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Your Essential Guide to Post-Surgery Skin Care

When you choose to undergo any type of plastic surgery, the procedure itself is just the first step. Properly caring for your skin after surgery helps you heal and get the best long-term results. As a plastic surgery office, we want to offer you general guidelines on post-surgery skin care, plus some additional tips for specific procedures.

Four Cardinal Rules of Post-Surgery Skin Care

Make sure you follow these four rules after any plastic surgery procedure:

  1. Pamper your skin. Avoid harsh cleansers or anything with fragrance. Instead, use mild, hypoallergenic products, like non-soap cleansers and fragrance-free moisturizers. After washing, gently pat your face dry with soft towels.
  2. Avoid sun. Too much sun isn’t good for anyone, but if you’ve had plastic surgery, then you should especially avoid direct sun for at least a few days. When you do venture outside, be sure to apply a full spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  3. Don’t touch. Be sure not to pick at any peeling skin and/or scabs. Doing so won’t help you heal any faster, but it will increase the chance of infection or scarring.
  4. Drink water. Skin loves water. No matter what type of procedure you’ve had, drink at least 64 ounces of water each day you’re in recovery.

Certain procedures require an extra level of care. We recommend following the tips below in addition to the rules mentioned above for best results.

Resurfacing Recommendations

There are a variety of treatments including microdermabrasion, mild chemical peels, and laser ablation that fall into the general category of skin resurfacing procedures. These treatments use various techniques to remove top layers of damaged skin to reveal healthier, more youthful skin.

Even though these are all relatively mild, non-invasive procedures, you should gently cleanse your skin and moisturize as you would after any type of plastic surgery. If you have peeling skin, you may put unscented moisturizer onto a warm, wet washcloth and very gently massage your skin. But be careful not to scrub as that may cause damage.

There are also stronger chemical treatments, such as salicylic acid peels that remove more severely damaged skin and scars. You doctor will tell you to not put anything on your face for up to seven days following those treatments.

Any resurfacing procedure could result in excessive pigmentation, which is a reddening or darkening of the skin. Your doctor can recommend a mild skin-bleaching cream to help avoid that.

Care After Cosmetic Surgery

Taking care of your skin after cosmetic surgeries is more complicated than after less invasive procedures because you may need to treat incisions, manage swelling, and maintain everyday skin care.

You can gently apply ice packs or cold compresses to relieve swelling in any area. However, if you’ve had rhinoplasty, avoid putting anything directly on your nose to prevent damage. You can also avoid swelling by sleeping with you head elevated above your heart.

It’s important to continue to cleanse your skin regularly after surgery to aid healing and avoid clogged pores. Using mild astringent pads can help you clean areas that are especially sore.

The Rules of Makeup

Ask your doctor how long you must wait before you can use makeup again. Usually, if your skin is intact and you have no open wounds, you can resume using makeup within days. You’ll need to wait longer after deep chemical peels or laser procedures.

When you do get permission to use makeup, remember the following tips:

Northeastern Plastic Surgery understands your desire for a beautiful, youthful looking body and facial appearance. We use the latest plastic surgery techniques to perform a variety of surgical procedures. Dr. Fodero and the staff are very friendly, helpful, and available to answer any questions you may have about the procedures we offer. We strive to ensure that your experience with us is positive. Please contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.

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