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Well, I finally did it!

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After months of frustration, researching, and second-guessing my decision, I went ahead and got the CO2 Lumitrix (sp?) laser done. It's a relatively new laser type that is a step up from its predecessor. I had it done Wednesday afternoon, after many a sleepless night before that, I went into it knowing I was doing the right thing. I decided back in Februrary, after finally getting my rosacea and major acne flair up under control (I don't care what people tell me, the gardasil shot caused it) with oral medication I felt it was time for the next step. I'm 24, had some semi-bad acne back in the day but nothing too earth shattering, except for a semi-rough forehead. By no fault of my own (there was no picking or irritating the areas) I was left with some pretty deep-pitted, pigmented scarring on my cheeks from this shot reaction. So bad that I didn't want to go out in public because I was so ashamed. A far cry from the girl I was a year ago who was always up to doing anything once!

Anyways, towards the beginning of Feb was when I really started to notice the difference the meds were taking on my skin. It was as close to flawless as it could get with the scarring and no new outbreaks were occurring. So, on Feb 16th (my b-day) I went to 2 different plastic surgeons; one was recommended to me and the other was putting on a free seminar. I live in a place where the average age is around 70 (no joke), so being young it freaked me out a bit going into something that these doctors mainly worked on older people. Anyways, I wanted to make sure I got a full scope of options and wound up visiting with 3 doctors. The first recommended some sort of face peel to start with to see if it would clear up that way and if it didn't to try something more powerful, the second (I met with an estetician instead of the dr due to timing) wanted to start me off first with some sort serums and such to put on the face (even though she said that our face is a reflection of what's going on on the inside :think: ) and all I could think about was "We've done this. We've fixed the inside issue that caused it. Now, I want to fix the outside scarring left behind), and then the third dr was recommended by 2 family friends and the first thing he asked me was "How serious are you about fixing the issue?"

Obviously, I was sold on the third doctor. For one, he wasn't afraid of downtime, two he was very matter of fact that this would help exponentially (but was also adament that it wouldn't be perfect the way it was, just MUCH better), and three he only works on faces (no tummy tucks or breast lifts or anything else cosmetic). So he is very well-versed in the way to fix a face. During our consultation itwasn't like he was coming up with answers or solutions to get my money. He truly wanted to fix the issue.

Due to some scheduling issues in the month of March, I was unable to start the procedure. I chickened out (which they allowed with no issues; they kept saying we want you comfortable with this) when I went to sign the papers the first time and gave up a premo, first in the morning slot on the 7th of April. No worries. I didn't sleep for a week before the procedure; I had read so many horror stories both on this website as well as other areas of the internet and just kept thinking "What am I doing? My face isn't THAT bad and this could make it worse."!!!! I had surgery scheduled for the afternoon; they had given me a long list of supplies that I would need on hand, as well as regimented schedule to follow afterwards. This particular doctor likes to put you under local anesthesia while doing to procedure as it is quite painful (apparently, but I didn't feel a thing). Met with my PS, the anestheseologist, as well as the nurse who would be taking care of me, before the surgery if there were any major questions or concerns.

So the nurse suited me all up, wheeled me into the OR, they gave me an IV to start the anesthesia. I did not see the doctor OR the machine he used as I was out like a light and the next thing I know I'm waking up with a face that feels remarkably stiff, but very numb. To say that you look like roadkill the first couple of days is a huge understatement. I tried not to look in the mirror, but it was hard at times. I can only equate it to roadkill, like a dead possum you see on the side of the road with all the blood and guts. Not only was I insanely bloody, but I had Vaseline on to help keep it protected. By the 2nd day, a little less than 24 hrs after surgery I was allowed to take a shower and to say it was the most wonderful experience of my life is an understatement. I haven't really had any pain, just discomfort and irritation with vaseline dripping all over the place. I have been sleeping in a reclining position as they stated to do so to help the swelling and to not sleep on my side, but that is uncomfortable. In fact I'm finding that more uncomfortable than the procedure! The way my face looked once I got all of the blood off is kind of like a checker-board. The pinpoints in which the laser were pretty distinct right after the surgery, but I've been following their instructions with cleansing and taking meds to a "t". Had another follow up apt (the first one the day after surgery) today and he was pleased that it appears to be on track, minus a little more swelling that usual.

