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My Total Fx Diary - Procedure Scheduled For 12/04/12 - Updates To Follow

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Oh that's good that he recommended it! Don't worry what people think - usually they are too busy thinking about themselves to think about you for very long. It will all be worth it in the end. Did the doctor say how long you can expect the hyperpigmentation to last? It really doesn't look so bad in the pics - just like a peeling sunburn or something. Does your family know you had the laser done? Hopefully they will be supportive:)

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Hey Inspired, congrats on the treatment! Your results look awesome so far! surprised.gif I'm sure they'll just continue to get better.

I hate to get technical, but you mentioned you're hoping for plumping on your remaining scars. Is that to say some of the shallower ones have disappeared?

Many people say that their shallower scars are erased and then some also say that every scar remains but doesn't look as bad.

Just wondering! Don't want to get my hopes up too high when I start treatments.

I sure hope my results continue to improve, and appreciate your comment! Thank you

At the moment, I can barely see my large pores in some areas, as well as some of my shallow scars. However, it's too soon to judge results. It's only been 8 days. My skin still has micro-swelling. It's probably going to be a few more weeks before my skin settles and starts to show actual improvement. Based on my prior experience, I know it can take up to 3 months before my final results start to surface. Unfortunately, collagen really does take time to remodel/rebuild.

Every doctor has told me that I can only expect improvement, and my skin will never be smooth because my scars can't be erased. I did previously have some scars improve to a point that they no longer bother me, but they're definitely not erased. Those scars were treated again this time, so it will be interesting to see what happens with them. If I ever have a boxcar or ice pick vanish, I'll be sure to post about it! smile.png

@CollegeBoy & FruitBiscuits,

I will definitely be living like a vampire over the next couple weeks, and wearing good sunblock. I made the mistake of going out last night though. The sun was completely down. I didn't realize my skin would be sensitive to fresh air (well, as fresh as the air gets in Los Angeles). When I came home, I noticed my cheeks were bright pink where the laser hit the hardest. Unfortunately, as of this morning, they are still bright pink with a square pattern over just my cheeks. You can see the square pattern in my photos but it's a bit worse now. I'm not too sure what to make of this, but I regret leaving my house, at all. sad.png I don't think I'll leave again until my post-op appointment on Friday.

CollegeBoy, Was your skin extremely sensitive to just about everything?

My skin really has only been sensitive the first 10 days or so. I actually started applying differin gel and hydroquinone by week two with no side-effects.


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 had just gotten this procedure done on the 18th and right now my skin is very pink, but looking so good. I can't really even see the scars but then again my doctor said it will be swollen and that will go down so scars may look better, worse or the same (hopefully better) and then collagen will begin to fill it in.

Most of my skins peeled off, still some left on the outside. My face has just been really itchy but I haven't been scratching :P

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I had just gotten this procedure done on the 18th and right now my skin is very pink, but looking so good. I can't really even see the scars but then again my doctor said it will be swollen and that will go down so scars may look better, worse or the same (hopefully better) and then collagen will begin to fill it in.

Most of my skins peeled off, still some left on the outside. My face has just been really itchy but I haven't been scratching tongue.png

Just wanted to wish you the best of luck with recovery. I hope you get the improvement you're after.

The outer edge of my face, especially along my hairline, took the longest to peel as well.

-----------------

At this point, I'm suffering from hyperpigmentation on my cheeks and various other spots where Deep FX was used. Compared to my first Deep FX treatment, it is much more severe this time around. I will update my original post with photos once I get my pigment issues under control.

On a positive note, I don't have a blemish, pimple or blackhead on my face right now. I really owe that to the pre/post-op care. I only took Doxycycline once a day for 5 days post-op. I don't think I even needed it.

I hope you all have an awesome holiday! I am truly grateful for the support I've received on this forum. Thank you to all who continue to return here and share your experiences, opinions and feedback.

