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

total fx deep fx active fx los angeles zinc boxcar ice pick tca hyperpigmentation

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#21 rentedname

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 02:19 AM

many thanks for documenting your experience. it seriously means a lot to get some real stories here...

can you describe why you decided not to use the aquaphor? do you think that will have an effect on your results? also, are the antibiotics required for your treatment or can you safely forego them?

good luck. we are all rooting for your success :)

#22 *Inspired*

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:20 AM

many thanks for documenting your experience. it seriously means a lot to get some real stories here...

can you describe why you decided not to use the aquaphor? do you think that will have an effect on your results? also, are the antibiotics required for your treatment or can you safely forego them?

good luck. we are all rooting for your success Posted Image

It's not that I decided not to use Aquaphor. I am following my Facial Plastic Surgeon's post-op regimen. I am actually using most of the items in this kit, plus a free mask that was included with my kit:
http://www.dermstore...y Kit_36053.htm
I am not using the facial cleanser. Instead, I am using Cetaphil.

I posted about this in my original thread. If I run out of the Thermal Spring Water Gel & Thermal Spring Water Spray, then I was actually told to use Vaseline (not Aquaphor). I only mentioned Aquaphor because I know most people use it and I've used it in the past.

In terms of recovery, my skin actually looks amazing where it's peeled and the scabs have flaked off. Looking closer at the "scabs", they're probably not scabs, but more like dead skin that's getting darker with time. I was told not to speed the exfoliation process and let my skin heal/peel naturally, so the dead skin is probably lingering much longer than most people experience.

When I had Deep FX done in February, my skin turned a very dark red with pinpoint bleeding for 24 hours. The dark color eventually faded to lighter red and then developed into hyperpigmentation. For a few days, I also had small reddish, brown dots from where the laser hit. As of right now, I don't see any signs of hyperpigmentation. There are no dots, at all, and I actually didn't experience pinpoint bleeding this time. My skin is a little pink, but I think I'm going to get lucky with the pre/post regimens this time because my skin really does look fresh where it has completely peeled so far.

My treatment was much more aggressive this time. The darker "scabs" have formed where he hit it hard with Deep FX and then went over it with Active FX. So far, aside from the downtime, I'm very pleased with my results. Of course, it's too early to say if my results will stay. I didn't feel this positive after Deep FX.

I did take Doxycycline for 7 days. I started 2 days prior to my treatment. I'm already done with that. I took Doxycycline prior to Deep FX and TCA Cross, as well. The Aquaphor really aggravated my skin despite the antibiotics.

I also took Acyclovir for 7 days to prevent cold sores. Previously, I was given Valtrex, which made me really sick. I thought it was the Doxycycline that made me sick but have since discovered it was the Valtrex. I puked several times while taking Valtrex, so he prescribed Acyclovir.

Thanks for the luck. As of today, I'm once again feeling positive!

Edited by *Inspired*, 10 December 2012 - 03:23 AM.


#23 FruitBiscuits

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:14 PM

Great! Stay positive, worries aren't good for your recovery. Good luck girl :)

#24 *Inspired*

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 05:00 PM

Great! Stay positive, worries aren't good for your recovery. Good luck girl Posted Image


Thank you, FruitBiscuits! :)

#25 pumpkin21

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:00 PM

whats the downtime for deep fx for you?

#26 jbird12

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:04 PM

Looks good Inspired! I wouldn't worry about the scabbing. I scabbed up a bit (not to that extent) with my first Mixto treatment. My second treatment I surprisingly didn't scab up at all just oozed more.

Just make sure to always use sunblock. I made the mistake after my first treatment to not apply sunblock when I was just running out real quick and I definitely suffered some hyperpigmentation that took me about 6 weeks to get rid of.

This time I've had no issues and I'm thinking that's because I've been much more diligent with sunblock application.

#27 *Inspired*

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:31 PM

Thank you for sharing your experience with the scabs, jbird! Someone else also private messaged me last night, and told me the same thing. I don't think most people post pictures of this phase of healing, but apparently, the scabbing is not unusual. It is what they call crusting. I am so relieved to know two other members on this forum, who recently had fractionally ablative co2 laser, also experienced this to some degree.

Add-on:
I haven't been outside since my treatment, but started applying sunblock today, although I don't plan to leave the house. I was told to start after the 4th or 5th day of treatment but waited for a majority of the crusts to fall off first.

