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What is Contour TRL?

The Contour TRL is an Erbium Yag laser designed to resurface the skin by removing a variable depth of damaged and aging skin. It can be very successful in reducing or eliminating problematic lines/wrinkles and pigment irregularities. By stimulating growth of new collagen, it will also improve the skin’s overall thickness and resilience. The skin surface will regenerate new, healthy cells, giving your complexion a younger and more rejuvenated appearance. The depth of the treatment is dependent upon each individual’s skin condition, desired outcome, and expectation of downtime. The procedure is performed in the office and will be customized to your specific skin goals.



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What should I expect day of procedure?

  • Upon arrival, you will be brought back to the laser room. Pre-procedure photos will be taken, a consent for the procedure will need to be signed, and confirmation of pre-procedure instructions will be discussed. If pre-procedure instructions have not been met, the treatment may need to be rescheduled.
  • Since this is typically a deeper resurfacing, a local anesthetic will be injected prior to treatment by your physician to aid in the comfort of the procedure.
  • The procedure is then performed.
  • The Zimmer may be used during treatment for comfort as well. The Zimmer assists in cooling the skin during and post procedure.

What should I expect upon completion of the Contour TRL?

  • Mild to moderate pinpoint bleeding is a desired response and is very common with this procedure. This oozing and seeping may persist for 24 – 72 hours following treatment.
  • Erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) is very common following this procedure. Erythema normally persists for 8 – 12 days depending upon the depth of the laser. Edema is typically a short-term response.
  • A feeling of tightness, warmth, and mild discomfort is also very common following this procedure. It is important to remember that everyone’s level of discomfort is different.
  • A protective barrier of Aquaphor or laser balm will be applied to the treatment area(s) following the procedure.

How do I take care of my skin following the Contour TRL?

  • Follow the post laser resurfacing regimen given to you at your pre-procedure appointment.
  • Use of a cold compress or ice packs will help to relieve the swelling. To avoid further swelling, you may choose to sleep propped up on 2 – 3 pillows the first several nights after treatment. Sleeping on your back with an elevated pillow will also help prevent the creation of prematurely peeling skin.
  • Cold compress or ice packs may also be used to provide comfort if the treated area is especially warm. This is typically only needed within the first 12 – 24 hours post treatment.
  • Post treatment discomfort may be relieved by oral pain relievers; (i.e. Extra Strength Tylenol) or prescribed pain medication if ordered by the physician. Oral Benadryl may help itching but can also be sedating.
  • Please continue the prescribed antiviral as directed until the bottle is empty.
  • Please continue the prescribed antibiotic as directed until the bottle is empty.
  • Be careful not to rub the treated area and do not use any type of exfoliation until skin is fully healed (i.e. Clarisonic).
  • After cleansing your face, reapply the occlusive barrier, (i.e. Aquaphor) taking care to cover all treated areas. The occlusive barrier is needed to provide a protective barrier that will hold moisture into the skin and provide protection to the skin from pollutants in the air as the skin heals. The occlusive barrier is typically needed for 10 days post treatment. Reapply the occlusive barrier as needed. Do not allow the treated area to dry out.
  • When showering, be sure to wash your hair behind you to avoid getting shampoo directly on the treated area.
  • Peeling and flaking generally occur within 24 hours post treatment and should be allowed to come off naturally. DO NOT PICK, RUB, OR FORCE OFF ANY SKIN DURING THE HEALING PROCESS. THIS COULD RESULT IN SCARRING AND INFECTION! Gently washing the skin more frequently will help to promote the peeling process.
  • Once the skin has healed (no longer wearing the occlusive barrier), you may begin to wear a mineral makeup which will allow the skin to breathe and continue healing. At this time, sun block should also be worn on a daily basis to help prevent hyperpigmentation from both direct and indirect sunlight.
  • Please avoid strenuous exercise and sweating for 2 weeks after treatment or until skin has fully healed.
  • Please avoid direct sun exposure for 2 months following the procedure. However, a hat and sunscreen may be worn if going to be in the sun.

