collegeboy84

Just Had Ablative Fraxel:repair And Ultrapulse Co2 With Photos

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Did she do three passes at 100% ablation? I thought she was only comfortable doing one pass. Can you see your scars at this point? Are worried, at all?

Good luck with healing!

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Did she do three passes at 100% ablation? I thought she was only comfortable doing one pass. Can you see your scars at this point? Are worried, at all?

Good luck with healing!

I honestly don't know. I was pretty high off morphine when I left the place. Tomorrow I will have my first post-op check up to get more details. She said 3 "passes" but she may have been talking about 3 different depths.

I'd like to note that this recovery has been a lot different then my last experience. Honestly with the Repair my skin seemed some what "normal" by day 3. A little sensitive, very discolored and swollen but the skin looked "normal".

This time around, my skin is peeling like CRAZY! My skin peeled at the doctors office. Then by 36 hours my skin peeled again. At this point I could not see any scars; needless to say I was pretty excited. My skin was very pink and smooth under the dead skin. Yesterday afternoon my skin started to develop this transparent layer of skin over the pinkness. Originally I thought this layer was new skin and was kind of sad to see some scars. But today (72 hours since treatment) it appears that transparent layer is not my new skin but ANOTHER dead layer of skin coming up. But this layer is peeling up much slower then the first two. I really don't even want to assist the peeling in any way so I just continue to do vinegar soaks. Its hard to judge the results because the bottom of scar itself (the deepest scar I have) seems to be in the same spot, but all the skin around it continues to peel up.

Am I worried? Yes. Always worried when my skin looks like a burn victim. LOL. Though it helps that I have had this Ultrapulse treatment done once already (under the eyes). The skin looked exactly the same at this time. Skin peeled once or twice, became very very pink, then by day 6ish you could just see the pinkness being replaced by fresh whitish skin. It feels that my skin is peeling more this time on my cheeks but it is hard to say as I am washing over a large area and all the skin is not peeling up at the same time. The areas she did at low depth to blend in the area do not seem to be peeling anymore.

In the end, I would gladly suffer 6 months with a pink face if it means big improvements. I guess I am more worried about results then anything else. Sorry, I am pretty clueless at this point. LOL. My skin seems to have a mind of its own and I am just along for the ride. I'll give more details when I can.

I also figured out a few better ways to do soaks.

1. Dry the face completely before applying Aquaphor. They say to apply Aquaphor while still having some vinegar wash droplets on the face but this prevents the Aquaphor from staying on the face for more then 30 minutes. After awhile the Aquaphor starts to slide and clump up in certain areas while leaving skin unprotected in others. I think this layer of Aquaphor is much more important during a 100% ablative treatment vs the repair. I was able to remove Aquaphor by day 4 and switch to moisturizer but there is no way that will happen this time.

2. I fill the sink with warm water and mix in quite a bit of white vinegar. I then just dunk my entire head in the sink. This really moisturizes the dead skin to the point where it just wants to slough off. I also have a spray bottle that I mix with vinegar and water (higher vinegar content then the sink). More vinegar the better! Really burns at times but you can feel it exfoliate off the dead skin. This is so much better then using a bowl of water and a baby-rag.

Edited by collegeboy84

My 3 co2 laser fraxel:repair journal w/ photos-

Good read-

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/107.full


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Please be very careful about being out in the sun after you've recovered from this. Although it is a no-brainer, but your skin must be so fragile after such an invasive treatment. It would be wise to be as careful as you possibly can. Anyway, good luck with the healing and I'm very excited to hear about your results. :) And thank you so much for keeping this thread, it's a great source of information for someone considering lasers.

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Hey I was just checking in on you to see how you are healing and wish you lots of luck! I am now 12 days post repair and doing well. The only issue I still have from time to time is dryness and the small white flakes associated with it. Also my coloring still looks a bit "off" as the pink contrasts against the untreated areas under my eyes and around my neck. (My physician came down a bit lower than the jawline) For the most part I can cover the areas with a heavy concealer mixed with vitamin E cream.