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Good luck with the healing! Everything seems to be going really well, even though the hyperpigmentation must be a pain (but at least it's just a temporary issue). Are you a Fitzgerald type 4 or lighter/darker, if you don't mind me asking? Looking forward to seeing your results.

Oh, and Merry Christmas! :)

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I had just gotten this procedure done on the 18th and right now my skin is very pink, but looking so good. I can't really even see the scars but then again my doctor said it will be swollen and that will go down so scars may look better, worse or the same (hopefully better) and then collagen will begin to fill it in.

Most of my skins peeled off, still some left on the outside. My face has just been really itchy but I haven't been scratching tongue.png

Just wanted to wish you the best of luck with recovery. I hope you get the improvement you're after.

The outer edge of my face, especially along my hairline, took the longest to peel as well.

-----------------

At this point, I'm suffering from hyperpigmentation on my cheeks and various other spots where Deep FX was used. Compared to my first Deep FX treatment, it is much more severe this time around. I will update my original post with photos once I get my pigment issues under control.

On a positive note, I don't have a blemish, pimple or blackhead on my face right now. I really owe that to the pre/post-op care. I only took Doxycycline once a day for 5 days post-op. I don't think I even needed it.

I hope you all have an awesome holiday! I am truly grateful for the support I've received on this forum. Thank you to all who continue to return here and share your experiences, opinions and feedback.

Thank you :) I like what I'm seeing right now but I know its still the microswelling, how long until that usually goes away?

hopefully ill be done peeling by tomorrow so I can go out, my doctor said not to put on any makeup until all skin is peeled and there's still a few pieces along the outer edges

By seeing your pictures, I can see a lot of improvement and I hope things are working out for you. I know with this procedure results are not to there full effect until like six months so its more and more to look forward to :)

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I had just gotten this procedure done on the 18th and right now my skin is very pink, but looking so good. I can't really even see the scars but then again my doctor said it will be swollen and that will go down so scars may look better, worse or the same (hopefully better) and then collagen will begin to fill it in.

Most of my skins peeled off, still some left on the outside. My face has just been really itchy but I haven't been scratching tongue.png

Just wanted to wish you the best of luck with recovery. I hope you get the improvement you're after.

The outer edge of my face, especially along my hairline, took the longest to peel as well.

-----------------

At this point, I'm suffering from hyperpigmentation on my cheeks and various other spots where Deep FX was used. Compared to my first Deep FX treatment, it is much more severe this time around. I will update my original post with photos once I get my pigment issues under control.

On a positive note, I don't have a blemish, pimple or blackhead on my face right now. I really owe that to the pre/post-op care. I only took Doxycycline once a day for 5 days post-op. I don't think I even needed it.

I hope you all have an awesome holiday! I am truly grateful for the support I've received on this forum. Thank you to all who continue to return here and share your experiences, opinions and feedback.

Your skin looks definitely more smooth. I'm really excited for you. I have to ask though. Did ANY scars disappear, even the tiniest ones? Also, how long did the doctor say the hyperpigmentation will last?

I wish you the best in your recovery.

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Happy new year to all!! :)

Good luck with the healing! Everything seems to be going really well, even though the hyperpigmentation must be a pain (but at least it's just a temporary issue). Are you a Fitzgerald type 4 or lighter/darker, if you don't mind me asking? Looking forward to seeing your results.

Oh, and Merry Christmas!

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happy new year! Well its three weeks after my procedure, all of my scars have returned and look exactly as they had before. its kind of really such a let down because the past two weeks i basically had clear skin and then everything reemerged within the past three days :( but my dermatologist did tell me this would happen and that results will not surface for awhile as the procedure works from the inside out and the collagen will build up to fill the holes. But still it was so nice to have nice skin for the holidays, im really hoping the results are similar to what it looked like swollen that would be amazing. As for redness, most of my redness is gone, funny that it went away for the most part before the swelling did