Follow the below day-by-day instructions on how to care for your skin following a Contour TRL:


Items to purchase before the procedure:

Aquaphor ointment

Cotton balls or cotton rounds


Distilled water

White vinegar

Cetaphil lotion

Cetaphil cleanser

*Preparation of the vinegar-water solution for facial cleansing:

½ tablespoon white vinegar mixed with 1 cup of distilled water.

The first 24 hrs

  • Ice packs as tolerated to reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Aquaphor ointment over entire resurfaced skin at all times.
  • No washing of the resurfaced area.

Post peel day 1 (wash skin 2x/day)

  • Remove Aquaphor ointment with cotton ball soaked in distilled water.
  • Clean skin with vinegar-water solution using cotton ball.
  • Rinse vinegar-water solution with distilled water.
  • Gently dry skin with cotton ball or cotton rounds.
  • Apply Aquaphor ointment.
  • Repeat 2 times during the day.

Post peel days 2-5

  • Perform above steps 4x/day
  • Do not pull off peeling skin. Allow peeled skin to come off with gentle washing regimen.
  • Ok to shower after day 3. Use tepid, warm water to rinse skin. No soaps. If planning on washing hair, use mild shampoo only. Try to avoid contact with face.
  • Apply Aquaphor ointment at all times.

Post peel days 5-10

  • Clean skin with Cetaphil cleanser instead of vinegar-water solution if tolerated. If not, continue vinegar-water solution.
  • Continue washing 4x/day.
  • Apply Aquaphor ointment at all times.

Post peel days 10-30

  • Cetaphil cleanser 2x/day.
  • Cetaphil lotion instead of Aquaphor ointment.
  • Sunscreen with at least a 7% zinc.
  • Ok to begin applying natural, powder-based makeup with zinc oxide or titanium oxide once epithelialization (skin healing) is complete. We recommend Priori MD mineral makeup which is available for purchase in our office.

How long will it take to recover?

Depending on the depth of treatment, most patients feel comfortable enough to return to work within 10-14 days. Mild to moderate redness can be normal beyond the recovery time, but this can be covered with a breathable makeup. It is important to remember that not everyone heals at the same speed and it would not be unusual if the healing process were to take longer.

When should I expect results?

  • As your skin heals in the days following your treatment, you will see noticeable improvements in your skin’s texture, tone and wrinkle appearance. And since another benefit of this procedure is the stimulation of collagen production, your skin will show increasing improvements in tightness and resilience in 4 – 6 months.
  • You may resume your normal skin care regimen typically 2 weeks after the procedure, as long as the skin is healed and can tolerate it.


There may be some degree of swelling immediately post treatment, however, if you have excessive swelling or any of the following signs of infection, you should contact the office immediately. Signs of infection include:

  • Unusual drainage
  • Increased warmth at or around the treated area
  • Fever of 101.5 or greater
  • Extreme itching


Patient response can vary after a Contour TRL treatment. Erythema (redness) and possibly edema (swelling) are the desired responses, along with mild to moderate pinpoint bleeding, within a few minutes after the completion of the procedure. The degree of redness and length of healing time will increase with the depth of your peel and can vary from patient to patient.

How do I maintain my results?

For maintenance and to achieve optimal results, recommended products should accompany these treatments. These products include: growth factors, retinol, antioxidants, and sun block with at least 7% zinc oxide or titanium oxide.

Growth Factors: Proteins that stimulate collagen and elastin to help restore thickness and resilience to the skin over time.

Retinol: Speeds up the skin’s natural exfoliation process; therefore, evening out discoloration, boosting collagen, and preventing thinning of skin, fine lines and wrinkles.

Antioxidants: Vitamins C and E fight free radical damage and keep our cells healthy by reducing cell mutations that can later lead to skin cancer and aging.

Sun Block: Prevents premature aging by protecting against both UVA and UVB rays.

Before & After

Dr. Karam, who is board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and American Board of Otolaryngology, offers services in San Diego County including San Diego, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Carmel Valley, Encinitas, Rancho Bernardo and La Jolla in Southern California.

If you are ready to schedule an appointment with Dr. Karam, contact us today.

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