35 days out and really happy with the results thus far. I was originally planning on waiting 12 months til the next laser treatment as it is a bit difficult to squeeze a Repair in the Fall/Winter (like I did last year) because of School/work. However, with the results being better than I anticipated I may just take a week off from school in the middle of the semester to get it done. I don't mind the redness so much in the summer because it looks like a sunburn but in the winter it is a bit more awkward. Either way, if it means significant improvements I am willing to bite the bullet.
Everybody knows their own scars very well; how they look, where they are, appearance in specific lighting etc. There is no doubt that several of my scars have shrunk considerably.
- I had this weird, small, dent-like scar near my left eye, which I received from getting a fingernail to the face a few years ago. This scar is nearly gone at this point.
- I also had this very, very shallow box-car scar on my right temple that has faded quite a bit.
- My biggest scar, that dreaded, deep, box-car scar on my left cheek also has shrunk. It was initially so big that it still looks deep to the untrained eye but I know it shrunk a bit. I look in the mirror and expect to see the scar the way it looked for the last 6 months and I am happy to see that it looks less noticeable.
- More or less my skin improved in every way. My mini-icepicks or scarred pores have even diminished in size.
Don't get me wrong, my skin still needs more treatments. It is just satisfying to see an improvement in every scar, even if its it only a 15% improvement. It really takes the wind out of your sails if you have your face blasted off and see NO improvements. This would suggest that your permanently stuck with your scars but fortunately this is not the case.
One thing that I think many people under estimate is diet's role after a laser treatment. I have spent many years lifting weights and cardio and realized rather quickly that your body CAN NOT build muscle with out two important things.
1. Calorie surplus. This means to eat more calories than your Basal Metabolic Rate. In other words, more calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight. You can find out your BMR by using calculators, or a more accurate way, wear a heart rate monitor for a few days. Your body can RARELY manufacture more muscle mass when your on a calorie deficit. I believe the same works for ideal skin healing conditions. I am not saying to feast every night after a laser treatment, though I did for the first few weeks, but don't go on a really aggressive diet while you are still healing.
2. Quality of diet. You also can't gain muscle when your body is lacking in proteins, glycogen and healthy fats. Typical weight trainers eat about 1.5 times their lean body mass in grams of protein. I feel that quality of diet is an important factor in ideal conditions for collagen production weeks after a Repair too. I have been digesting a consistent amount of berries, cauliflower each day for the Vitamin C. Extra-virgin Olive oil or a handful of nuts for the healthy fats. Cereals fortified with 100% DV of iron (which is one of the highest nutrition deficiencies in the US) as it increases blood-flow to the skin and hair. And last but not least. tons of protein. I found that using the myfitnesspal app works great for making sure you are hitting all the nutrient benchmarks- not just for your skin healing but for life in general.
Keep in mind that supplements are not as beneficial as eating food itself for many vitamins/mineral/amino-acids. Also, your body can only absorb so much at once. This means eating a few berries in the morning, mid-day and evening will give your body the best chances of staying Vitamin-C rich as opposed to taking 1 1000 mg vitamin-C pill before bed.
Took a few photos which I will upload from my phone this afternoon. Redness is still apparent, well, it is more of a tannish color than an abrupt red. Nothing too abnormal looking for the hot summer Californian weather.
Oh and 1 more thing. "Feathering out" or blending to hide the redness isn't worth it for the repair. She did 5 passes on the scarred areas (high cheeks) and just 1 pass on the jaw area where there is no scarring. The redness dissipated within a week on the area done with 1 pass. In my opinion, it is not worth keeping this area protected with the Aquaphor during the healing process for a blending area that will disappear so quickly. No need to laser good skin as the Aquaphor can cause breakouts that may result in more scarring, though unlikely.