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SkiBum#1

Extreme Swelling Normal?

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Hi Guys & Gals!

This is my first post here. I had both Fractional Ablative and Non-Ablative Skin Resurfacing (Starlux 500/Palomar 2940) done earlier today to hopefully help with ice pick and depressed scars.

My question for you all is how much swelling is normal? One of my eyes is swollen shut and the other one I can just open a slit. I realize that I'm in the early days of recovery and healing and this may be completely normal. I just don't want to call my dr. for something that I should just deal with, ya know?! I'm icing 20 minutes on 20 minutes off and it doesn't seem to be making any impact at all!

Thanks so, so, so much for your help! :wub:

Edited by SkiBum#1

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I should add that I'm currently taking both arnica and bromelain.

**Also, please excuse any typos I'm still on vicodin and valium...not a good mix for me!

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Perhaps you got some information before the procedure that you could look through that gives you an idea of what to expect?

I'd call the doctor if you're concerned, that's one thing that they're paid the big bucks for: aftercare!

Another thing that feels nice when there's generalized facial swelling: stick a wet washcloth in the freezer. Let it mostly freeze, then drape it across your face. It'll warm up to the room temp slowly and will help your skin feel better, too.

Did they give you any aftercare instructions, like special ointments to apply? Make sure you're following all the aftercare instructions, too. Just prior to the procedure, it's really hard for many to process all the information that gets thrown at you so it's important to be given written instructions and to write down everything you remember about what you were told.

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Oh, one more thing. Pile lots of pillows on your bed tonight so that your face/head will definitely be up and not down. That will also help with the swelling/edema. If you have a recliner, it might be a good night to sleep in it. With everything you might need during the night right beside you. :)

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Perhaps you got some information before the procedure that you could look through that gives you an idea of what to expect?

Ha, Wynne...you and I think alike! That's where I went first for information, but, alas it did not give that type of detail.

Great idea about the washcloth...thanks, I just stuck a bunch in there. I've done that for teething babies but didn't think about it for me! Duh! :whistle:

Basically, the after-care instructions were to apply aquaphor lavishly keeping my entire face moist at all times. Cleanse with Cetaphil. Apply a physical sunblock if outside at all. Take meds (Keflex, Valtrex, Vicodin, Arnica and Bromelain) on schedule. Does this sound like SOP for this type of procedure?

I think you are right, though, I definitely hesitate before calling almost to the point of putting the doctor's inconvenience above my own physical needs. Not good! And definitely not smart!

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Oh, one more thing. Pile lots of pillows on your bed tonight so that your face/head will definitely be up and not down. That will also help with the swelling/edema. If you have a recliner, it might be a good night to sleep in it. With everything you might need during the night right beside you. :)

Good idea! Thanks!

BTW, I love your quote!

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...Basically, the after-care instructions were to apply aquaphor lavishly keeping my entire face moist at all times. Cleanse with Cetaphil. Apply a physical sunblock if outside at all. Take meds (Keflex, Valtrex, Vicodin, Arnica and Bromelain) on schedule. Does this sound like SOP for this type of procedure?
Yes, it does. It sounds clear and makes sense, too. :)

I think you are right, though, I definitely hesitate before calling almost to the point of putting the doctor's inconvenience above my own physical needs. Not good! And definitely not smart!
Dude, you're the patient who is PAYING for the services. Believe me, docs get called for things that really do NOT matter "OMG my little toe has a hangnail, is this related to my haircut?" Swelling that concerns you, I'd definitely call for. :) You'll likely get someone on call though but they're likely to have more good suggestions, anyway. Doctors generally work a rotating call schedule, one's on call for ALL the rest of them. Sometimes they put their PAs and NPs on call instead of themselves. :P But that's ok, that NP or PA is also well-trained with suggestions and advice and will know what they're doing and what to suggest.

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SkiBum, the 2nd day after my first Re:pair I was unrecognizable, and thought that I had made a huge mistake. My eyes were little slits. By the 3rd day the swelling started to subside. Keep putting the ice packs on. Anybody contemplating laser should look into the ice masks available from MakeMeHeal

http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=13733

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Thanks, Dudley! You guys are all so helpful!

It does help to know someone else has "been there done this". Especially when one is unsure if something is to be expected or not.

I did end up calling my sweet doc and texted her pics to show her the extent of the edema. She called in an rx for steroids, but would prefer that I hold off taking them and wait and see if the swelling comes down. Sooo, I'm Miss Squinty Eyes today! :)

Okay, onto more questions to whoever would like to help me out! :D

When you showered and/or cleansed your face did you pre-medicate to help deal with the pain?

Is it possible to get ALL of the aquaphor off? I don't want to run or scrub, yet there's still quite a bit of it left on my face even after I wash. Should I be concerned about that? Or should I just not worry about it as it will most likely get less tender (it better!) as the days go on?

Edited by SkiBum#1

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SkiBum, I would do vinegar rinses to get the Aquaphor off and then reapply the Aquaphor. I believe I was able to shower on the 3rd or 4th day and that is when you begin to feel normal again. The only thing I was taking after the antibiotics ran out was Xanax, and I quit that after one week. After about day 4 I switched from Aguaphor to Cetaphil lotion.

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Thanks Dudley!

The vinegar rinse helped immensely. I am so excited to see that my skin does look MUCH better without the thick aquaphor on it! The swelling is still there but at least I'm not bloody anymore. Once I'm able to shower and get the stuff out of my long hair I'm sure I will feel even better! I see my doc first thing Monday morning and I'm **hoping** that I will get to switch from aquaphor to something much less thick and sticky then.