That's great news that you haven't had issues with hyperpigmentation since your second treatment. I'm holding out hope that I will also heal without pigmentation issues. If I do have them at this point, I think it will be minimal compared to what I experienced with Deep FX, MixTo spot treatment, and TCA in the past.

Edited by *Inspired*, 11 December 2012 - 05:06 PM.


#28 *Inspired*

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:51 PM

Original post updated. I will update again in 30 days.

#29 collegeboy84

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:04 PM

Original post updated. I will update again in 30 days.


You're looking good Tokyogirl! Your skin looks a WHOLE lot loss pink then mine did at your stage of healing. Avoid the sun like your a vampire! My skin started to turn back to its normal color but after spending about 10 minutes in the sun on a cloudy day... the pinkness came back with vengeance that night.

Edited by collegeboy84, 11 December 2012 - 08:05 PM.


#30 dragonn

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:22 AM

Hey Inspired, congrats on the treatment! Your results look awesome so far! Posted Image 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.

#31 FruitBiscuits

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:47 AM

I am glad to see you don't have hyper-pigmintation issue so far! Make sure to wear a thick layer of sunblocks :)

#32 austra

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:40 AM

I'm surprised by how beautiful your skin looks like after the peeling. I thought it would be much more red than this. Looking very promising so far!

#33 *Inspired*

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:45 AM

Hey Inspired, congrats on the treatment! Your results look awesome so far! Posted Image 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! Posted Image

@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. Posted Image 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?

Edited by *Inspired*, 12 December 2012 - 11:34 AM.


#34 AlexWong

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:46 PM

You're looking good TokyoGirl. Do you still plan on continuing with another total fx treatment in the future? I think you might diminish those scars even further to the point where they are barely noticeable. Also, how many weeks did you take off work to recover? I plan on having mine next year but don't know how many weeks I would need to take off to let my skin heal.
Also, I've recently quit smoking. How long do you think I should wait until I get the treatment?
Good luck.

Edited by AlexWong, 12 December 2012 - 01:48 PM.


#35 *Inspired*

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:05 PM

I'm quite surprised by the intensity of the pain! I don't know how well I could take it, but right now I feel so tempted to take the same route as you have when I get the chance.


I was VERY surprised by the intensity of the pain as well. Deep FX was like someone snapping a rubber band against my face. It was tolerable. Active FX was like having a group of wasps sting one small section of my face at once. The group would then re-position to an adjacent section, every other second, and attack all over again. I can't think of any other way to describe it. I was heavily drugged too. I don't know how some people get through the procedure with just numbing cream and an oral painkiller. My doctor actually told me that he realized how painful the procedure was once he had it done to himself. That's why he gives a Demerol shot, Lidocaine shots in the face & mouth, Xanax and an oral painkiller, at once.

I didn't mention this earlier but I probably should mention it so that people know, you need a driver after such an aggressive procedure! I ended up delusional & sick from the drugs & pain. When my mom showed up, I was able to walk to the car and interact normally with the clinic's staff, but I was also laughing a lot despite feeling some pain. I also laughed and cussed my way through the whole Active FX procedure. Once I stepped outside, my face started to burn. By the time we were on the highway, my face literally felt like it was on fire. I sprayed thermal spring water on it every few minutes, hoping to stop the pain. When I finally got home, it was around 10:00 pm. My face was still burning and I began to feel sick. I went straight to bed. I then woke up shortly before 5am in the morning, extremely thirsty & delusional. My face still felt like it was on fire. I walked to the kitchen, grabbed a cup and then found myself at the dining room table trying to fill my cup off the edge of the table. When I realized what I was doing, I came to my senses and filled the cup from the dispenser in the kitchen. I then took 6-7 steps towards my bedroom and passed out in the hallway. I don't think I've passed out since I was a child. I came to shortly after hitting the ground with the water spilled all over the floor. I then ran to the bathroom and puked on & off for a couple minutes. I then stumbled to my bed and fell asleep. I woke up a few hours later, and I was fine.

#36 *Inspired*

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:38 PM

You're looking good TokyoGirl. Do you still plan on continuing with another total fx treatment in the future? I think you might diminish those scars even further to the point where they are barely noticeable. Also, how many weeks did you take off work to recover? I plan on having mine next year but don't know how many weeks I would need to take off to let my skin heal.
Also, I've recently quit smoking. How long do you think I should wait until I get the treatment?
Good luck.


