I just wish to share my experience on the Co2 Fractional Laser (SmartXide). Was initially very afraid because of all the negative reviews I saw here, but decided to go ahead anyway because if you never try, you never know.
It's been a week and a half since my treatment and I am so happy I went for this.
A little background - I am 23, Chinese, fair skin and have mild scarring (about 10 small ice-pick scars and a few boxcar scars).
I asked my doctor before treatment what are the possible risks and he told me the main risk is hyperpigmentation. This doesn't happen to all people, just some. I shared with him about what some people say here about more scars, visible pin-pricks and grid marks from the laser even weeks after their treatment. He said this is because the settings of the laser were set too high by the doctor.
If you are really concerned, just ask your doctor for possible risks, and ask him to give you a light setting for your first treatment. A 9-12mj will give you downtime for 3-5 days. I did a 17mj treatment which was enough for me. I think some doctors will agree to doing a test patch behind your ear, you can try it.
Anyway I think I healed well because I really avoided the sun and makeup completely for 7 days. I just remained indoors and took a lot of water, vitamins, fruits, and rested a great deal.
The pain is also bearable, as long as the doctor gives you numbing cream during the treatment. After that, just stay in a cold room and you will be pretty comfortable. On the night of treatment, it stung a bit when I washed my face before bed. Day 2 onwards, there was no pain, just a rough skin texture from the laser damage. I started peeling on the 4-5 day by little small dots.
I think the key is to find a doctor you trust and who understands your concerns. I'm happy I did.
Don't be afraid to try especially if scars have been affecting your life and confidence!!!