Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
NUman

Asian Doing Co2 Fractional Laser Resurfacing (Co2Re Laser)

As promised, I went in for CO2 ablative fractional resurfacing about two days ago (20th August, 2013) for scarring on my face. Now, I might not post any pictures because it will not show much, as my scarring is on the moderate-mild scale, mostly textural irregularities. But I do have 1 huge boxcar and 3 milder ones, with give or take a few ice pick scarring, a few hypertrophic and next to none rolling scars.

But in turn, I'll be updating this journal accordingly so as to provide more insight (hopefully positive) into the treatment, as there are only countable topics about this on the forums. I will be writing as how I am thinking at the moment.

The area treated was the cheek and nose, and the laser used was CO2RE by Syneron and Candela. 5 passes on cheeks (50%) and 3-4 passes on nose (40%)

20th August(day 1)

Went in for the treatment, got a shot of toradol and numbing cream was placed onto face. I asked about the Re:pair laser, but the derm mentioned that the CO2RE laser is preferable for scars whilst he uses Re:pair more often for sun damage and liver spots. The results are comparable. I trusted his decision because he specializes in lasers and have published papers regarding the technology.

The laser is delivered using a free hand piece and in a hexagonal shape. It was passed over much like how Re:pair is delivered, continuously, except the hand piece does not come in contact with the skin. I was given the higher settings (about 50-60mj I think) at 50% coverage. Oddly enough, I read that the laser actually goes up to 90mj. I wonder if that's really a thing.

Went home with mild suntan look and no bleeding; did soaks regularly every 2 hours and cover with aquaphor. I was also prescribed antibiotics and anti-viral.

21st August(day 2)

Face was quite red, but not really that swollen, but enough to cause scars to vanish. Note that this is not permanent, LASERS ARE NOT A QUICK FIX. Did soaks and used aquaphor regularly, also took antibiotics and antiviral meds that made me feel sleepy.

Had pinpoint bleeding, but it is not really anything to shout about. Skin is slightly itchy towards the end of the day, but no visible peeling was seen.

So far, I've experienced what is expected. Just glad no significant swelling was observed.

22nd August(day 3)

Went back to the derm for a follow up; he was quite pleased with the situation as I have healed as expected. Face is still red and the swelling has gone down enough for scars to resurface. Upon dabbling my face with vinegar wash and ridding it of aquaphor, I notice my skin is peeling of in small circles in a radius around where the beams struck.

Healing is seemingly a no big deal for me, albeit my face feeling rather itchy.

23rd August(day 4)

Forgot to put aquaphor while I sleep; luckily I didn't have any tendency to scratch my face so I only woke up with a very dry crusty face. I placed on the vinegar soak to soften up the crusting and place a layer aquaphor on, no problem, I don't think it will scar over since my face is healing at a comfortably fast rate. The perks of being young. Face still itches as flakes of skin come off while I dab it with a wash cloth.

Right now, I just finished another session of vinegar soak and some more dead skin slathered off to show a layer of healthy skin. As much as I am in love with how it glows a healthy pink now, I am forced to remind myself that it is only temporary that I see shallow scarring. Swelling has gone down, so I could see the 3 clustered boxcars a little more clearer, the big boxcar on the side of my cheek still has a slight rounded dip. Ice pick scars looks slightly smoothened out, but not any amount shallower yet. Note to self again, this is temporary.

24082013263_zps235fd0d6.jpg<right cheek24082013262_zpsfb4162c2.jpg<left cheek

note, the texture is due to peeling. But yes, you can see a few obvious scars.

Stay frosty.

Edited by NUman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will probably update this till day 7 (1 week) and then after that, a month. I understand photos would make this more credible, but as hard as I try, it's hard to capture my scarring on camera. Apologies. Perhaps I might get the photos from my derm after a month during the follow up session.

So far, the healing process is what that is expected and reported in laser users like collegeboy and inspired; but not as dramatic. Somehow I had it easier, hmm. I suspect it is possibly the settings on which that I am treated, or it's just simply that my skin tolerates lasers well.

Check em.

Edit: first post updated with photos

Edited by NUman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Minor update, skin has mostly finished healing post 4-5 days past treatment. The last of the dead layer resides along my jawline. Anyhow, there is currently a textural improvement as my skin doesn't seem half as dead as it was, shallow scars have started to blend into the surrounding skin and 1 out of 3 small boxcars are filling in just as well, of the remaining 2, 1 is unchanged and the other appears to be shallower. The large boxcar on the side of my cheek doesn't seem as deep as it was (my sense of touch tells me this anyway).

