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

Plasma Skin Resurfacing vs. other resurfacing procedures

Recommended Posts

Specifically looking for info on plasma skin resurfacing at the high setting. My doctor says about 3 or 4 at the low setting is equivalent to 1 at the high setting but that the downtime is about the same - 1 week. Think I'd rather do the one and get it over with. I know electroscars had her electro(lyis) scars treated over a series of 4 or 5 sessions at the low setting IIRC with great success (~ 70%). But what about acne scars? Has anyone had PSR once at the high setting? How did it turn out? Please share as I have no information about this tx technology on acne scars yet/

The cost is similar to other types of major resurfacing procedures like dermabrasion, CO2 laser and exoderm but...I really don't know how effective it would be. I'm hoping that a series of 5 to 8 fraxels (I consider fraxels at the low density/high energy settings to be more of a scar revision procedure than a resurfacing one) will get me to a point where my scars are considered fairly shallow and that all I would need to smooth out the texture and remaining scars would be some kind of resurfacing. I don't want to do another dermabrasion or CO2 laser. Too risky and down time is too long. And I just don't have any faith that exoderm would give me any improvement, not to mention it would cost me an arm, a leg, and my left nut to pay for the out-of-state procedure. I don't think TCA peels are particularly effective except for wrinkles unless you do perhaps a series of 10 peels or so. I am NOT willing to put my face through that, especially at my age. So I'm pretty much thinking PSR late next year, but if it's not going to provide any measureable improvement I won't bother. Anyone been treated besides electroscars with the Rhytec PSR3?

Thanks,

kooky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Kooky - I think you're right about the 3 or 4 lower settings being equivalent to one higher. I kind of wish I just did two high settings instead b/c my downtime was about 4 days but I'd still be a bit pink until day 7. My brother actually did the PSR3 also. He did two treatments on higher settings. He had acne scarring on his cheeks. I hadn't seen him in over a month and when I just saw him for Xmas I was amazed at the improvement. I was so impressed. I think doing the higher settings might be worth it so you don't have to go through downtime on 5 different occasions! How much are they charging you Kooky?

Specifically looking for info on plasma skin resurfacing at the high setting. My doctor says about 3 or 4 at the low setting is equivalent to 1 at the high setting but that the downtime is about the same - 1 week. Think I'd rather do the one and get it over with. I know electroscars had her electro(lyis) scars treated over a series of 4 or 5 sessions at the low setting IIRC with great success (~ 70%). But what about acne scars? Has anyone had PSR once at the high setting? How did it turn out? Please share as I have no information about this tx technology on acne scars yet/

The cost is similar to other types of major resurfacing procedures like dermabrasion, CO2 laser and exoderm but...I really don't know how effective it would be. I'm hoping that a series of 5 to 8 fraxels (I consider fraxels at the low density/high energy settings to be more of a scar revision procedure than a resurfacing one) will get me to a point where my scars are considered fairly shallow and that all I would need to smooth out the texture and remaining scars would be some kind of resurfacing. I don't want to do another dermabrasion or CO2 laser. Too risky and down time is too long. And I just don't have any faith that exoderm would give me any improvement, not to mention it would cost me an arm, a leg, and my left nut to pay for the out-of-state procedure. I don't think TCA peels are particularly effective except for wrinkles unless you do perhaps a series of 10 peels or so. I am NOT willing to put my face through that, especially at my age. So I'm pretty much thinking PSR late next year, but if it's not going to provide any measureable improvement I won't bother. Anyone been treated besides electroscars with the Rhytec PSR3?

Thanks,

kooky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi electoscars,

Nice to see you around again. :angel: Wow, that IS encouraging that your brother got such amazing improvement at the high settings. :dance: What kind of acne scarring did he have? Did your skin in the healing stages look similar to the photo of the PSR3 patient on shorelaser.com? At day 3, it looks similar to the crusting from a Jessner or TCA peel. Are your improvements still holding up around 70%?

The doctor who performs it here is charging a whopping $3000 / treatment :doh:

I haven't asked about spot treatment costs but I plan to the next time I see him. I'm only in research/exploratory mode and will wait until at least a few months after my fraxel treatments to see if I'll even need PSR3.

ciao,

kooky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bit the bullet & had the high-energy treatment donw yesterday. I opted for that route rather than the 3 lower-level settings, as the downtime wasn't all that much more. I used a week's vacation to just chill out & let myself heal - also to catch up on a lot of TiVo'd shows, DVDs and books. I will post my results as I see them.

