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Just Had Ablative Fraxel:repair And Ultrapulse Co2 With Photos

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#221 collegeboy84

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:32 PM

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.

#222 *Inspired*

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:37 PM

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.

#223 collegeboy84

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:07 PM

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, 20 November 2012 - 09:08 PM.


#224 *Inspired*

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:14 PM

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. :)

#225 blahblah82

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:14 AM

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, 21 November 2012 - 02:16 AM.


#226 *Inspired*

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:20 AM

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.


Interesting that worked for you. I may give it a try then but with my luck, I would mess it up. I'm clumsy. I've used spray tans just to look tan in LA, and I have yet to master the spraying technique. I always end up with darker streaks. Did you use a spray tan or a lotion? What brand did you use? The spray tans I've used have always lasted 2-3 weeks.

Edited by TokyoGirl, 21 November 2012 - 02:22 AM.


#227 FruitBiscuits

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:03 AM

Good luck college boy84! And thank you for your update! :)

#228 collegeboy84

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:13 PM

I didn't know you couldn't wipe off spray tans. LOL. I am glad you told me as I am sure I would have taken it too far. Anyways I think I am just going to tough it out and go with a weird red face to the holiday gatherings. I'll just tell people I had an allergic reaction to some acne medication.

#229 *Inspired*

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:08 PM

I didn't know you couldn't wipe off spray tans. LOL. I am glad you told me as I am sure I would have taken it too far. Anyways I think I am just going to tough it out and go with a weird red face to the holiday gatherings. I'll just tell people I had an allergic reaction to some acne medication.


Instead of a spray tan, you might want to consider a bronzer or bronzing self-tanner for the face & neck. It doesn't wash off either but depending on how frequently you exfoliate your skin, it fades in 2-5 days. Bronzing lotions, gels, liquids, etc. won't give you a drastic change in color but you can build on it if you want to make it darker. It's safer than trying to spray your face. Plus, they're made for the face and usually include a moisturizer. Some are non-comedogenic. If you do got that route, keep in mind that any tanning will take time to reveal itself. You need to give it hours to fully surface, so don't over do it! Follow the directions.

You and blahblah82 are making me nervous about having treatment before the holidays. Nevertheless, I booked my procedure for Dec. 4th and made my deposit today. No turning back now! I'm tired of waiting and will just stay hidden from most people if I look like a freak on Christmas & New Years.

Oh, if you do try something, please post about it and share your experience.

Edited by TokyoGirl, 21 November 2012 - 11:36 PM.


#230 austra

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 04:57 AM

You and blahblah82 are making me nervous about having treatment before the holidays. Nevertheless, I booked my procedure for Dec. 4th and made my deposit today. No turning back now! I'm tired of waiting and will just stay hidden from most people if I look like a freak on Christmas & New Years.

Oh, good luck with the treatment! :) I'm well excited for you. If I'm getting laser (I would like to, but I want to give myself some time to consider before rushing into treatments), I would be getting Total FX right before Christmas as well, since it's the only time I have time off from school. I haven't really thought about being red-faced in front of family members, but I'm sure it's worth it in the end. And I could never get away with spray tans with my fair skin, heh.

Thanks for keeping us up-to-date, Collegeboy! I find it fascinating how scars start to improve dramatically a couple of months after laser treatment.

#231 collegeboy84

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:28 AM

I guess your face is pretty red when you go to Thanksgiving dinner and your brother asks " what happened to your face? Is it permanent?" LOL. Even my 5 year old nephew asked if I "hurt my face". That made me realize that I better find some way of at least blending in the redness. So I did what any insane person would do... I bought a bronzer gel. L'Oreal Bronzer gel to be exact. Oddly enough I did several test spots on the underside of my wrist/arms where my skin is very pale and there was literally no noticeable change in color. I even tried applying several coats. Any suggestions? Looking at my photos from the last Ultrapulse/Repair (Ultrapulse under the eyes) I had done, it appeared the redness was rather visible til about day 60. Today is only day 28 and I appear to be on par with where I was last time.

