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Minty Peas

Just had Total FX

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I'm back home after getting my second Total FX treatment for acne scarring on my cheeks. I saw decent results from the first treatment, so I decided to go back to the same doctor for a second treatment. Treatment was about the same, but the doctor seemed kind of in a rush and didn't greet me with the pleasantries I received before.

Now that I am home and able to look in a mirror, I can see holes that look like scars around the edges of the treatment area (I only got it on my cheeks). These scars were NOT there before the treatment and they were NOT there after my previous treatment. Some of them look like ice picks and some of them look like jagged lines in my skin. I'm really worried about this because they weren't there after my other treatment. Will they go away? I'm worried all of my skin could look like this, but I can't tell because I'm red and swollen.

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It is now the morning after my treatment. I slept really badly last night because I had to sleep on my back with my head and shoulders propped up on pillows. Normally I wouldn't be awake for another hour or so, but I just couldn't fall back asleep. I woke up several times during the night too.

I am a little calmer now regarding my concern right after my treatment. My husband said he couldn't see what I was talking about (although he's been trying to avoid me since yesterday, so I don't think he looked that closely :lol: ). When I looked in the mirror when I woke up, I couldn't really see them either. But I know I could just be extra swollen from laying down, so I will be keeping tabs on it.

Settings (same as my first):

Deep Fx: 15mj, pulse 1, density 3

Active Fx: 100mj, pulse 1, density 3

Skin is still weeping a lot of fluid. The fluid had hardened overnight, so I gently washed it off this morning, and applied more Aquaphor to the area. The skin is still very red and feels uncomfortable.

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By the end of the first 24 hours, my skin stopped weeping fluid, which I was very happy about because it's really gross and annoying when you feel it dripping down your face. It is 48 hours after the treatment now. My skin is still very red and has a slightly "bumpy" looking texture now. Slightly itchy. Still washing gently 4 or 5 times a day and applying Aquaphor. Parts of skin are starting to appear white, as though frosted over. I assume this is the beginnings of the dead skin starting to peel away. On my last one, most of the skin peeled over the course of the 5th and 6th days and by day 7 it was all new pink skin.

Here is a picture of how my skin looks today.

By the way, is anyone reading this? So lonely... :boohoo:

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Official Day 5 is starting in a couple of hours (that is, exactly 120 hours since the procedure), so I shall write one more update on my healing. I actually did most of my peeling yesterday which is one day earlier than my first Total Fx.

I've been wondering about some possible causes of this. One thing I considered was that I was taking a lot more vitamin C, about 1500mg/day when I was only taking about 500mg before.

Or I thought maybe my skin knows what to do because I've had the same injury before. Well, I kind of doubt that skin has memory like that, so I guess I'll just attribute it to the vitamin C.

It also crossed my mind that the doctor might have lowered the machine settings from the previous time, but she told me they were the same. I don't think she'd have any reason to lie. I hope. And the final factor would be that I used much less Aquaphor to cover the area. I don't know if that would have an effect on the healing or not. I was really globbing it on after my first procedure, but this time I used a thinner layer.

Okay! So I am about 90% peeled now. I accidentally pulled a piece of the skin off while I was applying Aquaphor. I was dabbing it on and the skin stuck to my finger and got pulled off as I took my hand away from my face. I was like, "Agghh!" but then calmed myself. I told myself there was nothing I could do about it now, so it's best not to freak out. XD

Skin is still very red. Texture is...not great looking. I can see scars. I hope they'll heal up!

post-47689-1247089341_thumb.jpg

post-47689-1247089341_thumb.jpg

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Just to let you know... someone's reading... how's it going?

I'm a girl with scars as well. And still have acne, am about 2 1/2 months into birth control pills (Yasmin), hoping it works soon! So far my scars are not too bad, though the ones on my forehead really get me down and I'm thinking of looking into treating them in the future.

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I just had Total FX yesterday! And subsicion at the same time. My face is still weeping but at least the burn is gone today. It looks really bad but it doesn't hurt a bit. The pic below was taken a couple hours ago.

