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kennifer

Getting Laser Skin Restoration Today

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Hi Everyone.

First post. I'm getting my first of three rounds of laser skin restoration done today. A lot of people on here gave it bad reviews but I'm going anyway. I work on camera and my skin is really starting to hinder my work and piss of make-up artists. My skin is currently better than it has been in the 15-ish years that I've had acne, but in seriously dealing with the lasting damage there's really nothing left that I can do on my own at this point. Got rid of my cystic acne mainly by cutting gluten from my diet and getting facials monthly. Still get pimples and clogged pores, some hormonal acne once a month, nothing really serious though. My skin has definitely looked worse, and if I wasn't an actor I wouldn't bother getting this procedure done but it's the kind of thing that's really noticeable in certain light and is starting to cost me. I'm currently 27. Getting the laser work for icepick scars and pigmentation. I have some fine wrinkles, and if the laser helps that too -- bonus.

Here is what my skin looked like three months ago (just because I realized that my "before" picture from today looks a bit blurry):

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And below is what my skin looks like today, before leaving for my appointment... I've got the acne pretty much under control, now just have the scars.

Will post again later when I get home from the treatment and in the following days to show you guys how it's healing up. It's kind of a big decision and I know a lot of people are nervous to make it so I wanted to share my experience. Hopefully I don't mangle my face! :)

Let me know if you have any questions.

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Edited by kennifer

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I got the MicroLaser Peel. Here's a bit from the literature given to me by the clinic:

"The MicroLaser Peel (MLP) procedure uses a 2940 nm Ebrium YAG laser to precisely vaporize (ablate) predetermined layers of skin with the Contour Scanner. The MLP is a superficial peel that addresses the texture and tone of photo-aged or damaged skin."

I know my scarring is not very bad in my day-to-day, but working on camera is is extremely noticeable and rough-looking even with a professional make-up artist. Please keep in mind that I have already invested thousands of dollars on my scarring at this point (including Retin A, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, monthly facials, etc.), and this is what's stubbornly left behind. It looks much worse in person than on my camera, which is kind of blurry and the soft light in the room was too flattering! :P

Anyway, I just got back from the clinic. The procedure went like this:

- She applied a numbing cream to my skin and let me lay there for about 15 minutes.

- She removed the numbing cream, covered my eyes, and gave me a tube to hold on to that dispensed cold air.

- She applied the laser to my skin in sections. It took about half an hour in total. It didn't hurt at first but as she went over areas more than once it was quite painful. The cold air really helped.

- After the procedure she applied vaseline to my face and sent me on my way. I wasn't willing to pay for a cab and didn't want to look like a gooby monster whilst crammed up against a bunch of strangers on the subway during rush hour, so I wiped off the vaseline in the bathroom at the clinic, bought more on my way home, and re-applied it as soon as I got into my apartment since it was only about a 15 minute trip.

Pain:

It was painful. When I didn't have the cold air on the right place, the laser felt like how hot oil feels if you are frying food and accidentally get some splashed on your skin. Fire-hot. Less painful than a tattoo, but more painful than waxing. For the few minutes after she finished, my face was extremely hot. It's still a bit hot and sore now that I'm home, but I'm not suffering -- I can totally handle it.

Immediate side effects:

The numbing cream went on at 3:30. The procedure went from 3:45 to 4:15. It is now 5:45. I have had no bleeding or oozing. My skin has been sweating a little in places. My skin looks a bit darker, a bit red, like a very localized sunburn -- not as bad as I was expecting. I have big white rings around my eyes which makes the skin colouration the most noticeable by contrast, so when I wear sunglasses it doesn't look too bad. Not much swelling at the moment. I smell like burnt hair. My skin felt very rough and sore when I was applying the vaseline.

Post-care instructions given to me (summarized):

- Continuously apply vaseline so there is always a layer on the skin.

- Soak the skin with a mix of 2 cups water, 1 tsp white vinegar 4 to 8 times a day. The more soaking the better.

- Stay out of the sun completely. Even inside the house, keep it shady.

- Don't put anything else on the skin other than the vinegar/water and the vaseline for a few days.

- When bathing, keep soap/shampoo off face.

- After a few days, only use very mild moisturizers such as Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream.

- After a few days it's safe to go outside, but sunscreen is absolutely mandatory.

- If scabs appear, soak more and apply more ointment.

- Make-up can be worn in 4-7 days.

I'm supposed to go back in for the next treatment in a month. Depending on what's going on with my work I may have to wait longer to return.

Here are the pictures taken one hour after the laser.

I'll post more photos tomorrow. Let me know if you have any more questions.

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Edited by kennifer

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You're going to peel so sunscreen, sunscreen and sunscreen.

Good luck

Thanks! :)

I'm not allowed to put any sunscreen on my face for a few days, so until then I have to stay inside in my cave and soak my face with water, vinegar, and petroleum jelly. Apparently this is what a sunburn feels like but I've never had one before. Ouch.