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Well the saga continues...

I woke up this morning to much less red skin and the swelling had gone down remarkably! I still looked a bit like Humpty Dumpty...but a cute Humpty Dumpty! I was so pleasantly surprised and hummed my way through my morning routine. :dance: I could see that the results were going to be really good! When I washed my face I noticed one small white bump. I assumed it was millia and wasn't concerned. Well, a few minutes later, I was completely shocked to see that the white "bump" had become at least 30 white pustules on my chin, sides of my mouth, under my nose and on the sides of my nose. I immediately texted pics to my doc and called her cell, but got her voicemail. I then called her home number and reached her husband who's also a doctor and he assured me he would track her down ASAP. She called me back and arranged to meet me. So, I've had the pustules cultured and we're waiting for the results from the hospital. Meanwhile, I'm taking another antibiotic (Bactrim) in addition to the Keflex.

I'm wondering though what are the possibilities that it could be a yeast infection? Has anyone here had one after undergoing laser? My face is incredibly itchy despite Benadryl and now Claritin. I had the procedure done Friday night...would it be normal to already be itchy because of the healing?

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It could be an allergy to vinegar; the description sounds a bit like what others have described when they reacted to vinegar. That's just a guess. I'm glad the doctor took it so seriously and that you got the cultures done. What a saga! I'm so glad the swelling is less, too. :)

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Hip hooray, the infection is under control and I'm healing beautifully! :surprised: I progressed to having a fever by yesterday (Day 2) afternoon but after the 2nd dose of the new antibiotics I was one my way back up to the good side. The bacteria was cultured out to be MRSA so I'm glad that I called my doc right away...it might have gotten awfully ugly, awfully fast...yikes! :shifty:

Since I'm part of the study I have to go in every day this week to have pictures taken to show the healing progression.

My swelling is WAY down and hey, I even have a chin and jawline again! Woooohooo!

The results look like they are going to be very good...I'll have my dr email me some of the pics at some point and I'll post them here. This is the first thing I have ever done about my scars and I'm 36 years old so I'm pleased to get significant improvement on the first shot so to speak!

My doctor thought perhaps we could eliminate the majority of the scarring with one procedure, but, I'm guessing there will still be some work done. That's okay though, I'm on the road to success and I'm encouraged at every step that I take in that direction.

Thanks for listening...it's nice to "talk" to people who understand where I'm coming from: the struggles, embarassment and the plain ole heartache! Ciao!

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Hip hooray, the infection is under control and I'm healing beautifully! :surprised: I progressed to having a fever by yesterday (Day 2) afternoon but after the 2nd dose of the new antibiotics I was one my way back up to the good side. The bacteria was cultured out to be MRSA so I'm glad that I called my doc right away...it might have gotten awfully ugly, awfully fast...yikes! :shifty:

Since I'm part of the study I have to go in every day this week to have pictures taken to show the healing progression.

My swelling is WAY down and hey, I even have a chin and jawline again! Woooohooo!

The results look like they are going to be very good...I'll have my dr email me some of the pics at some point and I'll post them here. This is the first thing I have ever done about my scars and I'm 36 years old so I'm pleased to get significant improvement on the first shot so to speak!

My doctor thought perhaps we could eliminate the majority of the scarring with one procedure, but, I'm guessing there will still be some work done. That's okay though, I'm on the road to success and I'm encouraged at every step that I take in that direction.

Thanks for listening...it's nice to "talk" to people who understand where I'm coming from: the struggles, embarassment and the plain ole heartache! Ciao!

Yeeouch! I'm so glad you went in STAT. I'm sorry it turned out to be MRSA. Argh. :( But so glad you took it seriously and went in right away. Take ALL the medicines as prescribed, ok? :)

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Yeeouch! I'm so glad you went in STAT. I'm sorry it turned out to be MRSA. Argh. :( But so glad you took it seriously and went in right away. Take ALL the medicines as prescribed, ok? :)

Yes, sir! :angel: I'm a by the clock, on schedule, pill taken machine these days!

I did have to laugh when I went back in to see my doc. She said, " It's so great to have someone with bac infection to include in the study. We haven't had anyone else with this complication." Then she kinda caught herself and looked a little sheepish. I just laughed and said that I was just showing my Type A personality, having to really be the A+ patient. Lol!

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Yeeouch! I'm so glad you went in STAT. I'm sorry it turned out to be MRSA. Argh. :( But so glad you took it seriously and went in right away. Take ALL the medicines as prescribed, ok? :)

Yes, sir! :angel: I'm a by the clock, on schedule, pill taken machine these days!

I did have to laugh when I went back in to see my doc. She said, " It's so great to have someone with bac infection to include in the study. We haven't had anyone else with this complication." Then she kinda caught herself and looked a little sheepish. I just laughed and said that I was just showing my Type A personality, having to really be the A+ patient. Lol!

Now that's cute, from both of you. Glad she noticed her faux pas and that you were able to be gracious about it. :P

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SkiBum, I am glad you reacted so quickly to the MRSA. It will be interesting to find out how effective lasers are with ice pick scars.

I've got to say I'm very pleased with the results thus far. All swelling is gone and the improvement is amazing...besides, the improvement in my acne scars, the few wrinkles that I had are completely gone. I feel very fortunate to have "stumbled" upon a treatment that worked so well.

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