I also wanted to tell you about a little score that fell into my hands because it has been pretty helpful. My physician includes a series of "omnilux" light treatments with her fraxel repair pkg. Since it was not feasible for me to make the drive into the city every few days, I was given one of these smaller handheld devices to use a home. Ha! I was like umm yea okay thanks for the gizmo...? It's funny because I was crazy skeptical and would have never expected this little gadget to do so much good. My thinking...come on, its a fancy flashlight! But its really very cool! According to my doctor, it uses infared and red LED lights to enhance healing and collagen production as well as reduce irritation, pain, swelling and redness. Its crazy because it has made a difference in my skin. I was fire engine RED when I did my 7 day post op visit. Because of this, she had me undergo a 20 min red light treatmet in her office that day. (Previously I did 2 in office treaments pre + post laser and a 3 day post infared at home) By the time I made it home I could see a dramatic improvement in the color and it was almost like I could feel "heat?" draining from my skin. Since then I have used the light treatments at home more frequently and it has def. offered a great deal of relief as my skin still felt very irritated. When I was in the first few healing days I had several nasty whiteheads pop up and after using the infared setting on day 3 they dissapeared in a few hours. Though I didnt know it at the time, I do belive the light helped boost this healing. I have since treated other random blemishes with the light and have acheived the same result... (I still think its weird though lol) I researched this little light and found the red setting has been used oftenly used to treat acne itself so I think it will come in handy for the future if I begin experiencing breakouts again. I have seen interesting before and afters of people who use this product over 6 months to enhance collagen production (wrinkles and such, not acne scars and not from post laser resurfacing). The" results", IF they are real, have def. peaked my curiosity. I was crazy skeptical of the whole theory until I saw it truely do something for myself in terms of soothing, redness and whiteheads. I will continue to use it over the next several months because WTH, you never know right! Anyway I just thought I would share this with you as I find it interesting. The model I have is the Omnilux New U. I hope the majority of this post has made sense as I am really sleepy right now. Good Luck I hope you get amazing results!

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Hey Lindsey, glad to hear your still having great results. I did not know they made portable versions of the LED lighting. Good to know!


My 3 co2 laser fraxel:repair journal w/ photos-

Good read-

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/107.full


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I will post some pics tomorrow but I will give a quick update now @ day 4. Skin keeps on peeling and peeling and peeling. I swear the deeper areas have peeled 4-5 times by now. The skin color overall is a very faint pink at this point; I could actually pass it off as a mild sunburn if it wasn't for the constant peeling. At this point it is hard to judge any results as the areas still peeling like crazy. But... there are a few areas that appears have stopped peeling and the skin looks incredibly smooth thus far. Scars in those specific areas appear to be 100% gone. As for my deeper scars... I will have to wait and see. Also it seems my pores are gone too LOL. Skin is soooo smooth in the areas that are void of peeling and dead skin.

It is a bit early to make a definitive statement but I would say that this 100% Ablative Ultrapulse is a vast improvement over the Fraxel:Repair that I had 6 months ago in regards to my specific type of scarring. Day 4 after the repair my skin looked almost unchanged (though I did see scars fill in weeks later). With the Ultrapulse you can see almost immediate results.

Here is a photo from yesterday. My skin is less pink today but the peeling continues.

post-158109-0-43093700-1351746255_thumb.


My 3 co2 laser fraxel:repair journal w/ photos-

Good read-

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/107.full


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Hey had you been on accutane before treatment?

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Is MAX FX just Active FX with total abaltion? If so, can one get a DEEP FX with MAX FX for resurfacing and collagen production or would that be too much?

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Hey had you been on accutane before treatment?

Nope. Though the paperwork I signed before the procedure states that accutane users can have adverse effects from this laser if done within the last 6 months.

Is MAX FX just Active FX with total abaltion? If so, can one get a DEEP FX with MAX FX for resurfacing and collagen production or would that be too much?

Supposedly MaxFX is 100% ablation version of ActiveFX (which is basically the same as the old CO2lasers). However, the depth of MaxFX can be adjusted and several passes can be made as she did on my skin. I often wondered if DeepFX can be combined with MaxFX. If your skin can handle the MaxFX without adverse effects one probably could combine the two. The more aggressive the procedure, longer the down time. Bigger risk and a bigger reward.

I just wanted to note that the areas I briefly described that stopped peeling and looked smooth in fact have NOT stopped peeling. I woke up this morning and to my surprise another layer is starting to peel off. This is a bit annoying as I need to head back to work and school starting Monday. I definitely will not mind going to school/work with a peeling face if it means seeing big improvements. Only time will tell! Post photo later.