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Yeah but after you'll need to or you'll risk pigmentation issues. Just keep that in mind. :)

I will, thank you. Want to be very careful about this.

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It's my first day after the procedure, about 20 hours following the appointment. I have been soaking my face with the vinegar/water mixture every few hours and reapplying vaseline. When I soak with the cloth, I only press and dab gently, I don't wipe my skin with it, I am being extremely gentle. Looking forward to washing my face with soap in a few days.

The burning feeling is pretty much gone. My skin is a bit sore when I smile but hardly at all, not very tight, doesn't seem to be swelling a whole lot. I have been keeping the vinegar water in the fridge and I think the very cold application of it is helping to calm swelling and redness. I was expecting to be more red today, but I'm not at all. Because of the colouration it is difficult for me to tell what kind of results I'll be getting when I heal up in a few days. The "grid" patterned dots from the laser are visible but I'm not worried about it. As long as I keep taking care of my skin, protecting it, and being extremely gentle with it, I expect them to disappear with the rest of the dead stuff in a few days.

Overall I feel that my skin is beginning to heal more quickly than expected. A few people on YouTube seemed to really have mangled their faces, and it got me way more nervous for this than I should have been. I have a meeting to attend on Tuesday -- it is Friday now -- and I'm convinced that my face will be "normal" looking by then. The only difficult thing for me right now is not going outside and sleeping on my back.

Attached some pictures I just took a minute ago. Let me know if you have any questions. Will post more pictures tomorrow.

So far no regrets!

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Next time leave whatever they put on after your laser treatment ,when you removed the Vaseline at the clinic , that was bad because your skin was sensitive and like you said it feels like a sunburn, and like sunburn skin,laser skin is exposed to breaks , so to avoid any unnecessary break on it, its better to follow the instructions to avoid infections.

I know that you are following instructions but the removing of the Vaseline wasn't a good idea.

Take care.

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I am a little surprised you are using Vaseline and not Aquaphor. I am sure, gauging by your pictures, that you were treated at a low mj setting, which may not be a bad thing because your scars were not extensive. Since the company has named it as a peel it is by definition less intense than Fraxel Repair, which I recommend for people with more scarring than you have. I have gone head to head with many people on here, and remain an advocate of Repair. With that said I never advocate intense treatment for those, like yourself, who does not need it. Collagen growth takes a long time so you will see improvements continuing for a long time. Talk to me 9 months after your third treatment. Lasers are a cumulative process so expect some disappointment at first, but do not be like most who expect miracles, and continue the process, and you will thank yourself

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Next time leave whatever they put on after your laser treatment ,when you removed the Vaseline at the clinic , that was bad because your skin was sensitive and like you said it feels like a sunburn, and like sunburn skin,laser skin is exposed to breaks , so to avoid any unnecessary break on it, its better to follow the instructions to avoid infections.

I know that you are following instructions but the removing of the Vaseline wasn't a good idea.

Take care.

I really didn't remove all of it, I wiped away the excess -- my skin was still very moist, just not as globby. Almost impossible to remove petroleum jelly without soap anyway. Didn't want a big glob of my face jelly to fall into someone's coffee on the subway, kinda like that scene in Mrs. Doubtfire...

Next time I'm just going to leave it on and pay for a cab though, I smelled very burnt and that's not pleasant for the people around me on a crowded the subway regardless of how presentable I can make my face.

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It's now Saturday afternoon, two days after my appointment, which was on Thursday afternoon. There is absolutely no burning sensation today, my skin is just feeling extremely dry -- I need to apply more vaseline than before -- and a little itchy, especially in the areas where my skin tends to be more delicate/sensitive. While doing my water/vinegar soaks and applying the vaseline every few hours, bits of rubbery dead skin are coming off on my fingers and the cloth, especially around my mouth and nose. I have a feeling that most of the dead skin will come off during my soaks today and the rest will probably come off tomorrow. Have been very careful not to rub my skin to remove the excess, just dabbing and keeping it as moist as possible. I haven't gone outside since Thursday, so hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to put some sunscreen on my face and go live my life a little. Really looking forward to washing my face with soap someday soon. The vaseline is really starting to build up and feel icky, vinegar water can only do so much.

I took these pictures a few hours ago. More of the darker dead stuff has come off since then. The skin underneath is looking pretty smooth but it will be hard to get an idea of any improvement for a few days still. I'll upload more photos tomorrow so you can see.

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I am a little surprised you are using Vaseline and not Aquaphor.

On the care instructions I received from the clinic they mentioned that I can use either Vaseline or Aquaphor. I am using Vaseline because I am allergic to an ingredient in Aquaphor. Seems to be working fine, does the job at keeping the skin moist and protected. Looking forward to using regular moisturizer again in a few days.