Edited by collegeboy84, 25 November 2012 - 12:29 AM.


#232 *Inspired*

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:00 AM

Sorry to hear what happened at Thanksgiving dinner. Kids can say the funniest things. Siblings can be blunt.

Do you normally tan with ease? I tan pretty easily but not under my arms. If I'm red, it normally turns brown pretty quickly. If you don't tan easily, bronzers and tanning lotions may not work for you. Have you tried a test spot on your face? If it really bothers you, you can always try a concealer but you'll be walking around with makeup on your face.

Are you using hydroquinone, like last time?

#233 collegeboy84

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:36 PM

Oh Inspired... I didn't know you were Tokyogirl. Good luck on that treatment in 1 week! Ooooooooooo. As for the bronzing experiment... didn't work out so well. Makes my skin turn orangeish as opposed to my normal tanned skin color; the only good news is the fake-tan faded within 3 days or so. The redness from the CO2 laser and the orange-tone from the bronzer are just too far off. To answer your question about the Hydroquinone, I have been applying it religiously , while staying completely out of the sun (which is pretty easy to do since its been very rainy/cloudy the last month or so). I have also been applying Differin gel to speed up the cell turn-over rate. The treated area is getting just a hair lighter every day but still looks AWFULLY red whenever I exert any energy to the point that my face blushes. It gets especially red from bending over to tie my shoe, lifting weights, running, working ( I work in construction), blushing, getting too hot etc. I found the best thing to do to "blend" the redness is too just grow a beard. LOL. Hmmmm.... look like a bum.... or....... look like a burn victim...decisions, decisions.

Edit:
I have also been wearing a beanie when I can to hide the transition from redness to normal skin color at eyebrow level on the temples. I just take a beanie and pull the sides all the way down to my ears. That makes it look more like skin discoloration from the cool weather. Its hard to imagine that the treated areas varies in redness but it really does. I am like a living mood-ring. It also helps when I keep my temperature down. Just getting out of the shower, working outside when it is 30 degrees out and having the AC blasting really keeps my face at its minimum pinkness. I have even been going to work in a short sleeve shirt and shorts so that I stay cool all day. I go into a sauna at the gym every day since the treatment to assist in better blood-flow circulation to the skin and the extreme heat will make the treated area of my face turn DEEP , DARK red for a good 10-15 minutes after leaving; in other words, avoid the heat to disguise your red face!

Edited by collegeboy84, 28 November 2012 - 09:47 PM.


#234 jbird12

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:34 PM

I'm going through the same thing right now 2 weeks post Mixto so I feel your pain. The redness is a lot more obvious this time and while only one person at work asked if I got "too much sun" I can tell I've been getting some odd looks.

It sucks as a guy there is no easy way to conceal the redness...I wouldn't even try to pretend I can apply make-up to cover it up. I'd be called out on it in about 5 minutes.
The worst is some of my redness has faded and some is still very dark so I look very blotchy..almost like old acne redmarks.

#235 *Inspired*

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:23 PM

Hey Collegeboy!

Well, I did it yesterday. I have to say, Active FX is the MOST PAINFUL thing I've ever experienced. I took percocet and xanax one hour before the procedure. I was then given a demerol shot (good stuff - had me laughing) and about 6-8 Lidocaine shots in my face & mouth. I also had two layers of numbing cream applied, one before and one after the shots. Unlike last time, Deep FX was easy to tolerate, but Active FX was EXTREMELY painful!! I couldn't help but cuss while laughing through the whole procedure. I hope most people react that way. I kept bringing my knees up to stop my body from jerking.

Hope your hyperpigmentation is improving. I'll be dealing with that next. Luckily, I can get away with caking on foundation though.

#236 jakeshake

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:45 PM


Kinda of a random question, but do you feel like your scars are much worst whenever you look at them in a mirror in person than the ones you see after you uploaded a picture onto the inernet?


