Pixel laser skin resurfacing

The Pixel laser is an FDA-approved resurfacing laser that creates small microscopic wounds within the skin that heal and stimulate new collagen production that in turn tightens and smoothes out the skin's surface.

Fractional resurfacing lasers are an exciting development in skin rejuvenation because they can drastically improve skin with relatively little downtime. Traditional resurfacing lasers used to target the entire skin surface, but a fractional device like the Pixel only targets small areas of the skin at a time (like individual pixels in a picture). The idea behind this technology is that a fraction of the entire skin surface comes in contact with the laser, therefore the healing time will be quicker. The unaffected skin surrounding these laser hot spots will encourage an effective healing of the tissue and production of collagen.


Preparation for laser skin resurfacing

  • Protect the skin. Use SPF 30 sunblock with zinc oxide for at least 4 weeks prior to the treatment and cover the area to be treated when in direct sunlight.
  • To minimize any bruising or bleeding, discontinue any medication, foods or herbals that can cause bleeding. A list of these items is available at the clinic.

  • If you are prone to cold sores, Dr. Kelleher will give you a prescription to take prior to and after treatment to help prevent them.

Products you may want to purchase for most comfortable and effective results:

  • Hydrocortizone 1% cream
  • Cetaphil or other gentle skin cleanser
  • Cicaplast dermal repair cream
  • Vivier sunscreen lotion SPF 30
  • Aquafor or Vaseline
  • Vivier Sheer, SPF 45 zinc sunblock

On the day of the treatment:

  1.  Arrive one hour before the procedure. Staff will have you wash the area to be treated and apply a topical numbing cream.
  2.  Once the area is numb (usually takes about 45 minutes), the procedure will take about 20 minutes to complete.
  3.  During the treatment you will feel a mild pinprick sensation as the doctor or nurse applies the laser.

Post Treatment Care:

Once the treatment is complete, your skin will have started to feel warm to the touch and sting as though you have a bad sunburn. You may also start to swell and you can expect the treated area to be red. This is completely normal, as your skin has been irritated . Stinging usually lasts several hours and can be helped by applying 1% hydrocortisone and/or Cicaplast, followed by Vaseline or Aquafor. Soaking the affected area in cool water is also helpful. Swelling subsides in 24-72 hours. Redness can last up to 48-72 hours, and occasionally as long as 96 hours. You will start to flake and/or peel as early as 24 hours after treatment and will continue for up to 7 days. DO NOT try to remove any dry rough skin, but instead allow it to slough off on its own.

The following guidelines below must be followed to ensure the maximum benefit from the laser treatment and avoid unnecessary complications:

First 12 Hours after treatment

1. Apply a cool water-soaked cloth or gauze or a water mister for 5-10 minutes. This will help calm the stinging and redness. Continue this as often as needed. Pat the skin dry. If using a cloth, use a clean one each time. Do not rub or scrub your skin.

2. Apply hydrocortisone 1% and/or Cicaplast after you have rinsed your face. This has a soothing effect and can be done as often as needed.

3. For discomfort, you make take Aspirin (ASA), Advil (ibuprofen), Naprosyn (naproxen) or Tylenol (acetaminophen). For swelling, ASA, ibuprofen or naproxen are more effective than acetaminophen. Do not use any products if you have an allergy or sensitivity to any of its components.

4. For sleep and to help reduce swelling, an antihistamine such as Benadryl or Chlor-Tripolon may be helpful. Try to sleep on your back and use an extra pillow to minimize swelling overnight.

5. At bedtime, apply Vaseline or Aquafor.

After 12 Hours

1. Start cleansing with Cetaphil or any gentle cleanser. Rinse gently with cool water. Pat dry - do not rub.

Z. Use hydrocortisone and/or Cicaplast twice daily for 2-3 days.

3. In between, moisturize with Vivier SPF 30 lotion. Apply as often as needed to keep the treated area moist. If skin feels dry, it's time to reapply.

4. If you are going to be exposed to direct sunlight, apply Sheer at least 20 minutes before exposure. Exposure of your treated skin to UV rays could result in hyperpigmentation (darkening), sloughing unevenly, and possibly more damage than before the treatment.

5. A large brimmed hat should also be worn outside. If treating areas other than your face, they should be covered as well.

6. Apply vaseline or aquafor at bedtime for as long as needed.


Do not use make-up until the Pixel texture is scabbed up, usually between the third and fifth day following treatment. At that point, use only a mineral based powder make-up applied with a clean brush and after applying Vivier SPF 30 lotion. Do not use heavy foundation that requires being rubbed in.