Home Care Instructions for Local Laser
- After laser, the bruising and swelling may get worse for 24–48 hours. Do not be alarmed. It is rarely painful. Blisters or bubbles may be noted on the skin in the first 48 hours. Keep these moist with ointment. Most blisters do not scar.
- Ice bags can help to lessen swelling (if your child will allow it) in the first four hours. Use ice constantly or 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
- Try to have your child rest and avoid doing things that would result in falling or hurting the laser-treated skin. Protect the laser-treated area with a non-stick dressing (such as Telfa®) for the first week if you want to be safe. This works well to protect places likely to be rubbed or scratched, such as the side of the face. Please keep the child’s nails trimmed before the procedure.
- Apply ointment to the skin 5–10 times daily until the bruising goes away. Antibiotic ointment (except Neosporin®) or petroleum jelly can be used. This helps to prevent trauma and lessens the risk of scarring.
- If your child is fussy or complains of pain, give Tylenol® every 4–6 hours in the dose advised by your pediatrician. If your child has itch and try to scratch, you can use over the counter hydrocortisone cream for a few days.
- Avoid the sun between laser treatments. Apply sunscreen after the bruising has gone away. The sun causes blood vessel birthmarks to get worse or return.
- There are no restrictions on bathing, swimming, or activities after laser treatment.
- After the blue-gray discoloration goes away, there may be some redness that lasts another 5 to 10 days. Your child’s laser-treated area will not appear to have improved at this time. It takes six to eight weeks to get rid of the extra vessels with this treatment. That is why we ask you to return in two months so that we can see the improvement. We will decide at this time whether further treatments are needed at that site or at other sites that were not treated.
If you have questions or concerns, please call the clinic.
UW Dermatology Department
1 S. Park St 7th Floor
Madison, WI 53715
Clinic: 608 287-2450
American Family Children’s Hospital
Pediatric Dermatology Specialty Clinic
1675 Highland Ave.
Madison, WI 53792
Clinic: 608 263-6420
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 06/25/2010
Copyright © 06/25/2010 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6490
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