Hi Alex,

I was wondering what happened to you. I am really happy to see you're still around, and haven't given up hope. :)

I may do another Total FX treatment. I am going to re-evaluate in 6 months and make my decision at that time.

I used to have a couple businesses online and worked from home in Japan. I took a break from that about 1.5 years ago, and started my scar treatment journey. As a result, I have the luxury of not worrying about returning to work right now. If I was working in an environment with coworkers, I would probably return after 2 weeks.

Congratulations on quitting!! My doctor told me to quit two weeks prior to my procedure. Well, I'm still struggling with that a bit but I am seriously trying!

Thank you for the luck! Best of luck to you as well.

#37 blahblah82

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:26 PM

Wow it really sounds like you were put through the ringer. When I had Mixto, I had the numbing cream and the dental block and I still had the exact same sensation of hot rubber bands snapping against my cheeks.

I'm also beating myself up over stupidly being in direct sunlight for about 10 minutes the other day. It sucks that a mere 10 minutes of sun exposure has undone a month of living like a vampire. I have those exact same squares on my cheeks!

#38 austra

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:39 AM


I'm quite surprised by the intensity of the pain! I don't know how well I could take it, but right now I feel so tempted to take the same route as you have when I get the chance.


I was VERY surprised by the intensity of the pain as well. Deep FX was like someone snapping a rubber band against my face. It was tolerable. Active FX was like having a group of wasps sting one small section of my face at once. The group would then re-position to an adjacent section, every other second, and attack all over again. I can't think of any other way to describe it. I was heavily drugged too. I don't know how some people get through the procedure with just numbing cream and an oral painkiller. My doctor actually told me that he realized how painful the procedure was once he had it done to himself. That's why he gives a Demerol shot, Lidocaine shots in the face & mouth, Xanax and an oral painkiller, at once.

I didn't mention this earlier but I probably should mention it so that people know, you need a driver after such an aggressive procedure! I ended up delusional & sick from the drugs & pain. When my mom showed up, I was able to walk to the car and interact normally with the clinic's staff, but I was also laughing a lot despite feeling some pain. I also laughed and cussed my way through the whole Active FX procedure. Once I stepped outside, my face started to burn. By the time we were on the highway, my face literally felt like it was on fire. I sprayed thermal spring water on it every few minutes, hoping to stop the pain. When I finally got home, it was around 10:00 pm. My face was still burning and I began to feel sick. I went straight to bed. I then woke up shortly before 5am in the morning, extremely thirsty & delusional. My face still felt like it was on fire. I walked to the kitchen, grabbed a cup and then found myself at the dining room table trying to fill my cup off the edge of the table. When I realized what I was doing, I came to my senses and filled the cup from the dispenser in the kitchen. I then took 6-7 steps towards my bedroom and passed out in the hallway. I don't think I've passed out since I was a child. I came to shortly after hitting the ground with the water spilled all over the floor. I then ran to the bathroom and puked on & off for a couple minutes. I then stumbled to my bed and fell asleep. I woke up a few hours later, and I was fine.

Wow, that's intense. Posted Image It didnt occur to me you'd be in pain even after the procedure. If I get this done, I'll definitely get a driver home. Good to know!

I'd like to get a consultation some time early next year, and then possibly have the treatment done at the start of my next year's christmas holidays (which last almost a month). But before I make any decisions, I need to see how the consultation goes.

Quite scary how sensitive one's skin seems to be after this. I can't believe just going outside during the night made your skin pink, Inspired! I assumed I'd be fine without any extra concerns or just a bit of sun lotion at best, since it's so dark here in winter - but I guess I'd have to be careful as well. I wonder how long it takes before it's 'okay' to stay in the sun.

Edited by austra, 13 December 2012 - 10:41 AM.


#39 FruitBiscuits

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:59 AM

@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. Posted Image 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?


Wow...I am sorry to hear Posted Image I hope your skin will calm down asap...maybe need some moisturizer...? It happened to me a few times, my skin was very sensitive and over dry, but I didn't apply enough moisturizer. I went outside and wind and cold weather made my skin so red and irritated for a few days...!

Maybe wear a scarf around your face when you go to see your doctor today. Be careful! Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by FruitBiscuits, 14 December 2012 - 09:12 AM.


#40 Michelle Reece

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:03 AM

I'm very glad you went to a well-educated doctor, Inspired. Your post-op side effects are nowhere near as bad as those who went to a medispa (not a good idea) for laser resurfacing! Quick question: did your doctor give you a ballpark estimate on how much your scars will be improved?




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