If I have acne, rosacea or perioral dermatitis, are lasers still okay to do?

I have perioral dermatitis. Should I do ablative laser resurfacing with erbium:yag laser for overall rejuvenation?

Generally, if you have an active, inflammatory skin condition like perioral dermatitis, acne or rosacea, it’s important to get that condition well under control for at least several months before doing any more ablative resurfacing work.  This would include lasers like the Fraxel (both the Restore and Repair versions), other erbiums, and fractionated or other CO2s. 

The reason?   The postcare products (read lots of goo) needed to make sure that you will heal safely can aggravate these conditions when they are active.   Sometimes the post care products can aggravate even acne that’s under good control, necessitating a short course of oral antibiotics or other treatments. 

Also, from just a practical point of view, why spend this kind of time and money on a treatment to help you just to have many of the good effects “undone” with these conditions?

Hope this helps,  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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