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Recovery Time For Cortex/CO2 Erbium Yag Laser Skin Resurfacing

June 28, 2017

Recovery time is an important topic of discussion with our patients who are interested in undergoing the Cortex CO2/Erbium Yag laser treatment. Since Cortex is one of the more ablative lasers that we use for laser skin resurfacing in our Pittsburgh office, we tell our patients to expect at 6-7 days of recovery from this laser treatment. When we say “downtime”, patients should understand that most of this time is social downtime, as opposed to clinical downtime.

The day of and the day after treatment, patients can anticipate the skin to look sunburned and it may feel a bit tight. Cool compresses are encouraged to ease the discomfort. Patients can also take Tylenol for any pain that they may have as needed. By day 2, the skin will appear somewhat bronzed in color but still will be darker. On day 3, the skin may begin to peel and the area will likely itch. Creating a vinegar and water solution can sometimes relieve the itching sensation. By day 5, the peeling should start to slow down. At this point, patients can even use mineral-based makeup if they would like to. By day 8, the skin should be back to baseline, the redness should diminish, and patients should begin to notice results.

During recovery, it is extremely important to always keep the skin moisturized with the proper ointment. We will provide you with specific recommendations during a consultation. In addition to moisturizer, patients must cleanse the area with a gentle cleanser and apply SPF a few times a day. It is vital that patients protect their skin from the sun during this time.

Many patients combine laser skin resurfacing with Botox, Dysport, Restylane®, or other dermal filler treatments to get optimal results. However, we typically recommend that several weeks separate these injectable treatments from a Cortex treatment.

Pre-treatment instructions and post-laser care directions will be reviewed with you prior to your scheduled appointment during the consultation process. Please call our Patient Care Coordinator for more information on Cortex or email us.


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