Definitely worse in person.

hope your skin is healing well..., it looks so painful...!


Thank you! The only pain I felt was the 20 minutes of them zapping me with the laser, but after that, I haven't felt any discomfort at all.

Here are photos post-op 48 hours. Face very red, very swollen, the photos don't do justice for how red my face really is. No bleeding but I do see some whiteheads forming from keeping the Aquaphor on my face 24-7. I have to do vinegar soaks every 2 hours (including the middle of the night) so that is by far the worse part about the last few days. Aside from that, just sitting at home watching movies. Posted Image


Please keep us updates on how your scars improved. Good for you for doing something to improve yourself.


Kinda of a random question, but do you feel like your scars are much worst whenever you look at them in a mirror in person than the ones you see after you uploaded a picture onto the inernet?


Definitely worse in person.

hope your skin is healing well..., it looks so painful...!


Thank you! The only pain I felt was the 20 minutes of them zapping me with the laser, but after that, I haven't felt any discomfort at all.

Here are photos post-op 48 hours. Face very red, very swollen, the photos don't do justice for how red my face really is. No bleeding but I do see some whiteheads forming from keeping the Aquaphor on my face 24-7. I have to do vinegar soaks every 2 hours (including the middle of the night) so that is by far the worse part about the last few days. Aside from that, just sitting at home watching movies. Posted Image


Please keep us updates on how your scars improved. Good for you for doing something to improve yourself.

#237 collegeboy84

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:06 PM

Hey Collegeboy!

Well, I did it yesterday. I have to say, Active FX is the MOST PAINFUL thing I've ever experienced. I took percocet and xanax one hour before the procedure. I was then given a demerol shot (good stuff - had me laughing) and about 6-8 Lidocaine shots in my face & mouth. I also had two layers of numbing cream applied, one before and one after the shots. Unlike last time, Deep FX was easy to tolerate, but Active FX was EXTREMELY painful!! I couldn't help but cuss while laughing through the whole procedure. I hope most people react that way. I kept bringing my knees up to stop my body from jerking.

Hope your hyperpigmentation is improving. I'll be dealing with that next. Luckily, I can get away with caking on foundation though.


Hey Tokyogirl I am glad things went well for you! I would have paid to see you reaction to the ActiveFX laser as it seems you had one hell of a ride. LOL. My hyperpigmentation barely seemed to change at all the first 4 weeks as it was VERY red. By the middle of week 5 my face started to significantly lighten, although it is still pretty pink. I wish you the best of luck and I hope you have great results. I have been contemplating on whether I should stick with my same doctor for another repair (at a higher coverage than the first one) or switch to another doctor that is about 75 miles from here who offers DeepFX. If the DeepFX is that much better I may opt for it, depending on the price, but I know I can get a repair for 1200 by a doctor who knows my skin very well by this point. Decisions, Decisions. I will never have another 100% Ablative CO2 again as the recovery time was terrible... though I did notice an improvement for sure. Good luck on your treatment and keep me posted!

#238 eric555

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:50 AM

Hi,you will choose another repair?!So the results and improvements of repair and Ablative CO2 are not satisfied?did the lasers cause bad texture to the skin?


#239 collegeboy84

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:36 PM

Hi,you will choose another repair?!So the results and improvements of repair and Ablative CO2 are not satisfied?did the lasers cause bad texture to the skin?


No the lasers did not cause bad texture to the skin; in fact, it got much better. Am I satisfied with the treatment? Sure. I am satisfied with my skin? No. Yes I will have another treatment done to take care of my remaining scars. I will avoid having another 100% Ablative CO2 is the down-time and recovery was very lengthy. Nearly 6 weeks since my treatment and my face is still pink, especially when I blush. This pinkness is a lot more apparent compared to fractional CO2 lasers.

Edited by collegeboy84, 07 December 2012 - 11:37 PM.


#240 austra

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:00 PM

How is it going, collegeboy?




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