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happy new year! Well its three weeks after my procedure, all of my scars have returned and look exactly as they had before. its kind of really such a let down because the past two weeks i basically had clear skin and then everything reemerged within the past three days sad.png but my dermatologist did tell me this would happen and that results will not surface for awhile as the procedure works from the inside out and the collagen will build up to fill the holes. But still it was so nice to have nice skin for the holidays, im really hoping the results are similar to what it looked like swollen that would be amazing. As for redness, most of my redness is gone, funny that it went away for the most part before the swelling did

Keep your head up! It will improve with time. You should have noticeable shallowing of pits within a couple months. At least, that was my experience after my first treatment in Feb. My redness finally faded at about 3 weeks, but I am now dealing tan hyperpigmentation. Are you experiencing any hyperpigmentation? What is your skin type?

In my last update, I was kind of negative. My scars have actually improved since this treatment. My skin does look smoother. I just wish the indents would completely vanish. Some of my scars are only visible in very harsh lighting now. I should be grateful for that. Looking at my before pictures from last year in my gallery, I can hardly believe how far I've come since Feb 2012. Fractional Co2 laser really does work. At least, it has worked for me. It has not erased my scars though.

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Happy new year *Inspired* :)

I am glad to know your redness is gone. I hope your hyper-pigmentation will go away soon, too. Your skin needs to heal, so be gentle and be careful treating your skin(no hash chemical products...!). It is frustrating to go though such an intense treatment and your scars didn't completely vanish...but at least you are seeing improvements. I am sure you'll get more better results in time!

Stay positive and good luck girl cheer.gif

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Hi Tokyo Girl, I have just looked at your gallery and noticed that you've actually made great strides in your journey. You can actually see the stages. Your laser resurfacing treatments actually reversed the damage done by the TCA Cross, and it actually looks far better. Your smaller scars, the faint ones that seem more textural, which weren't TCA Crossed, seem to have been smoothed out by your recent laser treatment. I'm just judging from your pictures in this thread and comparing them to your older ones. Your left cheek, especially, demonstrates the obvious improvements.

I don't know, but perhaps if you were to have laser resurfacing (Total FX), at least once a year and think of it as simply maintenance, polishing, and anti-ageing (in the same way that celebrities have seasonal botox, or semiyearly - twice a year - laser treatments) and not think of them so much as acne scar reduction), hopefully you might even eliminate them completely in the long term. Just a thought.

Also, I would like to know whether you've been able to quit smoking after your treatment. If not, then perhaps that is what's affecting the collagen production.

I look forward to your updates.

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I don't know, but perhaps if you were to have laser resurfacing (Total FX), at least once a year and think of it as simply maintenance, polishing, and anti-ageing (in the same way that celebrities have seasonal botox, or semiyearly - twice a year - laser treatments) and not think of them so much as acne scar reduction), hopefully you might even eliminate them completely in the long term. Just a thought.

Would someone really be willing to have yearly laser treatments for maintenance? Going through the treatment is very extreme, painful, and costly (not to mention possible risks if something goes wrong) and I have the impression that after the initial recovery, the hyperpigmentation would take at least 1-2 months to fade. You'd only have 'normal' skin for 8-10 months of the year, even if it was practically scarless. I find it hard to believe that someone would be willing to go through with it.

If maintenance treatments even every five years or so are necessary, then I don't know if I'm ready to take the laser route. I'd like to move on with my life and stop obsessing over scars at some point.

And besides expressing my concern over the sustainability of results, I did also want to say that so far your results look very promising, Inspired. :) I'm very excited to hear what your skin looks like in a few months. All the best!

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Hi Tokyo Girl, I have just looked at your gallery and noticed that you've actually made great strides in your journey. You can actually see the stages. Your laser resurfacing treatments actually reversed the damage done by the TCA Cross, and it actually looks far better. Your smaller scars, the faint ones that seem more textural, which weren't TCA Crossed, seem to have been smoothed out by your recent laser treatment. I'm just judging from your pictures in this thread and comparing them to your older ones. Your left cheek, especially, demonstrates the obvious improvements.