It is slightly less than 24 hous since I had it done, but what I can tell you so far is that it hurt some while it was being done, some areas more than others. I was lucky that they just got this cooling air-hose device & the sales rep was onhand to show the staff how it works. I benefitted from having him blow cold air on my face when the burning got to be too much. All-in-all, it wasn't so bad. Afterward & for the rest of the day, it felt like a bad sunburn. Today it doesn't feel that bad at all.

I'm keeping petroleum jelly slathered on my face, which is a mottled mix of redness & brownness... I'm freakin' gorgeous! :D It's supposed to turn all brown & start peeling off, after which it should be red (like a sunburn). Again, I'll keep y'all posted.

It was $3500 here in DC, but the dermatolgist is very highly regarded & has been doing dermatology & cosmetic surgery for a while. Her name is Dr. Tina West & she is one of the first offices in the DC area to offer the Portrait PSR3 treatment. It's a lot of cash, but I'm going on her reputation and experience since this is a fairly new technology. Time will tell if it was worth it, but I felt I needed to try it.

A little about my condition: I'm a 37-year old male who had mild/moderate acne from my teens and into my 20s. This left me with fairly mild (yet noticeable by me!) scarring and uneven skin texture/tone on my cheeks and jawline. No ice-picks or boxcars (I'm just learning the scar type names). I'm just hoping that my skin tone will even out and for my skin to tighten up a bit, which should take care of the unevenness of my skin texture. I've had Blue Light treatmets (worthless to me), microdermabrasion (makes your skin feel clean & buffed, but is not a long-lasting treatment), glycolic peels (same thing), and skin care products too numerous to mention over the years. I've also had 3 laser hair-removal treatments (expensive, painful, and didn't work for me) and electrolsis treatments for ingrown hairs (these seem to work ok, but you have to be patient & do a little at a time). Now it is time to get serious & I settled on Portrait, as I didn't want to do a whole lot of treatments (like Fraxel), or do something as drastic as CO2 lasers or full-on dermabrasion... I don't thing my condition warrants all the pain & downtime to repair.

In a nutshell, yes I took a gamble. The money is not the issue, as if it makes any kind of noticable difference in my appearence, I will be happy. I'm not expecting a miracle (although it would be nice), just some actual improvement that I can see.

I'll post again tomorrow, if anyone is interested!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey please keep us updated on your progress as i REALLY REALLY want to get this done next year, as i stay in the U.K and its still in trials over here, but i have heard nothing but good things about this laser, and all in all its not too expensive. I really hope you get good results , i have a felling you will!

Happy healing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ol Skool, yes I'm very interested so please keep us updated. I live in the DC area so that makes it an extra bonus. Thanks and happy healing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those interested in the PSR3 procedure (I am a bit too), go to the mededge website: http://www.mededge-inc.com/psr.htm . This website tells you all about the procedure, has a couple pictures of results, and has a compilation of studies done on the procedure. Anyone interested in this procedure really should read some of this stuff. After alll, its your money and face were talking about. However, this site will be extremely biased as it's the company's website for the laser. But they do have alot of information that is a good read to get a background on the topic. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll post again tomorrow, y'all... I probably won't have anything new to report, but at least you'll know I'm not dead from it! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is PSR3 and what type of scars is it for?

There is a thing called google. Use it.

FIESTY FIESTY!!

i'm interested as well. i am familiar with dr. tina west as do i live in d.c. area. $3500 doesn't seem like all that much if you see improvement. very interested in hearing your results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the differences between Portrait and Fraxel are fairly numerous. The best thing to do is to pore over the Rhytec site to learn about Portrait (http://rhytec.com/) and Fraxel.com (http://www.fraxel.com/), then do Google searches for both terms and check out the sites of offices around the country that offer either/or of these techniques. I learned a lot by doing this, as some offices actually have more to say than just regurgitating the company's boilerplate marketing language (many of them do, though). From this, I learned that Portrait offers much more in a single high-powered session, especially in the areas I am interested in (skin tightening, evening of skin tone, smoothing of wrinkles). Both are fairly new technologies, so it's all kind of a big crapshoot... expensive crapshoots, though they may be! My feeling is also to favor the overall experience of the doctor rather than going for the cheapest guy in town... there is no substitute for experience, right?

That said, I'm about 72 hours into my "recovery". My skin is all reddish-brown, and I keep petroleum jelly on it at all times. I can't shave, which drives me a bit nuts, but it's probably good to give it a rest anyhow. I can't say that it feels comfortable... it's like a really bad sunburn now. I'm probably a few days out from the real peeling action, and will keep this forum posted every day throughout the healing. It's too soon to tell if it's doing any "good" yet, but I knew it wasn't supposed to be an instantaneous transformation! I am being as patient as possible, and diligent in my cleansing and application of petroleum jelly. I feel kinda gross, but hopefully it will all be worth it!

