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Pearl Fractional Laser - My experience

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#1 kimberley88

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 10:24 PM

PRICE: $3,000 Australian

Ok so it has been exactly 10 days since I received the Pearl Laser (full face) and Pearl Fractional Laser (Half Face – two passes).
I hope this information of my experience helps anyone considering Pearl Laser and Pearl Fractional Laser by Cutera.
It is important to understand the difference between the two lasers.
Pearl Laser: The pearl laser is a non ablative laser; it treats fine lines on the face and neck, uneven skin texture and light & dark spots caused by sun damage.
Pearl Fractional: The Pearl Fractional procedure aggressively treats the signs of
photodamage in addition to a broad range of dermal imperfections.

I received a full face of the Pearl Laser and then half face (eyes down) of the Pearl Fractional Laser.

Before:
Please understand my acne scarring wasn't severe. However where they were on my cheeks made them extremely noticeable. I had a few pitted scars on my cheeks and around my chin, which gave the appearance of sort of bumpy skin in some areas.

When I met with my plastic surgeon he told me that I would see an improvement in my scarring however full results would be seen three months after.

OPERATION:
Saturday 18th July 2009.
    Before I received the laser, a nurse gave me a mild microdermibrasion to clean my skin and get rid of any dead skin cells.
      She then placed numbing cream all over my face and left me for about 20 mins, then she applied more and left me again. During this time I could feel my face becoming numb.
        I was then taken into the room where the laser was, the doctor then gave me four anaesthetic needles in my mouth, two in front of my top teeth and two in front of my bottom teeth (the needles did sting a little) for the nerves in my face, straight away I could feel my face starting to droop. I did not receive a needle for my forehead as I was only receiving the pearl laser there (which isn’t as aggressive as the fractional laser).[/indent]
        My Dr started on the forehead first with the pearl laser:
        The pain was bearable, moving over the cheeks around the eyes and jaw line I must admit did hurt quite a bit but still bearable. Once he had completed the full face it was now time for the Fractional Laser.
        PLEASE UNDERSTAND THE PEARL FRACTIONAL LASER IS NOT FOR THE LIGHT HEARTED!
        The pain was unbelievable, I had numbing cream on and had been given four anaesthetic needles however I could still feel it. My description would be it felt like pin sized shots of heat to your face 15 at a time. It hurt so much and your face gets extremely hot, luckily my doctor had a vacuum type cylinder that he held and blew cold air onto my face. Im not sure what a tattoo feels like but I can imagine the pearl fractional would feel like ten tattoo guns going at once in each section (and I had two passes of it – SEVER PAIN!)

        The whole procedure took around 45 minutes. Once the doctor had finished my face was burning, It felt like my head had been cooking in an oven, all I could do was hold the vacuum fan onto my face to try to cool it down.
        The nurse then applied a layer of Vaseline (petroleum jelly) over my face, and I finally looked in the mirror. My face was quite red and I had started to bleed in certain areas.

        After the procedure, my face eventually cooled down and stoped stinging and when I got home and that night I did around 4 vinegar soaks and reapplied the Vaseline after each. My face was red, bloody and oozing. I looked like someone out of a horror film! My face was also very swollen!

        Attached File  kim1.jpg   27.62K   4724 downloads
        This was taken that night by a friend. Very swollen and bleeding!

        Day 2: Still looked quite the same as last night, however by the afternoon most of the bleeding has stoped and I was left with a bright red face. Kept up the vinegar washes, I tried to do at least one every hour as this speeds up the healing process, you can never do enough!

        Attached File  kim.jpg   26.78K   4523 downloads
        Taken late afternoon of day 2. Still very swollen however most of the blood has gone.

        Day 3: Still much the same except all the blood had gone. Skin started to turn brownish in certain areas. Still keeping up the vinegar soaks!

        Day 4: The brown skin I realised was the skin that was ready to start peeling. Still keeping up the vinegar soaks!

        Day 5: Starting to peel a little and keeping up the vinegar washes.

        Day 6:
        Still peeling. Visited the nurse and she said everything was looking normal, still bright red however I would start on the recovery pack that night that I received from the Drs which included a face wash and other products for healing skin.

        Day 7: Still peeling and still red.