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Morning of third day after laser. Finding it difficult to keep skin clean because whenever I apply the vaseline, globs of skin start rolling off and sticking to my face. So I wipe/dab my face gently with a damp washcloth to get rid of the bits of detached skin, then reapply the vaseline, and more skin comes off and sticks to my face. So there's been a lot of gentle applying and re-applying.

Very mild itching on the cheeks, a few whiteheads, probably because of all the petroleum that's been sitting on my skin for a few days. Tomorrow I'll be washing my face with a gentle cleanser and taking a pictures before I apply any vaseline or moisturizer so that you can get the barest possible picture of the skin.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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Edited by kennifer

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skin looks super healthy, almost like brand new, i suppose that is what it actually is

are you going for a follow up? i think you will have very good skin

thanks for the updates, you seem to have treated your skin very well ..the journey home after treatment is also making me very nervous, i dont like the idea of spending 4 hours getting home all red and burnt covered in jelly :rolleyes:

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aquafor works great when doing a tca peel ...did you peel after getting laser treatment?

Yep, all of the skin has "peeled" off within a few days of the laser... more like globbed off on my fingers while spreading on the Vaseline. Can't use Aquaphor because I'm allergic.

skin looks super healthy, almost like brand new, i suppose that is what it actually is

are you going for a follow up? i think you will have very good skin

thanks for the updates, you seem to have treated your skin very well ..the journey home after treatment is also making me very nervous, i dont like the idea of spending 4 hours getting home all red and burnt covered in jelly :rolleyes:

Looks better today now that all the rough dead stuff has come off, about to post more pictures. I've devoted four whole days to taking really good, gentle care of my skin and staying indoors with the blinds closed. Yes, I am going for two more laser peels, total of three, about a month apart each. It's difficult for me to predict when I will be able to have this much time off, able to stay in the apartment, but the idea is to get them each one month apart anyway.

Four hours, wow! Are you driving or taking public transit? Or making the pilgrimage on horseback? I hope you can do this with lots of shade. I just ran two blocks to the subway, the two blocks from the subway to my apartment, didn't get a lot of sun on my way home. If you bring a hat/sunglasses ask the clinician for an alcohol swab for your sunglasses, and some gauze for where your hat will touch your forehead.

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So it's not four days after I got my laser. The rest of the dead skin came off yesterday while doing the vinegar soaks and applying Vaseline. The skin where my face has the most movement (chin/mouth mostly) is where skin started coming off two days after the laser, and then the jaw and forehead where there is less movement two days after the laser. The areas where skin came off later is less sensitive now, the areas where skin came off sooner is a bit more sensitive/itchy/dry now. So don't rush it. There is still a bit of rough skin around my hairline, a bit of a barely-visible dark-ish line under my chin, and my face feels a bit sensitive and dry. Still looks better than how my skin normally looked before the laser. Of course since I was applying Vaseline to my skin every four hours for four days and not washing my face with soap, my skin got really clogged up and I developed some pimples. That's okay -- I know it will settle down now that I'm able to keep my face cleaner.

I'm using a gentle lotion-cleanser (still not using actual soap on my skin) and moisturizer from a spa called Skoah. I'm told Cetaphil is a good brand to use in the final healing stages but Skoah is just what I happen to already have and the clinician approved it. I went outside to walk my dog today in the daylight for the first time in a few days. I put two layers of sunscreen on my skin, one mixed with a little Vaseline since my skin feels really dry now and soaks everything up very quickly.

I usually sleep on my side but have been sleeping on my back for the past few nights so as not to aggravate my face, which has been extremely difficult and uncomfortable for me. Last night I finally slept on my side and got some much needed rest.

Here are some pictures I just took after washing my face with the cleansing lotion a few minutes ago. I have since applied a mixture of vaseline/moisturizer/sunscreen, but I wanted you to see my skin without anything on it. I feel/see enough difference to know that the next two peels I'll be getting over the summer will be worthwhile. It's hard to tell from the pictures because I've had a bit of a breakout and I'm a bit pink and sensitive, but overall my skin feels tighter and smoother -- it's actually never felt this smooth in my adult life, not after facials or microdermabrasion or anything -- and looks more even overall. I know that the collagen in my body needs time to do its work. My skin is in the final stages of healing from the laser, but this is *not* the final result. I will post more photos in about a month before I get the next laser so you can see the improvement over time (if there is any). After that I won't post the healing process anymore because I'm sure it will look the same, but I'll post again after I've had all three treatments to get a good idea of before and after. (Too bad my before pictures are so blurry.)

Healing time went way more quickly that I had anticipated, which I'm really happy about. Had the laser on Thursday, it's now Monday, and I easily could have gone to an audition or whatever. My skin is probably good for make-up now if I needed to wear some for a few hours, but I'm going to hold off and keep my skin clean and moist for as long as possible.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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I've made a gallery with just pictures of one section of my cheek so that it's easier for you to see the change over time:

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The clinic didn't give you instructions about make-up and also probably removal of it ?.

I think your skin is healing really nice.

Thanks for the information.

Take care.

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