Peels, lasers and surgery all injure the skin in one way or another, so in the weeks leading up to your procedure, it’s essential to prime your skin. To make sure it responds to treatment as best as it can, skin cells should be turning over quickly, and your collagen-producing cells should be responsive.
Many plastic surgeons and dermatologists will recommend retinoids and/or acids to prepare the skin. These active ingredients work in two ways: they get cells to turn over faster and help push collagen into remodeling mode, which helps the healing process. However, you may be told to stop using some of these potentially aggressive ingredients a week or two before your procedure so your skin isn’t peeling at the time of treatment.
Using sunscreen after a procedure is a no-brainer, but most patients don’t realize the importance of using sunscreen beforehand in order to prevent pigment changes after treatment. Using an SPF of at least 30 before a procedure helps keep pigment-producing cells in check, so they don’t go into overdrive when subjected to the stress of a treatment or surgery.
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