        Day 8:
        Majority of peeling gone, Wore make up for the first time (You are only recommended to use pure mineral makeup), I use youngblood mineral makeup, which is a pure mineral and was developed for people with sensitive skin due to acne, or burns etc etc. However because my skin is still very dry my make up didn’t look very good after awhile. However makeup covered the pinkness quite well!

        Day 9: Wore makeup again, my skin is still very dry and red and it just doesn’t sit on nicely but I need it to cover the redness.

        Day 10: Back at work, skins still dry and very like day 9.

        Over all I can see a little difference in my skin. My face was swollen up until around day 5ish and now the pinkness is eventually starting to fade I can see that some pigmentation issues I had look diminished. However my main problem was my scars, I have noticed a decrease in the pitted scars, they aren’t as noticeable, however not much of a difference, Im hoping this is due to the fact that it takes up to three months to see the final results as the collagen needs to rebuild. Fingers crossed it improves some more. I will keep you all posted though and add some more pictures.

        #2 zrbx

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        Posted 17 August 2009 - 08:52 PM

        how are you right now?
        biggrin.gif

        #3 kimberley88

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        Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:07 PM

        QUOTE (zrbx @ Aug 18 2009, 12:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
        how are you right now?
        biggrin.gif


        Right now im fine, it has been four weeks since my treatment. Im starting to notice the scars minimising more and my skin tone and texture looks great! can still see a slight pattern from the laser and a slight pinkness in my skin which is sure to fade eventually (already faded alot). Over all extremely happy with it so far, still two more months to go to see full results! I would definitely recommend it!

        #4 akelly34

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        Posted 22 August 2009 - 12:38 PM

        it is nice to hear that you got such great results. i just had the pearl fractional done last week. it has now been 9 days. i got this procedure done for mild acne scarring. I got 2 passes over my whole face and 3 passes in some areas. I do not see any results, although my scars are not as noticable. I am glad that your scars are improving every day, this still gives me hope. oh yeah, and thanks for posting your pictures...it gave me an idea about what to expect. you have really been an inspiration to me. keep me posted on your outcome

        #5 kimberley88

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        Posted 23 August 2009 - 10:21 PM

        QUOTE (akelly34 @ Aug 23 2009, 04:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
        it is nice to hear that you got such great results. i just had the pearl fractional done last week. it has now been 9 days. i got this procedure done for mild acne scarring. I got 2 passes over my whole face and 3 passes in some areas. I do not see any results, although my scars are not as noticable. I am glad that your scars are improving every day, this still gives me hope. oh yeah, and thanks for posting your pictures...it gave me an idea about what to expect. you have really been an inspiration to me. keep me posted on your outcome



        Three passes! Wow did that hurt? Did you find the procedure painful? Yeah my skin, has improved a little, not as much as I would have liked, but I knew that from the get go. They say for the best results you should get it done twice, Im considering it maybe later on, but it hurt so much I dont know if I could go through the pain again. Ill just have to wait for the next two months to see if I get more of an improvement. But the redness and dots from the laser have faded a fair bit. Where did you get yours done and how much did it cost?

        #6 akelly34

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        Posted 24 August 2009 - 07:29 PM

        QUOTE (kimberley88 @ Aug 23 2009, 11:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
        QUOTE (akelly34 @ Aug 23 2009, 04:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
        it is nice to hear that you got such great results. i just had the pearl fractional done last week. it has now been 9 days. i got this procedure done for mild acne scarring. I got 2 passes over my whole face and 3 passes in some areas. I do not see any results, although my scars are not as noticable. I am glad that your scars are improving every day, this still gives me hope. oh yeah, and thanks for posting your pictures...it gave me an idea about what to expect. you have really been an inspiration to me. keep me posted on your outcome



        Three passes! Wow did that hurt? Did you find the procedure painful? Yeah my skin, has improved a little, not as much as I would have liked, but I knew that from the get go. They say for the best results you should get it done twice, Im considering it maybe later on, but it hurt so much I dont know if I could go through the pain again. Ill just have to wait for the next two months to see if I get more of an improvement. But the redness and dots from the laser have faded a fair bit. Where did you get yours done and how much did it cost?


        Yeah i went into the procedure thinking that i could handle the pain...boy was i wrong it hurst worse than having kids with no pain meds. I am 26 and they said I would see amazing resuts, but right now, i am not to impressed. I bought a package of 2 treatments for 2000 dollars. I do not know if i will ever go get the second one done...lol. i just hope i start seeing some better results.