My 3 co2 laser fraxel:repair journal w/ photos-

Good read-

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/107.full


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Awesome. It sounds like it went really well. Gosh, 100% gone, you say. What type of scars were they previously that are now gone, boxcar or those tiny ice pick scars you mentioned in your previous posts?

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hi,brother,i am a Chinese guy.i spent several hours to read all ur stories.it is amazing you showed us,but one of my friends who had the repair 7 months ago (aslo for acne scars)said that the laser burnt tracks like the holes.Did u experience those holes?According to my plan,i will go and do the repair in one or two months ,but it scared me.

And i also want to know that is the ice pick and shallow scars after the repair invisible?of course ,i know,the scar skin can·t be healed to the perfect condition. Could u post some photoes of ur skin like the first page for us ?Thanks!

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Awesome. It sounds like it went really well. Gosh, 100% gone, you say. What type of scars were they previously that are now gone, boxcar or those tiny ice pick scars you mentioned in your previous posts?

100% gone in the areas that had stopped peeling. Those scars and irregular textures seemed to have really smoothed out. The areas that had deeper scarring are still peeling pretty bad so I can't really say. I think I can still see my deepest scar (a once wide deep boxcar scar)... at this point it actually looks like it went from 1 big square scar to two circular shaped scars. I'd be happy if stayed at that size but I will reserve my judgement for a later date. As I said before my skin is still peeling up in those areas and I am sure there is some micro-swelling. Only time will tell!

how bad was your acne if u dont mind me asking?

Wasn't bad at all. I mentioned in an earlier post that these scars I have are unrelated to acne. Regardless of that fact, I did still have icepick and boxcar scars.

hi,brother,i am a Chinese guy.i spent several hours to read all ur stories.it is amazing you showed us,but one of my friends who had the repair 7 months ago (aslo for acne scars)said that the laser burnt tracks like the holes.Did u experience those holes?According to my plan,i will go and do the repair in one or two months ,but it scared me.

And i also want to know that is the ice pick and shallow scars after the repair invisible?of course ,i know,the scar skin can·t be healed to the perfect condition. Could u post some photoes of ur skin like the first page for us ?Thanks!

*** referring to my repair treatment from 6 months ago

Ya I did notice track marks that were visible from about day 5 to day 30. They faded a bit more with each passing day. Technically I could argue that I seen the "track marks" for like 3 months but nobody would notice it but me. These track marks was really just darker, redder areas then the rest of my skin, wasn't texture related. I also worked out in the sun and swam every day, I am sure that did not help my cause.

No the icepick and boxcar scars were not invisible after the first treatment. Some boxcar scars, primarily a deep 1 on my cheek near the nose filled in about 90%. One that I had between my eyebrows filled in all the way. Others on my cheek seemed to barely fill in at all. I believe the varying results was from inconsistent overlapping and speeds with the rolling-handheld piece with the Repair. If I ever decide on having another "deep" treatment like Repair I would probably opt for the DeepFX as the device is more accurate in my opinion. Also she did the repair treatment on a very casual setting. She was pretty aggressive this time around.

And yes I will post pics closer to my face once my skin stops peeling.

Edited by collegeboy84

My 3 co2 laser fraxel:repair journal w/ photos-

Good read-

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/107.full


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Really looking forward to your 30-day, 60-day and 90-day updates! :) Thanks for sharing your experience & so much detail with us.

I wish my skin was slightly lighter. If so, I would consider an aggressive treatment at 100% ablation too.

Hope your skin stops peeling soon!

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And i also want to know did the doctor tell you how long the effect of repair can maintain?forever,or just a few years?

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Sorry all! Been sooo busy with work and school projects. It has been a long 10 days since the treatment. The peeling I thought had stopped a few days ago. but as it turns out I am still peeling all over, even in the shallowest areas. More like flaking or shedding at this point as its not so obvious as it was before. Returning to work I wondered if anybody would comment on my "sun burnt" appearance (seeing as how its November), but to my surprise nobody said anything.

The results thus far are a little underwhelming to where I thought I was last time I posted. Some scars reappeared and I should have known that as it happens after every laser procedure. My two biggest scars definitely appear smaller and some small ice picks that I had are gone all to gather which is great. The swelling has reduced to its base point. Although many claim that there is still some "micro-swelling", no swelling that would hide my scars; what I see is what I get.