Overall, it looks as if everything is going alright.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you scars appear milder you may have made a wise decision with the milder laser. I see no need for overkill, and the Re:pair might have been overkill in your case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's about a week post treatment and today I woke up to a sudden annoyance; my skin looks just the same as it did before the treatment.. I'm not sure how to react to this, but I'm admittedly rather down at the moment, especially since it isn't a gradual decrease, it just suddenly went fwop overnight.

Trying to stay optimistic. Fingers crossed.

Edited by NUman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking the same thing actually, considering my skin recovered in 5 days; I was ready for a week's down time and ghastly bleeding, but I only got pinpoint bleeding that barely lasted a day.

Anyway, Dudley (or any laser vets), do results typically build up during the next few months?

Edited by NUman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NUman, your scars are so minimal that I really don't know what to expect because it seems that you were treated at a low level, but that may correspond to the depth of your scars. You will see collagen growth over time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Dudley

The picture above has swelling in it, my scarring is slightly more aggravated than above, but not significantly yeah.

I can definitely see improvement at this point; my skin is actually more level at places that matter. I reasoned that I was perhaps expecting a little too much too soon and was getting a little disappointed before enough time elapsed (currently short of 2 weeks out). Anyway, I'll still keep this thread posted and I really can't say enough how I appreciate your support mate! I needed it.

I'm planning to get another treatment during mid-winter break and hopefully I'll be happy with my skin by then; hopefully the derm could recommend further steps during my follow up; seeing my easy recovery he might agree to kick it up a notch next time.

@luvskincare

Yes, it is mentioned in the topic. It is a fractional laser that I underwent because of my pigmented skin type. I also partially attribute my quick healing to my age and care though, which is a possible advantage.

Stay healthy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NUman

I am not that familiar with the laser treatment you had done. I meant to ask is the laser you had more like the Fraxel Restore were multiple treatments are needed or more aggressive like the fraxel repair?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone,

It is two weeks post treatment (yesterday), but I am glad to say that I'm actually seeing improvements in my skin! The large scar in my left cheek has surfaced enough to be less of a bother to me, even though I've not seen much in the three boxcars on that cheek, but they seem to bother me less as well. Not much to say about my right cheek though, there are more rolling and uneven scars that have sharp jagged edges there, but those are smoothing out even though they aren't filling in as much. So far, yes I am quite happy with the progress! I hope the buildup is progressive.

Also, sleep is very important! I find that if I lose too much sleep, my skin starts to dull out and my pores look angrier.

@luvskincare the CO2RE laser is a single-treatment ablative fractional laser, much like the Fraxel Re:pair; though just like the Re:pair, multiple treatments might be needed depending on your ideal goal. The CO2RE laser is much more suited for pigmented skin and requires less pain medications; I only needed a shot of Toradol and numbing cream on my face to bear with the treatment. Albeit having a lower penetration depth (1 mm) compared to the Repair (~1.4 -1.8 mm), my derm mentioned that the results from the CO2RE laser should be quite comparable to the Re:pair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's see... it has been 3 weeks past treatment and I have been seeing quite comforting improvements! Scars have been filling up, the textural scarring on my right cheek have turned flesh color and harder to find; my left cheek could use more improvement, but the boxcars bothers me less now.

Bad news? I somehow gave myself a nasty gash on my cheek while asleep. Skin wound, but I applied some antibiotic ointment and hope for the best.

Hypertrophic scars on nose seems less noticeable, but not sure about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright peeps, next Tuesday marks a month after my treatment and I got to say-- I'm actually happy with the results so far!

I haven't actually been seeing much improvement in the smaller boxcars on my cheek, but the large one has filled in to the point I don't even care about it even if it still has a pit in it; I know it is filling because when I run my finger over it, I can feel the difference in size and depth. But the rest of the scars-- Well. I'm not as concerned about them as I used to be now even though I don't think they have improved much.

And some exciting news I guess, the hypertrophic scars on my nose are quite dissipated! You know, the little pale flesh-colored bumps. They have flattened out significantly and I'm starting to apply silicon sheets during the night and gel during the day to see if I could maximize the benefit.

Depending on the derm's recommendation, I might move on to fractional erbium laser to keep the momentum during my school days; or I could always wait 3 months before deciding if I need another fractional CO2 treatment. The problem I have now I suppose is that I still have shallow textured scars with jagged edges that could be smoothened a little with the fractional erbium laser.

Bottom line, I bought my confidence back, regardless of results; it sometimes feels better knowing that you've done something than not. Results? As long as your expectation is moderated, it's easy to keep the ball rolling.