        #7 kimberley88

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        Posted 24 August 2009 - 08:00 PM

        QUOTE (akelly34 @ Aug 25 2009, 11:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
        Yeah i went into the procedure thinking that i could handle the pain...boy was i wrong it hurst worse than having kids with no pain meds. I am 26 and they said I would see amazing resuts, but right now, i am not to impressed. I bought a package of 2 treatments for 2000 dollars. I do not know if i will ever go get the second one done...lol. i just hope i start seeing some better results.



        Ouch sounds painfull, yeah dont expect to see results straight away! It takes 3 months for the collagen to rebuild, but you will start to notice small improvements eventually, it just takes time. And you should really do the second lot if you got a deal, It will definitely give you better results.
        Are you from Aus or US. $2000 is so cheap for two if thats australian! I paid Australian $3000 for only one.

        #8 akelly34

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        Posted 26 August 2009 - 04:41 AM

        I am from Indiana, so yeah I got a heck of a deal. i am gonna wait at least 6 months before i decide to do the other treatment (or not). i dont know if i can bear throgh the pain again. at least this time i will know what to expect. what types of things did they give you for the after care. I am using this stuff called epidermal repair, have you ever heard of it? it was like 70 dollars for a small tube. I was horrified the first time I looked in the mirror after my procedure and it took my children a little while to get used to the fact that i loooked like a monster. Hopefully i can gain enough strength and make myself go in for the second treatment...i am still debating.

        #9 kimberley88

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        Posted 26 August 2009 - 04:52 PM

        QUOTE (akelly34 @ Aug 26 2009, 08:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
        I am from Indiana, so yeah I got a heck of a deal. i am gonna wait at least 6 months before i decide to do the other treatment (or not). i dont know if i can bear throgh the pain again. at least this time i will know what to expect. what types of things did they give you for the after care. I am using this stuff called epidermal repair, have you ever heard of it? it was like 70 dollars for a small tube. I was horrified the first time I looked in the mirror after my procedure and it took my children a little while to get used to the fact that i loooked like a monster. Hopefully i can gain enough strength and make myself go in for the second treatment...i am still debating.


        Well for the first few days I had to keep petrolium jelly on it, not sure if you have that over in india, i think you would, and then after i think 5 days I started my post care products that my doctor actually gave to me as part of the whole price. I had to keep the petrolium jelly on my face the whole time for the first few days. Did you do the white vinegar soaks? Yeah I hated looking in the mirror because I was scared it would stay that way. But thank goodness it didnt. Let me know how your results go! smile.gif

        #10 akelly34

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        Posted 27 August 2009 - 07:27 AM

        i am from the US...lol. indiana is the state that i live in. yeah i had to keep vaseline all over my face for about 5 days. and the viniger soaks where crazy horrible. i quit doing them about 4 days ago. my face is not red anymore at all, but i still wear makeup. for the first week i got minor pimples...from the vaseline i think, did this happen to you. I am just happy that my face went back to normal. how long did it actually take for u to start seeing some results?

        #11 kimberley88

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        Posted 27 August 2009 - 04:40 PM

        QUOTE (akelly34 @ Aug 27 2009, 11:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
        i am from the US...lol. indiana is the state that i live in. yeah i had to keep vaseline all over my face for about 5 days. and the viniger soaks where crazy horrible. i quit doing them about 4 days ago. my face is not red anymore at all, but i still wear makeup. for the first week i got minor pimples...from the vaseline i think, did this happen to you. I am just happy that my face went back to normal. how long did it actually take for u to start seeing some results?

        haha sorry, I completely read that wrong. yeah im still wearing makeup at the moment because my skin has a slight pinkish colour to it. I got minor pimples as well and I think it was definitely from the vasaline clogging the pores. Well its been a month for me now and I can see minor results, nothing spectacular though but im hoping it improves more.. fingers crossed. I think I will get it done again though, I know the pain is horrible but because this laser isnt as severe as the YAG Erbium lasers it doesnt get the same promising results, but with those lasers your risk of scarring and side affects is higher. See what happens anyway. Your still pretty early in so you wont see results for a few weeks. smile.gif

        #12 akelly34

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        Posted 30 August 2009 - 07:07 AM

        sorry it took me so long to get back with ya. I have been really busy with school, work, and my kids. I have never heard of the yag laser. tell me a little about it. let me know if and when you get your next laser treatment done because I would like to keep in touch. how old are you? I was wondering because I heard that young people have better results from thhe pearl fractional.

