If I’m still red after a fractional laser, is there any solution?

I had the pearl fractional laser on nov.15. My face is really red. Is it ok to have ipl or vbeam to reduce reddness and I think I look like I have more wrinkles. What's up

Unfortunately, fractional lasers are not created equally even though they are often marketed to consumers as if they are interchangeable.  The two main types, erbiums and carbon dioxide lasers, can differ quite a bit even within their own category. The Cutera Pearl, if that is the one that was used, is an erbium laser and it’s results and healing are often quite different than the CO2. The link above will give you specific information about some of the pros and cons of these lasers

Learn more about Lasers.

But now……what to do?  It’s a over month out and you are still quite red. I’m hoping that your doctor is helping you with this and that you been in contact with him/her.  Some general thoughts:

  1. If the redness is due to continuing irritation (often from one of your skincare products), then an IPL or VBeam (a pulsed dye laser) won’t help much.  Really look at your topicals.  When the skin is healing from a laser it may react adversely to even products you’ve used for years.  Make sure you keep, for now, your products to a gentle cleanser, a moisturizer that’s very emollient and as chemical free as you can find, and perhaps a sunscreen (zinc only).  Discuss with your doctor whether you might need to change to all hypoallergenic products for awhile.  Gentle and simple are good until your skin is back to normal. Check out my list of recommended products.
  2. If you are sure you’re not irritated, then an IPL would be a good choice. The VBeam is excellent for spot treating specific veins and areas but if you are red all over, the IPL may be easier and less likely to cause brusing. 
  3. It’s common when the skin is still healing after a laser to go through a phase where the wrinkles almost seem worse.  This is because the initial mild swelling and plumping due to the early wound healing process is gone and the true collagen building part of the cycle hasn’t begun yet.  Remember that it takes a full 60-90 days to see the result of the new collagen and you may get some increase in collagen production even up to 6 months.

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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