I don't know, but perhaps if you were to have laser resurfacing (Total FX), at least once a year and think of it as simply maintenance, polishing, and anti-ageing (in the same way that celebrities have seasonal botox, or semiyearly - twice a year - laser treatments) and not think of them so much as acne scar reduction), hopefully you might even eliminate them completely in the long term. Just a thought.

Also, I would like to know whether you've been able to quit smoking after your treatment. If not, then perhaps that is what's affecting the collagen production.

I look forward to your updates.

Those faint scars and all my tiny ice picks were crossed too. Just about every scar on my face was crossed. I believe that contributed to my complications. I don't have "after" TCA Cross pictures of my right cheek. I'm surprised I found one of my left cheek, and even that one doesn't clearly show the damage that was done. Both of my cheeks were much worse off after TCA Cross. My right cheek has responded the most in terms of smoothing but the scars were not as deep or wide as my left cheek after Cross. If you look closely at my after photos of my right cheek, you can see faint ripples and line scars. Those were caused by TCA Cross. You won't find the ripples & lines in my "before" Deep FX picture on that cheek because I don't have a picture of that side after Cross. On that cheek, some of my scars kind of connected together. In other words, the skin between them caved and formed indented lines. It was a devastating experience. I would say most of that damage is reversed at this point, but it's not completely reversed.

I can't imagine doing Total FX annually. Mentally and physically, I don't think I could handle it. I also wouldn't do it for anti-aging. Like Austra, I hope to move on from scar treatment at some point. At the same time, I'm also concerned about the long-term sustainability of results. So far, I'm impressed with my overall improvement. I don't see how my scars could revert to the same level of damage, but I also suspect my skin texture will require some kind of maintenance going forward. As of now, I just can't think too far ahead because it's discouraging.

No, I have not fully quit smoking. I am likely inhibiting maximum collagen production. I am aware of that. For some reason, I still continue to light up a few times a day. It's such a disgusting habit too. sad.png Interestingly, I did actually quit smoking for a period of time when I had TCA Cross done. I can't say that helped my recovery much. It's hard to imagine, I could have been worse off.

As for collagen production, they say it takes a minimum of one month for new collagen to grow. Age is also a factor in collagen production. I am nearly 40 and am just starting to see some improvement now in that area. I'll probably see my maximum results in 2-3 months.

Thanks for your support. I will update my main post again once I get my hyperpigmentation to fade a bit.

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Taking photos of my scars seems to have become my favorite pastime. I am kidding. Unfortunately, I am not very good at photographing my scars. It takes dozen of attempts to get one decent picture. I can't help but feel silly as I snap so many pictures of my cheeks.

I think I'm seeing improvement from my latest procedure, but my skin pigment is making that difficult for me to determine. Having compared several photos today, I decided to just post these to show how lighting makes a difference. Either way I look at it, I think I've had additional improvement, but at the same, I don't want to mislead anyone as to the extent of my improvement. I can't put a percentage on it. Here is the current state of my right cheek in different lighting:

Good > Average > Bad Lighting

post-176820-0-85449400-1358126019_thumb.post-176820-0-79985000-1358125864_thumb.post-176820-0-74596500-1358125888_thumb.

Good > Bad Lighting

post-176820-0-69628800-1358125927_thumb.post-176820-0-81038800-1358125938_thumb.

Some of my scars do actually look wider where Deep FX hit hard. I experienced this last time. It did resolve itself after a couple months. Right now, I believe it's going through the "remodeling" process. Some of my scars have changed shape. The hyperpigmentation is also making the scars look worse.

Interested to know your thoughts and opinions on how my skin looks so far. Better? Worse? Indifferent?

Thank you!

