After the laser treatment, you will notice that your face will be red, swollen with some crusting on the surface. You may continue to experience some burning discomfort and this can last for several hours. If this persists, you can take oral analgesics like panadol to relief the pain. You will be prescribed with some sterile normal saline to cleanse the wound and this should be done gently. Do not scrub off the crusts on the skin. Topical antibiotics or emollients like white soft paraffin will also be prescribed and this should be applied to the wound twice a day. The redness and crusting will usually take about a few days to 1-2 weeks to settle. The scabs on the face will slowly drop off by themselves so do not remove them forcefully as this can damage the skin and lead to infection and scarring.
In some cases, the skin may bruise more than crust. This occurs when we are treating pigmentation that is present in the deeper layers. This will usually resolve in 3 to 5 days. In general, it is best to avoid applying make-up and partaking in sports like swimming till the crusting has dropped off.
Often, during the recovery phase, the skin may gradually darken again. Do not be alarmed as this is a natural part of the healing process and this should gradually settle within1 to 3 weeks, although in some cases, it can be very dark and take up to 6 months to fade away. It is best to avoid excessive sun exposure after the treatment as this reduces the risk of developing the darkening during the healing phase and also prevents recurrence of the skin pigmentation.
Overall, the pigment laser is a safe and effective treatment for pigmentation. However, you must expect a period of downtime immediately post laser. The most common risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation will fade off. Permanent scarring and textural change and skin hypopigmentation are rare complications of the laser treatment.