Fractional Laser Post Treatment Instructions

Ways to Speed Healing

Apply a thin layer of Aquaphor Healing Ointment or plain Vaseline to treated area. Always thoroughly wash hands before touching treated area. Re-apply frequently as needed to maintain a continuous layer on your skin. Soak the treated skin with a plain white vinegar solution at least 4 to 8 times each day. You can’t soak too much. Soaking reduces redness and speeds healing! Do not pick, rub, scrub or irritate your skin while it is healing.

How to SoakDip a clean, soft, cloth into vinegar solution and place the wet cloth against your skin, gently pressing to ensure the vinegar solution wets the skin. Rinse and repeat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Most of the ointment should come off during the soak (do NOT rub).


  • 1 teaspoon of plain white vinegar to 2 cups of water.
  • Solution may be mixed up ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.
  • Apply a thin layer of ointment to the treated area immediately after soaking. If the skin gets dry or scabs appear, you need to soak more often and apply more ointment.

Do Not

  • Do not put ANY other creams, ointments or products of any kind on the treated area until your care provider indicates it is ok to do so.
  • Do not let your skin come in contact with detergents, fabric softeners or dryer sheets. Fabrics that have been treated with these products may irritate your skin.
  • Do not expose the treated area to the sun (even on cloudy days).

Remember UVA passes through house and car windows. UVA exposure can cause skin to darken.

What to Expect

  • Oozing may occur for the first 24 hours. You may notice small red/brown spots on your skin which may turn darker, but will disappear as the skin begins to heal. You may wish to protect your pillow the first night following treatment with an old, clean pillow case.
  • Swelling may occur and usually resolves in 2-4 days. Sleeping on 2 pillows with your head elevated is helpful.
  • Redness is a normal and expected reaction and will resolve with time.
  • It is normal for skin to feel “sunburned” and/or tight.

General Instructions

  • Avoid touching the treated area unless necessary (vinegar soaks). Do not pick the treated area but allow skin to heal on its own.
  • You may shower, but keep soaps and hair products from coming in contact with the treated area.
  • Do a vinegar soak after the shower, followed by ointment.
  • If you experience itching, an over the counter antihistamine such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine) may be helpful.
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be used if needed.
  • After stopping the ointment, use ONLY a clinician recommended moisturizer for at least one week.Examples are:Vanicream Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream (this is more gentle than Cetaphil lotion)
  • Make-up may be worn after the majority of treated skin has healed, usually within 4 to 7 days.
  • It is very important to use sunscreen with a SPF of 20 or greater when your clinician says your skin is ready. This helps prevent post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (darker areas).

Please call the office if you experience intense pain, drainage, severe redness or fever, increased itching, the appearance of a cold sore, blister or a tingling sensation, or if at any time you feel that you are not healing normally.

Pearl Fractional treatment

Below is a list of what you may or may not experience after your Pearl Fractional treatment. Please note that not all patients see every reaction listed below. If you are concerned about any phase of the healing process, please contact our office.

First 24 Hours

  • Skin will feel sunburn hot for up to one hour post-treatment
  • Pinpoint oozing is likely to occur within 90 minutes of treatment
  • Most intense for first 4 hours post-treatment
  • Should resolve within 24 hours
  • Significant erythema (redness) for ~5 days post treatment
  • Possible swelling (varies by treatment or patient)

1 – 3 Days Post-Treatment

  • Edema (swelling) peaks at 2-3 days post-treatment
  • Sleeping with head elevated may reduce swelling
  • Significant erythema (redness) for ~5 days post treatment

3 – 5 Days Post-Treatment

  • Edema (swelling) will begin to subside
  • Can persist longer for patients with prior facial surgery
  • Significant erythema (redness) for ~5 days post treatment
  • Face begins to peel
  • Some patients report itchiness during this period
  • Frequent vinegar soaks beginning at day one help to relieve itching and soothe skin

5 – 7 Days Post–Treatment

  • Mild erythema (redness) may persist for a few weeks (varies by patient)
  • Peeling should subside by 5-7 days
  • Okay to wear makeup

When to call your provider

  • Reoccurring Erythema (Redness)
  • If redness decreases and then increases
  • Persistent Edema (Swelling)
  • Longer than 72 hours or not reducing
  • Fever
  • Intense itching
  • It is normal to feel itching after skin peels. Please contact provider if skin continues to feel tight and very itchy
  • Rash or pustules (pimples)
  • Cold sores (herpes) break out anywhere on the face
  • Recommended Pre & Post Care for Laser Genesis Treatments

  • Before Your Treatment

    • Do not wear makeup on the day of treatment
    • Excess hair may need to be shaved. Men should be cleanly shaved
    • No sun-tanning or self-tanners 4 weeks prior to treatment
    • Includes spray tans, tanning lotions, tanning beds, sun exposure, etc.
    • Avoid treatments that may irritate the skin for 1-2 weeks prior to treatment (waxing, depilatories, etc.)
    • Notify your clinician of any changes to your health history or medications since your last appointment
    • History of herpes or cold sores may require an anti-viral prescription prior to treatment

    After Your Treatment

    • Avoid sun exposure and use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen to prevent further sun damage
    • Bruising, redness and swelling may occur and resolve with time
    • Avoid heat – hot tubs, saunas, etc. for 1-2 days
    • Avoid skin irritants (examples below) a few days post-treatment:
    • Products containing tretinoin, retinol, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic/salicylic acids, astringents, etc.
    • Multiple treatments are required
    • Notify clinic of any concerns (blistering, excessive redness/swelling, etc.)
    • Consult with clinic about when to resume skin care regime.