You look great, and I still wish I had your abs. LOL Progress will sneak up on you after the initial decline. I didn't initially think I made much progress after my 5th Re:pair after the swelling went down, and then 6 months later I noticed the improvement. This really is a process that it pays to stick with. Too many people get treated at too low a mj and are dissatisfied and quit before they realize the real power of the laser.
I can definitely see why you say Fraxel:Repair is not a one and done treatment. Considering how much I was bleeding, I really did not have much skin ablated off at all to be honest. So most of my scar improvement has to come from collagen production over time as you say. This is a bit mind boggling to me because I thought all fractional CO2 lasers remove quite a bit of skin.
My doctor also mentioned she used a 100% ablated NON-fractional Co2 laser under my eyes called the Ultrapulse, which is one of the only "smooth beam" traditional Co2 lasers still on the market. This would explain why my skin literally fell off in a thick huge chunk after a day or 2. She said she may have to use the Ultrapulse again on my scars to get a better result, as my skin healed from that Fully ablated Co2 rather quickly. I would even argue my skin healed faster under the eyes then where they did the Fraxel:Repair. My skin is very streaky reddish where they did the repair but under the eyes the skin is more pinkish and natural looking where they used the Ultrapulse.
I have been back to work for almost 3 days now and my skin is obviously very red, I may even say it is begininng to hyperpigment on the cheeks as it appears to be slightly more brownish then red, but it is hard to say as my skin is about 10 different colors right now. The funny thing is, NOBODY has commented on my skin at all. I have walked into many home owners houses (as I work in construction, as a on-call repair man) , face red and streaky as can be, not 1 comment. My coworkers ( whom by the way are REAL, total assholes, and would not hesitate to laugh at me if they knew I had a laser treatment) haven't made so much as a peak either. It is a bit mind boggling to me. Not so much as a , " HEY DUDE YOU LOOK LIKE YOU REALLY GOT SUNBURNED unevenly" or anything.
I can definitely see why so many people make complaints about CO2 fractionated lasers for a few reasons. Your skin looks so smooth and scar-free after the laser treatment (due to swelling), that once the swelling goes down, you get this idea in your head that your skin not only did not improve, but got worse. Another would be the how streaky, red, pink, brownish, uneven pigment , discolored your skin looks, it makes your skin look really.... bad. It really makes it appear like you have wrinkles and terrible skin all over your face, but it is just the odd coloring. I also see a slightly noticeable line of decarnation where they used the fully CO2 ablated laser under my eyes. Actually, I can only see one line, under the eye, under perfect light. I would imagine because I don't see it anywhere else it will fade as my skin comes back, but I will definitely ask my doc on the next post-op ( in 3 days).
As much as I would like to comment on the results, I will hold off until my skin color returns to normal and as the collagen -hopefully- gets produced as I continue to "heal". I'll post photos later but I don't see a point now. My red face does not really show up too well on the photos and I don't think there will be any noticeable improvements as of yet.
I have a real hard time believing in "collagen production" over time from lasers in regards to how it will improve scars like mine (shallow boxcar and maybe a few icepick scars) but I will continue being optimistic. I have read several studies from Pubmed.gov that show many people have only "marked" improvement after month 1 but by month 3 they showed "significant" improvement in photos, so who knows.
Dudley what time of scars did you have?
Edited by collegeboy84, 06 June 2012 - 09:08 PM.