and healthier post-operatively.

Please call the office if you have any questions of problems on 706-235-5570.

Learn more about dermabrasion and laserbrasion here.