I'm trying to figure out how to post pictures of my whole process in an album, because I got punch excisions first to remove the icepick and boxcar scars. The laser can't remove those deep scars, can someone help me? I really would like to get my experiences documented for the benefit other people's research. Google searches have yielded little in the way of research for my treatments. Thanks!!!

post-52981-1247866270_thumb.jpg

post-52981-1247866270_thumb.jpg

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Bohemian, expect multiple treatments to achieve the results you seek. The internet is a flood of information on ablative fractionalized CO2 laser info, you just must filter out all the non-ablative info. I did Re:pair instead of TotalFX, but they are the only compairable ablative lasers on the market. Expect a lot of swelling in the next 2 days, so keep up the vinegar washes and I assume you are using Aquafor. I would also suggest you get familiar with RealSelf.com and MedicalSpaMd.com.

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MintyPeas, how is the progress going? As you might see by my signature I too have had fractionalized CO2 ablative done twice. Thank you for posting your treatment levels, now I must determine how DeepFX levels relate to my Repair 70mj-60%.

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Hey everyone!

Thank you all for the comments. It's going pretty well. Except for putting on mineral makeup which ends up a disaster because my skin is still really dry. Bleh! It looks terrible. Almost makes me wish I'd gotten my whole face so I wouldn't have these red patches on my cheeks. But other than that, looking good for now. If only I could reap the benefits of microswelling without the redness, I'd be a happy camper! Haha.

Minerva - I hope it works out for you! I'm currently taking Yaz (Yasmin's little sister) and it cleared me up after about four months. :)

Drexel - Yes, I have several pictures in my gallery. Feel free to take a look. :)

Bohemian - I'm pretty sure you just have to go into the gallery where you want to make your album and click the New Album button.

Dudley - I've been curious about how the settings compare also. If you find out please let us know! :)

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Hey guys, I'm just wondering how effective Total FX was for your shallow scarring/minor imperfections? I have a lot of scars on my face, but most are tiny (ie. very shallow boxcars and many super shallow icepicks) - alone they would be nothing to be bothered by, but the sheer quantity gives me a messed up look. Have you noticed an improvement in the more minor skin scars?

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Minty, MedicalSpa can really get into detail. As far as I can determine my 70mj equates to 1.4mm. Sounds like we are pretty much doing the same thing. I am about 6 months past my last Repair, and about 3 months before my 3rd. I did see a comment from liemonline that 3 treatments were probably the best for acne scars. He is a wealth of information on that site.

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DudleDoRight,

I have a question on (social) downtime after Fraxel Repair with the high settings you have been treated: How long are you red, swollen and how long do you have to "hide"?

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Frax1, I am a very quick healer. I first noticed this after Dermabrasion and regular CO2. After Repair, by the 2nd day, I had so much swelling as to be unrecognizable. By the next day most of the swelling was gone. For some reason after the 2nd Repair I didn't have near the swelling that I had with the first. A week after both procedures I traveled on vacation. I slathered on Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion when I was on vacation. I was back at work 2 weeks after the laser in both cases and the only thing that was said was that it looked like I got some sun. I would say most of the redness was gone by 4 weeks. From what I have heard this is not typical of many people so you may take longer. I am rather religious about the vinegar soaks, Aquafor, washing with Cetaphil, and I bought 2 face ice masks from MakeMeHeal.com that make it easier to ice down the face. The 2nd Repair was much easier than the first with reduced swelling and not near the dryness in the eyes.

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Thanks for the links, Dudley.

Here is some information I found about Deep Fx settings:

http://www.medicalspamd.com/clinical-user-...ian/post/532580

DeepFx Energy and Depth

10 mj = 900-1200 microns

15 mj = 1300-1700 microns

17.5 mj = 1600-2000 microns

1000 microns = 1 mm

So my treatment at 15mj was at a depth between 1.3 and 1.7mm.

Minty, after more reading, I am getting conflicting information. This was in another posting on MedSpa. I have posted the question on the forum. It is very difficult to find specifications on Repair because one has to wade through all of the Fraxel Restore references, but I have found data that says 70mj equates to an ablation depth of 1.4 to 1.7mm.

