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Erbium (Er:YAG) laser

Erbium lasers fire infrared light onto the skin in short bursts, helping to reduce wrinkles, scars and age spots.

Erbium (Er:YAG) Laser Side Effects

Common side effects include redness (from light pink to bright red, depending the on the treated area's size and the number of passes) and swelling during the recovery process, acne flare-ups, and skin discoloration (the last occurs mostly with dark-skinned patients).

More serious complications include scarring and infection.

Who shouldn't use it: Er:YAG laser treatments can be used on dark skin, but make sure your doctor has performed the procedure on other patients of similar skin tones and knows the proper adjustments to make. Individuals with a history of cold sores may experience an increase in outbreaks after the surgery, although these can be mitigated by anti-viral drugs.

Drawbacks: Downtime is depth-dependent. Redness of skin may vary from a day to a month or more depending upon how deep the peel goes.

Recovery Time For Erbium (Er:YAG) Laser

Depending on the type of treatment used, recovery time can last anywhere from one day to a few weeks. An erbium micropeel that does not penetrate very deeply will heal very quickly; more aggressive treatment might leave the skin red and raw for a longer period of time.

Advances in erbium laser technology, however, allow for less invasive laser peels which heal more quickly, allowing some patients to return to work in less than five days. After seven to 10 days, makeup may be a helpful way to hide residual redness.

After care for Erbium (Er:YAG) laser: Anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medications are helpful after Er:YAG treatments. Antiviral drugs such as Valtrex should be taken as prescribed.

Patients should take care of the affected area for two or three weeks (depending on the severity of the procedure) by cleaning skin several times a day with a mild saline or vinegar solution to avoid scabbing.

Different offices have different aftercare regimens; follow the advice of your doctor. After the skin heals, patients can apply makeup on the affected area.

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