We've been documenting the progress and it has gotten remarkably better since Wed. Right now, my cheeks are very red (because he hit those harder than the rest of my face, as that is where the majority of the scarring is), I still have the pinpoint dots but they have diminished quite a bit as well. They were very adament that it would take a good 2 weeks for things to subside and up to 6 months to fully acheive the highest results. I will continue to shower up to 3 times a day, running luke warm water over my face (it truly is the greatest relief), and using the vaseline. He sees me again on Wed, so hopefully they'll be taking me off the vaseline and on to cortizone cream. I'm starting to notice itching, mainly in my cheeks, and it can drive one a little batty when they can't scratch it!!

Overall, I am remarkably pleased that I did this. I'll get back to you in 6 months once it's all done, but right now I feel it was definitely the right choice for me. My advice to those of you out there who are contemplating this: Do your research, trust your gut, and don't trust most of what you read about on the internet. It's not the machine that is the issue, it's the doctor. And once you find a reputable doctor to do the procedure you should be fine!!!! The truly best part is all the downtime, since I can't do anything I can be waited on by everyone :P, and that there is literally no pain involved. A cousin of mine had her freckles on her face lasered off 5 years, with the old machine, and she looks gorgeous! However, her healing process was a little messier and disgusting than mine has been.

It's uncomfortable; it's a nuisance with all of the protocols you have to follow (with pills, face washings, ect), but I believe that in the end it will be all worth it. I'm already seeing a tremendous difference even though we're only 5 days out. I look like I have a bad sunburn and some bruising around my eyes, which he says is actually my new skin trying to come through.

Just do the research, trust the dr choice you made, and I'm sure in the end it iwll be worth it. Research is key and there are plenty of reputable websites out there that you can go to to research up on your doctor. It's your body and no one will take better care of it than you... I hope this story offers some comfort to someone either contemplating the surgery or have just had it done. By day 14, typically things can go back to semi-normalcy, minus sun exposure. Sorry for the book, but I felt I needed to share this positive experience since I have read so many on here that are negative!

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hello angel girl.... dam.. gotta say you have confirmed my wishes on getting a laser skin resurfacing. This website has nothing but bad reviews about lasers, especially on CO2 based lasers. My acne is finally subsiding. I haven't been working for couple weeks now and have decided to get a laser treatment before I look for a new job because I am very self conscious about going into interviews with a lot of scars. I been reserving myself from friends and going out just so I can try to get laser surgery discreetly. Ive been having the biggest gut feeling about doing this. Crazy but i feel like i have a bigger power guiding me to this treatment. Before i was against doing laser surgery and hoped that if i stayed on Daniel Kern's regiment i would soon get rid of my scars as well. It is taking to long. I really want to enjoy this summer as well. I know ima have to stay away from the sun as much as possible but at least i wont be ashamed of being indoors. I really just don't want to have no more benxoil peroxide on my face no more. I would use more on the scars to conceal it. It looks like i have clear skin at night but in the day i know people can tell, they just don't say anything. Been like this for 3-4 years now... Its bad... Never felt so right about laser till now. Somehow (gut feelings/ instinct) i started to do my homework and research about laser and their after affetcs. Only negative thing i was concerned about was the downtime. I have a somewhat active social life, but like i said, i been reserving myself lately because i know ima get laser surgery, im really just waiting for my taxes to come in. haha.. i know... hope its all worth it..... I made a earlier post of the treatment i want to use, asking this community what might benifit the most. I got no replys but your story confirms that its not so bad.. Not even the CO2.... Ima try a different kind of laser using Extended Ablation technology or Er:YAG laser.

Heres my earlier post

[http://www.acne.org/messageboard/Laser-Technology-cheape-t266452.html ]

Your story REALLY DID inspire me. THANK YOU! I will get back to you on what happens.... You made my day.....

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