2. Energy and Ablation depth of DeepFx (0.12 mm spot size)

a) Energy level- 10 mJ------- Ablation depth- 230 μm

b) Energy level- 15 mJ( =133 J/cm2)------ Ablation depth-

450 μm

c) Energy level- 20 mJ------- Ablation depth-700 μm

450 μm = .45mm

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DudleyDoRight,

thank you for the info!

How did you manage to drive home from your derm/PS after the treatment? With Fraxel Repair you are supposed to have lots of bloody spots and redness. I have seen pictures from patients treated with the Repair at medium settings that really looked "dramatic." I had a couple of Fraxel Restore treatments and had no problems driving home but I don't know if I can do it after the Repair without frighten other people. :-)

I am really impressed by the results you had from two Repair treatments. Would you say that your scars improved in depth and texture? I really hope that scar texture can also be improved because treatments like subcision and / or filler help raising the scar to the surface but don't do much for texture.

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Frax1, I don't think your doctor would even release you to drive. I had a friend drive one time and took a taxi the 2nd. After Re:pair you aren't going to be too worried about what people think. After I had CO2 in 96 and a friend drove me home. The next day I drove back to the office with bandages covering my head, so don't worry too much about what people will think. In time the results are the only thing that will matter.

People always ask about depth and texture, and I keep coming back to overall improvement as the only perception I can give. I had non-acne scar on my forehead and nose, and they have all but dissappeared. I was a bit suprised when I realized the improvement in these scars. Now I have to twist and turn my head in different lighting to see any remnant. Now that I think of it those two scars were what made me know I would do the 2nd Re:pair. If pushed into a statement then I would have to say there is an improvement in both depth and texture. Most people will be disappointed after one Re:pair, but I saw enough improvement, and thanks to the doctors on RealSelf, I knew to continue Re:pair treatment. I firmly believe 3-4 Re:pairs will be needed for most of us.

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DudleyDoRight,

thanks again!

Do you believe that there is any limitation on the maximum improvement that can be achieved by continuous treatments (subcisions, fractional co2 lasers)? I wonder if it would be possible to come close to a 100% improvement for rolling scars if money to spend and time would not be an issue.

What do you mean by:

After Re:pair you aren't going to be too worried about what people think.

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I went in for my two week followup appointment today. I asked my doctor about the depth of Deep Fx. She said she would look into it and email me the information. I will keep you guys posted.

She also sold me some sort of cream with bisabolol in it that is supposed to accelerate healing and prevent PIH. I don't know...I kind of feel like I got suckered. : P

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Dudley, I'm confused. You gave a link that lists the specs of Active FX and Deep FX along with Repair.

http://www.mixtoskinresurfacing.com/downlo...heticTrends.pdf

The specs say Active FX has an ablation depth of 120 microns whereas Deep FX has a depth of 700 micron. Repair is listed has having a depth up to 1.6mm.

After further reading on MedicalSpa, I believe that posting is correct I think deeper ablative depth is why Repair is the most expensive procedure.

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Minty, I am not sure what you mean by your last comment. Bisabolol sounds legitimate.

http://www.dermaxime.com/bisabolol.htm

I just mean I'm not sure it's as great a product as it claims to be. It was quite pricey, so if it doesn't do anything I will feel ripped off. I'll keep using it for a couple weeks and see how it goes.

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My derm always prescribe me bisabolol. Don't know if helps, but acts like anti inflamatory.

How your treatment is going Minty?

:D

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Okay, so I do kind of like this cream. It naturally has a sort of yellow/beige color which does wonders to help camouflage the redness. So I guess I like it for that reason, but a green liquid primer would have had the same effect at less cost. Well, it's only been three days so we shall see. I do feel that the skin on my cheeks is less dry. I also stopped trying to use the powdered mineral foundation from Everyday Minerals and switched to a liquid foundation (glominerals) so that's probably helping to keep my skin moist too.

xrbx - I'm pretty much back to my normal life now, just waiting for the redness to go away. At this point there is really nothing to do but wait and see. Although I can't see my scars at all right now, they will come back into view as the microswelling goes down. I won't really be able to report on any real improvement for another three months or so. :)

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