Again, it is really hard to judge at this point as my skin still looks likes its healing and the deeper treated areas still looks like their is some soft tissue laying at the surface aside from the obvious peeling. More so, my skin is pretty pink, shiny and irritated looking which seems to make my skin appear worse then it is. And much like the repair I had 6 months ago, there will most likely be an improvement over the next few months. Keep ya guys posted as always!

*Oh ya, I'd like to point out that the recovery from the Ultrapulse is a bit more exhausting than the repair. I was able to shave with an electric foil razor by day 4 with the repair. 10 days out I still don't feel like I can safely shave after the Ultrapulse. My skin is definitely more irritated, dry and shiny right now then it was with the repair. And I had to wear Aquaphor for 10 days vs the 4 days from my repair.

Edited by collegeboy84

My 3 co2 laser fraxel:repair journal w/ photos-

Good read-

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/107.full


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How are you doing Collegeboy? Have you stopped peeling?

Hey Tokyogirl. Well, as the days progressed my face went from being light pinkish to an obvious reddish color. In other words,I got some pretty significant Hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation to the point where anybody I know would ask me what happened. I even had a cashier ask me if I had an allergic reaction to something. LOL. I have been applying Differin and Hydroquinone 4% pretty steadily which has helped a lot... or possibly it was just the time that had helped a lot but my hyperpigmentation is fading each and every day. At this point, Day 25ish... my skin still looks... umm.... pink. I'll post a photo later so you can see for yourself. Honestly the color wouldn't look so obvious if I did the entire cheek as it would look like a sunburn; because half the cheek is pink it looks very suspicious. Areas where the doctor did not go as deep had already healed back to natural skin color which makes it look more obvious as you can almost see patterns on the cheek. I honestly expected hyperpigmentation from this laser and don't really mind it if I see results, which brings me to my next point.

As for results... things have definitely improved. Still not an immediate miracle cure but definitely worth the pain and suffering. I noticed a more immediate improvement in just over-all texture of my skin within 10-15 days. My rough texture never really came up in photos as it can really only be seen under the sun light from certain angles but I definitely notice a difference. Within that same time frame some scars got much smaller, some seemed to barely have improved and some disappeared all together.

Just today I noticed that my bigger boxcar scars are starting too fill-in. I find it so fascinating how some scars show almost no improvement in the first few weeks then 30 days later they start to change shape before your eyes and a relatively quick pace. I had a very similar experience with the Repair; one of my bigger scars, a boxcar scar near my nose (on the cheek) went from being up-front, obvious and ugly to barely noticeable from about day 20 to day 60. By the time 6 months was up and ready for my next treatment there was a 90% improvement in a rather wide scar. That scar has completely been erased thanks to this second treatment. I am curious to see what type of progressive results I will see from this 100% ablative CO2 laser as the residual-heat was much more aggressive then with the Repair. According to some studies I have read, it is this residual heat which makes your face red for an extended period of time. Comparing this redness from the Repairs redness goes to show how much more heat was absorbed this time around.

If there is one thing I learned about lasers is not judging results too soon. The initial results ( day 3-7) are always unbelievable. The face is incredibly swollen and scars just look invisible. By day 7-15 all the scars come back and it becomes almost depressing to look in the mirror. You actually start to feel like you wasted a ton of money. But as the weeks pass you start to see an almost day-to-day improvement. You always hear doctors sell this "stimulate's collagen for 6-12 months" hype as it just sounds like a bunch of B.S. but seems to be true, at least from my experience.

If I could go back in time I would probably have opted for the entire cheek for sake of an even redness, then I could at least play it off as a sunburn. The redness would probably not be quite as bad for those who can wear make up. I still think I will need another treatment to get rid of the the remainder of scars ( as I am seeking perfection) but I don't think I will do another 100% ablative CO2. The healing was pretty rough for somebody that can only take 1 week off from school and work. Two weeks out I was still peeling really bad. And 1 month out I am still pretty red.

I see myself every day so it is hard to really notice results but something kind of interesting happened the other day. I walked into the barber shop that I stopped going to nearly a year ago, (before I had the Repair or the Ultrapulse laser) and I immediately became the focus of discussion among the barbers. I did not understand what they were saying as they were talking in another language but I knew they were talking about me. Finally a few of them spoke up in English commenting on how I look younger and asked what I did. One even asked if I got a facial. LOL. When she asked that I was thinking in my head, " you have no idea the pain I put myself through". I am not sure why it would appear that I am younger as I didn't really have any wrinkles to begin with but I will gladly accept the comment.