        #13 kimberley88

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        Posted 30 August 2009 - 05:53 PM

        Im 21, I havent heard that though about getting better results when your younger. Yeah not sure when I will get it done again, its quite expensive $3000 australian dollars so will have to see if I want to actually spend that again ha. The erbium yag laser, from my understanding of reading about it, actually removes layers of the skin, whilst the pearl fractional sends heat down. Google it, but yeah its alot more expensive, I was told it would cost $6000 australian and then doctors fees and anesthetic fees aswell. I think the down time is also 2 weeks for it. Its like an operation too i think were you go into surgery, im not sure though.

        #14 Andrea D

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        Posted 18 October 2009 - 09:28 AM

        Hi all,

        I am about to embark on the Pearl Fractional this coming Wednesday...thank you for posting your info and pictures especially. Ooohh...looks a little painful. I am getting the Pearl for mild acne scarring and just for better skin texture (hopefully). I wish they had more pics on the recovery of each day. Keep me updated on your skin. Sounds like I will need to different laser treatments for optimal results...thanks.

        #15 kimberley88

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        Posted 18 October 2009 - 07:23 PM

        Hi Andrea,

        Good luck, yes it is pretty painfull, but bearable. Its fine after the operation but your face feels like youve had it in a oven, so if you have a fan keep your face to it haha. All in all it the results werent exactly what i was expecting, scars have minimalised a little, and my texture and skin tone is starting to improve, it takes awhile though so be prepared and know it takes a few months to see results. you might also freak out a little from the tiny dots on your face that look like pores but dont worry they eventually fade. Good luck and deffinitely let me know about your experience and the results you achieve.

        #16 MedusaGorgonia

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        Posted 24 October 2009 - 04:48 AM

        I have been having Laser Genesis treatments and thinking about having the Pearl Fractional on my cheeks.Do you think the results you got are worth the money and most importantly do you think it has made a difference to your skin?



        #17 Sarasota409

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        Posted 01 November 2009 - 10:24 PM

        Hi Everyone,

        I just had my second Pearl Laser and just wanted to know if my redness and rawness were normal. I am finding any post information in short supply. I had my first pearl done on the15th of October and went through the phases that I call the flash fried look, freeze dried look and the sloughing stage. I was very happy with my results. Oh I recommend that you take a Xanax or two prior to the procedure. It helps a lot from what my friends tell me. I was nervous about taking any meds. I did take one Xanax prior to my second Pearl treatment which was on the 29th. I wish I had taken more because it was quite painful the second time. I had my face, neck and chest done. I am very red this second time especially my neck and chest and was just wondering if this was normal. Also it is very sore, so I dread when I have to wash or put lotion on it even though it feels better after the pain subsides. I would think long and hard about doing my neck and chest again. I am hoping things will look better next weekend.

        #18 viettommy1

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        Posted 01 October 2010 - 04:02 AM

        hello, I was planning to do the pearl fractional, and I have pretty moderate level of acne scarring. Is there anyway you can post your before and after pictures so I can see to what extent my improvement can possibly be ? The dermatologist I'm about to go to is really confident that pearl fractional will help me significantly; she said I should see a 50-70%. I don't want to get my hopes up so I will aim for half of that.

        #19 nessie01

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        Posted 23 October 2010 - 12:21 AM

        Hey, how does the pearl laser compare to the C02 smartdot? I had that done about 8 wks ago now and I'm just curious to see if anyone knows the difference...BTW how's is recovery going kimberley?

        #20 Healing04

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        Posted 08 November 2010 - 04:43 PM

        Hi. I too just had three passes of the pearl fractional laser. I was wondering if you could tell me how it is now that it has been over a year snce you did this. Also, I was wondering if you could tell me how you made the vinegar soak. Was it just vinegar that you dabbed on your face? As of now I am just using some Hydra balm on my face and nothing else. Im on day 1 and honesty i'm a little scared of these next few weeksand what's going to happen.