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.