Add-on:

I met with my doctor on Friday. We discussed my regimen and hyperpigmentation. I have been applying the hydroquinone incorrectly. Despite already knowing the correct way to apply it, I have been applying it to my entire face. This has likely prolonged my pigment issues. I have made adjustments, and hope to see improvement soon.

post-176820-0-79985000-1358125864_thumb.

post-176820-0-74596500-1358125888_thumb.

post-176820-0-69628800-1358125927_thumb.

post-176820-0-81038800-1358125938_thumb.

post-176820-0-85449400-1358126019_thumb.

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I think your skin looks fantastic even in the worst lighting picture! The scars look very soft and shallow, not very noticeable at all. Based on those pictures, you've had immense improvement with your two treatments. I'm very impressed. :)

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I think your skin looks fantastic even in the worst lighting picture! The scars look very soft and shallow, not very noticeable at all. Based on those pictures, you've had immense improvement with your two treatments. I'm very impressed. smile.png

Thanks, austra!

I'm feeling a bit distressed by the state of my skin. It's relieving to read someone else's opinion. My friends and family have not been supportive over my latest procedure. They think I'm being vain at this point. Of course, they also don't have acne scars and can't possibly relate to how I feel about my skin.

I will post pictures of the other cheek tomorrow.

Still hoping for more improvement to my actual scars. I'm currently 6 weeks post-op.

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I'm feeling a bit distressed by the state of my skin. It's relieving to read someone else's opinion. My friends and family have not been supportive over my latest procedure. They think I'm being vain at this point. Of course, they also don't have acne scars and can't possibly relate to how I feel about my skin.

My family has had a similar attitude, even though I've tried to explain how scarring affects me emotionally and how I need to get at least a little bit of improvement to get over it. I've had quite a few arguments with my boyfriend about my scarring in the past months, which has been a bit surprising. He admits that my scarring is noticeable, but at the same time he doesn't seem to take my concerns seriously and regards me as vain, and I've really had to justify to him why I'm distressed with my skin in the first place. He's recommended that I see a therapist over my anxiety (which is probably a good idea). Right now he is in favour of my plans to get consultations for laser treatments in the near future and get some objective opinions on my scarring and treatment options in general, but if I actually do decide to go through with Total FX/Deep FX, I don't know how supportive he would be. I'm very surprised by how hard it is for him to see how the scarring affects me and why it's important for me to get improvement. Sometimes I wonder if it's because I am making this a bigger deal than it should be, or because people with no scarring just cannot realize the full emotional effects it can have.

Hopefully after you've completely recovered from this treatment, you'll be in a state where you're happy with your skin and can focus on other things in life. :) I'd like to reach that point after 1-2 Total FX treatments, even though I realize I'd probably need more to get the best results. Are you planning on more treatments after this one?

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Austra, it's the same story for many of us. Other people without skin issues just really do not understand it on a visceral level. They have the luxury of not worrying about lighting, angles, and the like. It's damn exhausting to be hyper conscious of your appearance all the time. It's the same people who freak out if they have one blemish. Getting treatment is as much mental as it is a physical transformation. It's the feeling that you are taking control of a situation that also is therapeutic in itself.

Also, Tokyo/inspired your skin is definitely improving. The hyperpigmentation is lightening up.

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Wow, your pics/improvement looks great so far! I know it's hard to say and if you can't no worries, but from where you started with your original scars prior to your first DeepFx (and before or after your TCA cross) how much overall improvement would you say you've had?

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The bottom 2 photos in your latest update with pictures look wonderful, *Inspired*. Was there a time-elapse from the first three and the bottom two? Or were you just trying to illustrate a difference in lighting?

Oh, nevermind. I see that you were simply trying to show the difference in lighting.

Nonetheless, I am looking forward to more updates from you. rolleyes.gif

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I am now about 6 weeks into my procedure. I notice that my scars have started filling in a little, they look a lot better during the day but then at night I notice them more, its like they seem to almost revert back to how they were at a certain time and then when I wake up they look a lot better in the morning. I'm guessing this is because the face swells up when you sleep but its really making me confused because one minute they'll look fine and then a few hours later they look deep and noticeable

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