You have to wait for the microswelling to go down, so at about 3 months you will have a pretty good idea. You will actually see additional improvement via collagen growth, but it is subtle. You are doing great!! Keep using moisturizer. Subsequent lasers are easier, and you now know what to expect. You have to be careful with treatments that lead into summer and never go out without sunscreen.
It appears you will need at least a 2nd laser. The key is that this is a cummulative process, and that is where most people don't follow through. Remember there is no such thing as 'one and done'. It was after my 2nd Repair that I realized the most improvement.
You are doing fine. I see that you didn't experience the extreme swelling that I did. MJ is MegaJoules or just ask about the depth of penetration. I believe anything deeper than 1.4mm and you get into a different layer of the skin that you really don't want to venture into. ScarFX goes deeper, but I believe that is used more for deep burn scars. MJ rating vary wildly between lasers. 17.5 MJ for the DeepFX equates to about 70 MJ for Repair. The difference may have to do with dot size, but again that is above my pay grade. Please don't ask me to explain this because I leave that to the more technically inclined. Right or wrong I have always taken the percentage to be the percent that was covered. I am sorry if I sound a little vague but I am 4 years removed from any research on lasers. As I age my interest has turned to plastic surgery - SMAS - Deep Plane facelifts although I may come back for another Repair after I finish that.
Relax my friend, the redness will fade. At one week I was still quite red, and by 2 weeks mine looked more like a sunburn. The first treatment is always the worst. That was an excellent post by Scarredemon, and I am still learning. The ice packs were part of my suggested regimen but I guess thinking has changed. You are doing great. It would be interesting to know what treatment you had and at what strength.
I had no choice but to use the solution because I was using Aquaphor, and I reapplied that about every 3 hours. DO NOT use a washcloth!! You are doing nothing more than rinsing. I believe I used 10% vinegar.
First things first, you have to relax. I would hope that the doctor gave you something like Xanax to calm your nerves. If he did not then go onto the internet and Google Guided Meditation, and follow the instructions. You want to calm your mind and concentrate on deep breathing. Even right now just close your eyes and take slow deep breaths, and see how it calms you. Do not think of anything except your breath. If people learned meditation they wouldn't need weed. I won't begin to comment on Polyfax, but will assume the doctor knows best. I looked Polyfax up and it is indicated for the type of procedure you had. I can't believe the vinegar/distilled water washes could be anything but helpful. When I say wash that means you just dab it on with sterile swabs - NEVER SCRUB!!! You will find this very soothing - kind of messy - but very soothing. I wish you had asked more questions of the doctor about your postcare, and that is why I tried to prep you. I would call their office back and ask them about what I am telling you, and also about icepacks. The bleeding is normal, and in a few days when it washes off you will see it was nothing, but it can look scary at first.
I believe I was given Lortabs for pain, but it was the Xanax that really helped during the recovery. The pain was really not that bad, and I could have done without the pain meds, which I only took the first day. The ice packs were what the doctor suggested, and they really feel good. Rinse your face with the vinegar/distilled water mix and reapply the Aquafor. When you rinse your face be very gentle and blot rather than scrub your face. Have plenty of towels handy as things can get pretty messy. You did notice I said distilled water. Really your recovery should be much easier than mine simply because I had the most intense Repair over my entire face, neck and eyes. You should breeze through this if you are prepared as I outlined.
FortunesHill, the mj has to do with the power or depth, and the % has to do with the coverage. 100% would be almost impossible as I see it. I may be wrong but that is how I have always taken it. Part of Repair is the tightening of the skin. In laymans terms Fraxel Repair ablates tiny columns in your skin, nature takes over and your skin closes these holes reducing or eliminating the scar and tightens the skin. 70mj equates to about 1.2 - 1.4 mm ablation depth. Realistically there is no need to go deeper than this except maybe in the case of burn scars. Collagen growth is stimulated, and continued improvement is seen over time. Most people require multiple treatments. I certainly would not have been satisfied with my initial 30% improvement, and that is why I continued on with Repair. No other treatment showed any improvement. I was sold on Repair because of 2 non-acne scars that dissappeared after my first Repair.
I hope your read the part about ice packs because you will find these very relieving, and also get everything you need ahead of time including food. Pineapple juice is supposed to help and you may want to look into Omega-3s. Mix your vinegar/water before the procedure. If you are prepared the recovery is annoying but easy.
Fortunes Hill - your percentage of improvement will be directly related to the MegaJoules of your Repair. I realized about 30% but I was also treated at 70mj-60%. As I said I experienced extreme swelling that lasted a couple of days. I thought I had made a huge mistake, but the swelling subsided at about day 5. You probably won't experience the swelling I did because I had my whole face, neck and eyes done. Because I had everything done it was easier to treat me at the high level because everything visible blended in. You can't use Aguafor as a moisturized for very long because it is like Vaseline. I said before that I used Cetaphil for moisturizer. Have everything ready prior to the Repair. I even got my pain meds ahead of time. You won't need pain meds for long, I just took them the first day, but I was given Xanax and that really helped relax me. In 2008 Repair was brand new, and they knocked me out for the procedure. By my 5th Repair they only used local anesthetic, and it stung a bit. Try to sleep elevated for at least a week, and also have several ice packs. I used full face ice masks from RealSelf.com
You just happened to catch the right guy because I don't post on here near as much as I used to. I tried dermabrasion with no results. I tried regular CO2 full face with no results. I tried the dermaroller with no results. I went to a plastic surgeon when Restore was introduced, and I was being set up for a series of treatments when the plastic surgeon came back into the room and told me Restore would not work. I was disappointed because of all the hype about Restore. About a year later Repair was introduced and I jumped on it, and I have never looked back. I am glad that I found Repair before all the negative people could influence me not to do it. I would still be sitting here miserable. REPAIR IS THE BEST THING I EVER DID!!! I joined this forum 2 weeks before my 1st Repair.
My scarring was severe enough to warrant Dermabrasion, Regular CO2 full face laser, and 5 Repairs. My self confidence has jumped so much because of Repair that I am the biggest advocate of Repair. My next step is plastic surgery for the effects of aging, and then possibly another Repair. I have to laugh because of one black lady at work who notices everything, and she keeps asking me if I have had Botox because she knew me before Repair. Repair works if done at high intensity, and multiple times. My last 2 full face Repairs only cost me $800 a piece. It was after my 2nd Repair that I noticed the greatest improvement so you may get by with 2. People do 1 at a low setting and then are not satisfied. Either go strong or stay home.