My 3 co2 laser fraxel:repair journal w/ photos-

Good read-

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/107.full


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Thanks for the update. I'm planning to follow in your footsteps in about two weeks with full-face Total FX this time, so that I end up with even pigment across my face. I know the doctor is planning to do close to 100% ablation with multiple Active FX passes on my scars and a lower Active FX density on my healthy skin. Reading your post though, I'm wondering if I should wait until after the holidays. Based on your experience, it sounds like I may still end up with a strange pattern on my face despite going with full-face resurfacing. I don't want a red face or blotchy skin on Christmas and New Years. I also think I would get awfully stressed out if I was still peeling a week before Christmas.

We both share the experience with collagen formation months after laser treatment. I don't think it's a bunch of BS. Although I do think there's a peak and a bit of loss after 9 months. At least, I think I've lost a little improvement from my Deep FX treatment, but it's not significant. Then again, it could just be a figment of my imagination. Without looking at older pictures, it's easy to forget how far I've come. I wish I had better detailed shots though.

There are definitely additional benefits, like youthful looking skin, after getting treatment. I love the fact that I still get carded when buying liquor. My friends hate it, but at my age, I can only be flattered.

It's good to hear you're seeing some improvement already. It took time for me to notice improvement from Deep FX. I was definitely disappointed after a month. I'm sure things will only look better for you from here. Hopefully, you won't feel the need for another treatment in a few more months.

Looking forward to your future updates.

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Reading your post though, I'm wondering if I should wait until after the holidays. Based on your experience, it sounds like I may still end up with a strange pattern on my face despite going with full-face resurfacing. I don't want a red face or blotchy skin on Christmas and New Years.

This may sound weird but I was actually thinking of getting some fake-tan spray and spraying it in over the patterns in the middle of my red cheeks that had already healed back to normal skin color for Thanksgiving. My left cheek, though red, looks normal because it is all solid reddish. It looks like I have a rosey cheek from the cool winter weather. It is my right cheek that had healed slightly faster in certain areas which looks weird and patterned. Unfortunately now that it is winter time and I have lost most of my tan my skin is very pale in comparison.

I should also note that where the Ultrapulse was performed on my skin under the eyes the first time 6 months ago has healed incredibly fast this second time around. Maybe you would remember but I had a looooong lingering redness under the eyes the first time I did the Ultrapulse and this time it healed in about 3 weeks (compared to 3 months). Kind of interesting. I wonder if the skin heals quicker with each procedure performed as some type of adapting mechanism much like a callus or a broken bone. My doctor also mentioned that patients who use Differin or Retin-A pre-laser tend to heal faster as the skin cell turn-over is higher than normal skin( I have been on Differin to control acne for years).

I definitely would not blame you if you decided to wait until after the holidays. The last bit of peeling was actually kind of an ugly procedure as my skin started to dry and become very odd-textured like. It actually looked like... a high% of Salycylic acid was put on the skin and took a 3-4 days to come up. You know that really ugly, dry, dead, leathery look? That's what it looked like on day 11-13.

Good luck!

Edited by collegeboy84

My 3 co2 laser fraxel:repair journal w/ photos-

Good read-

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/107.full


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Tan spray? Get something that you can wash off in case it goes wrong. I wouldn't do it if I were you. You can always try concealer. Not very manly but it will help. ;) I hear Dermablend works well for guys.

I've read healing from laser treatment gets easier each time. The first treatment is suppose to be the most difficult. I also understand using a topical like Retin-a pre-treatment is important. Not only does it help the surface of your skin heal faster, but it boosts collagen production and helps the laser penetrate deeper. I'm currently using Retin-a and Hydroquinone to prep for mine. I just can't decide on a date.

Dry, leathery skin for the holidays? I'm questioning my sanity but then again, it's only one year. Perhaps, I'll just hide at home this year. I really want to get this over with it. Tired of waiting.

Thanks for the luck. Best of luck to you as well. :)

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OMG lol.... I just did the fake tan in bottle and it worked quite well.... I "tanned" my entire face and neck, and feathered into the areas on my cheeks where the laser was used. I was careful not to tan the lasered areas because the self tanner would have intensified the dark patches of hyperpigmentation.

And the tan color goes away after a few days as your skin sloughs off, so it's not a big commitment if it looks funny.

Edited by blahblah82

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