Laser Resurfacing – ZO post care


Please follow all pre-treatment instructions your provider has outlined in preparation for your resurfacing laser treatment. If you fail to follow certain pre-treatment protocols, your procedure may need to be rescheduled or cancelled.

  • Use a sunscreen and physical sun protection.
  • Please be advised that you cannot be tanned for this appointment and would need to temporarily discontinue use of all retinol products 3-5 days prior to your scheduled appointment. We also ask that you refrain from the use of sunless tanners for a minimum of 5 days prior to your scheduled appointment.
  • Inform your provider if any physician has ordered Accutane for you in the last 12 months.
  • Ensure you are following your specific skincare recommendations and at minimum are:
    • Using a retinol/Retin-A nightly for at least 6 weeks leading up to your Halo.
    • If you have been diagnosed with Melasma, use the hydroquinone system or products recommended by your provider for a minimum of 6 weeks leading up to you resurfacing treatment.
  • If you have a history of cold sores or a diagnosis of HSV (herpes simplex virus), you will need a prescription for prophylaxis prior to the procedure. Call our office and we’d be happy to help you with a prescription.
  • If you have an active cold sore for this appointment, your visit will need to be rescheduled!


  • After photos are taken, the area to be treated will be numbed, either topically, with nerve blocks or both, and once it has taken effect, your treatment will begin.
  • If you are having your eyes treated, your provider will use numbing drops to comfortably insert metal eye shields to ensure safe treatment of the upper eyelid.
  • During treatment, you will be given cold air to manage the heat delivered to the skin during the treatment.


Just as important as the treatment, is the care for your skin post-treatment.

Starting the day of your treatment and First Day after:  

  • CLEANSING: ZO Gentle Cleanser

Cleanse the skin two times a day with plain, lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser, beginning the morning after the treatment. Use your hands and gentle patting motions. DO NOT rub, scrub, use an exfoliant or skin care brush such as a Clarisonic or washcloth on the treated area. Very gently pat skin dry with a towel.

  • MOISTURIZER: Aquaphor

After washing and drying your skin, apply a medium layer of Aquaphor. The ointment should be used twice a day after washing and as often as necessary to keep your skin moist during healing. Don’t let your skin dry out, it will pull on the new tissue underneath and may cause red, irritated areas and delayed healing. The ointment will also reduce tightness and will make you more comfortable. DO NOT apply any other products that were not instructed by your doctor – e.g., essential oils, coconut oil, etc.

Beginning the second day and third day after your treatment: continue caring for your skin with gentle cleanser and Aquaphor.

  • Begin rinsing the skin with a dilute vinegar rinse. This can be made by diluting 1 tsp of white  vinegar in 1 cup of tap water. Use a cotton ball to gently apply this to the skin four times a day. Rinse the skin with tap water and then reapply the cream after each rinse. Make sure there is always a layer of Aquaphor on the skin between rinses. Re-epithelialization occurs more rapidly if the healing surface is kept moist and protected.
  • If the vinegar rinse is too uncomfortable, return to the regimen using only cleanser and tap water. Try the vinegar rinse again a day or two later.
  • Continue the vinegar rinse and Aquaphor until peeling is complete, which is from 5 to 7 days depending on depth of treatment. At that time the flaking and crusting has resolved, but the skin may still be red and sensitive. Redness can linger for up to 3 months to fully resolve. Resume your pre-laser skin care program only after approval from the physician or clinician, this is usually 7-10 days post laser.

One week post treatment:
Continue to use the gentle cleanser, however you can now use start to reintroduce your regular skincare products slowly. Wait a full 14 days to resume Retin A (Tretinoin or Complex A), Wrinkle and Texture Repair, Brightening retinol, Exfoliating Polish, Dual Action Scrub, Clarisonic Brush and/or ZOE QYK Sonic facial cleanser.

General rule with Sun Exposure:
Sunscreen is a MUST and should be used daily beginning the day after treatment and used consistently for up to 3 months post procedure. Use a physical sunscreen with Broadband UVA and UVB protection and a SPF of 30. Ensure to reapply during sun exposure.


  • For general post-treatment discomfort, an over-the counter oral pain reliever, i.e., Extra Strength Tylenol might be prescribed by your doctor.
  • If an anti-viral was prescribed, continue to take as directed.
  • Avoid scratching and itching, as scarring and pigmentation complications can occur. Itching can be relieved by oral Benadryl, but can cause drowsiness.Don’t let your skin dry out, it will pull on the new tissue underneath and may cause red, irritated areas and delayed healing


  • Use soft cloth and soft towels to avoid any scrubbing.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat or protective clothing for 2 months post treatment to avoid blistering, scarring, hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation.
  • Shower with the back of your head to the water to avoid directly hitting your face with the spray. Also avoid getting shampoo directly on the treated area.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise and sweating until after skin has healed.


  • Keep your skin moist with the Aquaphor at all times!
  • Do not pick, scratch or peel your skin as it may cause scarring or infection!
  • Try to sleep on your back so you don’t rub your peeling skin against the pillow.  This could create areas of prematurely peeled skin.


You should notice redness, swelling, bleeding, oozing and a sunburn sensation in your treatment area for up to 24 hours after treatment. Swelling should be present only as a short-term response. You may choose to sleep sitting upright the first night after the procedure to limit swelling of facial tissues. Peeling, crusting and flaking usually occurs after 48-72 hours. Apply cool compresses to comfort the skin when you get home. This will also help stop the bleeding.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 608.836.4044