Stay frosty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lasers can be like a roller coaster ride. You have the original improvement and then it declines, and then the collagen starts and the improvement kicks in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the heads up Dudley and keeping my expectations in check :)

But no, I have been seeing very good improvement in my skin. The crater on my cheek have filled up so much it now looks practically like a smaller boxcar surrounded by mildly irregular skin. The hypertrophic scars on my nose have surprisingly flattened out quite a lot even though I wasn't expecting anything to change about it. Nothing much changed in my icepick scars, or maybe it is too subtle to notice.

I can actually look in the mirror now to appreciate the shape of my face and not care too much about my scarring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome man, I hope you get the results you want! I was wondering, what do the payment plans look like? Month to month? DP? Or Upfront? The only way i'd be able to get laser would be if there were Month to Month plans..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks mate, it is nice to be able to appreciate the features of one's face without cringing :) So far this laser have been working really for me and the derm didn't think I need another treatment seeing my progress.

My derm accepts both upfront and partial in two payments (one when making the appointment and the other on the day itself)- I paid upfront on the day of treatment because I saved up enough and didn't want to worry about it later. But I believe there are some derms and PS out there that may accept monthly payments with some initial deposit, since laser treatments are expensive and this helps people pay for it.

you might need to interface with their financial staff though, but don't worry there are usually ways around it, so don't give up. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks mate, it is nice to be able to appreciate the features of one's face without cringing So far this laser have been working really for me and the derm didn't think I need another treatment seeing my progress.

My derm accepts both upfront and partial in two payments (one when making the appointment and the other on the day itself)- I paid upfront on the day of treatment because I saved up enough and didn't want to worry about it later. But I believe there are some derms and PS out there that may accept monthly payments with some initial deposit, since laser treatments are expensive and this helps people pay for it.

you might need to interface with their financial staff though, but don't worry there are usually ways around it, so don't give up. Good luck!

nu man any chance of a update are u still happy with the results any complications u got please update man

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yes, I apologize for being away for some time. Anyway! The first laser scar treatment actually did not impress me that much.

However, I went for a different session of RF subablative treatment. And... I am impressed! Note that I only treated my scars twice (first was CO2RE, second was RF) but my scarring has been resurfaced to the point that I am not even conscious about them. Now, this is FAR different from saying "my skin is now perfect", because it just means that I am in a state of mind where I "do not mind my scars much" anymore; you will NEVER eliminate your scars, this is a fact, but you can improve how they look. Please read really carefully my review below before leaping to conclusions, your money is yours to spend and risks are always a factor.

My verdict? Well, CO2RE (or any CO2 laser treatments for that matter) costed me a heffing $3k. Yep. Considering that it blew off 3 years of my savings, the results were mediocre at best. My final assessment of this treatment was in the order of an upper boundary of 20% to 15%. Down time was 2-3 weeks out, pain was still teeth clenching even with topical numbing cream and injected relaxing drug. The machine was from Syneron and Candela.

The RF subablative, costing at $300 per session, made most of the difference (to me), and I believe I see a conservative* improvement of 20% in addition to the previous improvement. Open pores that used to collect sebum (I used to need to squeeze it out once in a while) now rarely do so, and ice pick scars widened out, or rather, normalized** to look more uniform (meaning they "blend" instead of looking too intrusive). The session was really quick and unintrusive, unlike CO2 laser and with good care you're mobilized within 3 days provided you use sunscreen, pain with topical numbing cream is negligible. I have a really wide scar on my left cheek due to a cystic acne nodule, it has also normalized so it is only exaggerated under strong lighting, I consider this a good improvement. There was also one major raised scar on my nose that normalized, but it is still visible up close; the minor scars are less visible under strong lighting. The machine was from Syneron.

The treatments were done 3 months apart, and it has been more than 3 months since my RF subablative as well. Note that RF subablative is NOT needling, do not allow anyone to tell you they are equivalent. RF treatment, in brief, does damage in a circular (or conical, if you prefer) radius under the skin based on the idea that the body will heal and raise the surrounding tissue. Based on my experience, it seems to do well with shallow textured scarring, deep scarring such as boxcars and icepicks may warrent more treatments, but I won't be getting any more any time soon!

I will answer any reasonable questions if I have the time to, thank you for your attention.

Here are the words that I would like to clarify

*conservative: meaning that you should take this judgement with a pinch of salt

**normalized: meaning that it is still visible under some conditions, but you don't really mind it at all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes


×