Medical procedures can leave their mark, from plastic surgery to laser treatments. An understanding of how the immune system controls the healing process can help through the recovery period. You can also take a proactive approach to recovery by nourishing your skin from both the outside and inside. It takes a mix of patience, rest, good nutrition, and a simple skincare routine.
How does the skin heal?
Wounds, whether they’re caused by a medical procedure or a stumble on the stairs, heal from the inside out and from the edges to the center. If you’ve got an open wound, your blood vessels constrict, and platelets clot to stop the bleeding immediately after your procedure.
Then, white blood cells sweep through to nab any bacteria or anything else that could cause infection. Scabs develop and cover areas where the body produces collagen to repair and make new capillaries and skin.
Bruises are common after botox, laser treatments, and minor surgeries. The familiar tender, purplish bruises form underneath the skin when capillaries are damaged and bleed into the surrounding tissues.
Post-procedure, your bruises will change color from red to purple to blue to green to yellow in the final healing stages. As you’re watching a rainbow of color play out on your skin, remind yourself that your body is working hard to absorb the blood and return your skin to its normal hue.
How to help your skin heal post-procedure
Before we jump into skin healing tips, always follow your doctor’s recommendations. These tips should only be used in conjunction with your medical professional's recommendations, not in lieu of them.
Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet and adequate hydration give your body the building blocks it needs to heal. Drink six to eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day. Hydration on the inside can help your skin stay hydrated on the outside.
Try to eat healthy while you’re healing. That includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources, like chicken and fish. Your body needs vitamins, minerals, carbs, healthy fats, and protein to rebuild itself.
Keep the area clean
A gentle, soap-free cleanser to keep the area clean can prevent irritation and infection. Try Total Facial Cleansing Gel for its non-drying formula that’s full of antioxidants and multivitamins.
Hydrate the skin
If you have open wounds, even small ones, your skin needs to stay hydrated to heal. Your doctor may recommend something simple like petroleum jelly for the first day or two. After that, you’ll probably be allowed to use a gentle moisturizer.
For the face, try SkinResourceMD’s Oil Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer. It’s full of vitamins, antioxidants, and collagen stimulators to hydrate and support the skin while it heals. Total Skin Moisturizer is a similarly nourishing moisturizer that can be used anywhere on the body, including the face.
Apply healing aids
Ice is one of nature’s purest healing aids, especially if you have swelling and bruising. The cold causes blood vessels to constrict, reducing bleeding and swelling.
Protect the affected area from the sun
Healing skin is sun-sensitive even if it blends with the rest of the skin. Stay out of the sun for the first few days post-procedure and as long as the skin is too sensitive for sunscreen.
Use a gentle sunscreen like SkinResourceMD’s Essential Solar Protector with its SPF 47 protection once your skin is less sensitive to the touch. This physical sunscreen creates a barrier between your skin and sun rays, reflecting them away from the skin. Physical sunscreen is a much better option for healing skin because it doesn’t absorb and enter the bloodstream like a chemical sunscreen.
Final thoughts - time and patience
Bruising from minor procedures may disappear within a week. However, the deeper the wound, the longer it will take to heal. Cleanse, hydrate, and moisturize your skin as it heals. Apply healing creams, and don’t forget to ice the area if there’s swelling and bruising. Finally, eat healthy food and rest so your body can take care of itself. However, remember that healing takes time. Be patient and give your body the time it needs to get better.