Anyhow, I think it's very important for everyone to share their firsthand experiencese with whatever procedure they are having done. I've been on this forum for a while now & get frustrated sometimes by the lack of real, honest firsthand accounts. There's a lot of theorizing & half-information, and sometimes just plain cock-eyed advice given. No one obviously has the real answers to any of our problems, otherwise this forum would probably not exist, so the next best thing is for us all to give the best perspectives that we can... no substitute for experience, right? Especially when it comes to new technologies like Portrait and Fraxel. I like how FloridaGuy gave the first accounts of his Fraxel sessions... we need more of this!

Until tomorrow...

-Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a special cleanser, oxygenized spray water, and petroleum jelly that were all developed specifically for post-Portrait care, which I got from my derm after the treatment. Yes, I sleep with the jelly on my face & prop up pillows so that I sleep face up. Sometimes I wake up on the side of my face, but what can ya do? I just change my pillowcases every day! :)

So I'm now on Day 4 after treatment & I look relatively ok today. Did a LOT of peeling yesterday & the redness seems like it's starting to subside a little. My wife says it's looking much better... I might actually leave the house & go get a big ol' cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee! No one to impress at Dunkin Donuts... I mean, it's not like an expresso bar or anything, right? ;)

As I had protective eyewear on during the procedure, I have pale skin around my eyes, which makes me look kinda like a funky raccoon. That, and my neck is still butt-white. I'm still peeling a little bit, but it's not the dead brown skin type of peeling, but like a regular sunburn. My skin is more comfortable today, for sure.

Anyhow, who knows if I'll start peeling again or what, but I will keep you guys posted. I have my follow-up tomorrow, so we'll see what the good doctor says about my reaction to the process & how the healing is going. Until manana, y'all!

-Steve

To answer the previous question, I do not have any "before" photos, but my doctor took many. I'm kinda scared to look at them, but will ask her if she can email me one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both are fairly new technologies, so it's all kind of a big crapshoot... expensive crapshoots, though they may be! My feeling is also to favor the overall experience of the doctor rather than going for the cheapest guy in town... there is no substitute for experience, right?

IPB Image

I couldn't agree more friend. I think everything is pretty much a crapshoot (risk/benefit), even temporary fillers. Case and point: I was happy with collagen. Then one time I had collagen injected into a vein in my temple. It bled and bruised and oozed for a week and I had to explain that I was crushed in the head in a kickboxing match. On that bright note, thanks for guineau-pigging yourself with the PSR3. Hope it works out for you. Please keep us updated.

salud,

kooky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kickboxing match? Awesome! I went to the convenience store today for a pack of smokes and an Almond Joy... the clerk asked me why my face was all red, so I told him I just got back from backcountry snowboarding in Wyoming. Easier than telling him that I'm a vain mofo who just blew big bucks to get his face nuked... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kickboxing match? Awesome! I went to the convenience store today for a pack of smokes and an Almond Joy... the clerk asked me why my face was all red, so I told him I just got back from backcountry snowboarding in Wyoming. Easier than telling him that I'm a vain mofo who just blew big bucks to get his face nuked... ;)

Wow you might be the first person I've heard of who actually purchased an Almond Joy out of his own free will. :D I remember getting asked why my face was so red from <insert ablative procedure here>...like you, I used to have a whole laundry list of excuses in my back pocket but now I've gotten used to just telling everyone that i had whatever procedure done.

I definitely don't think you're vain for trying to improve your scarring. I don't know about the mofo part since I don't personally know you. You really can't discount the psychological health benefits of self esteem and positive self image that improving your appearance, especially scarring from acne, can bring. I know this doesn't apply to everyone but I would say probably to a large number of people to varying degrees. And I also believe there's some correlation to your physical health, ie stress levels, depression, etc.

Do you recall how many passes the doc went over your face? I've been told one pass was the equivalent (in efficacy) of a medium depth chemical peel and that two passes was equivalent to a erbium yag laser treatment. And I heard Dr. Kilmer in Sacto is experimenting with a triple pass... but I can only venture to guess what risk is involved in going that aggressive.

And for the record, you don't sound like a mofo either. :razz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the kind words, kooky! Maybe I'm not a "mofo", but I do stand by my Almond Joy purchase... it's chocolate, it's coconut... it's delicious! :)

Anyhow, I am on Day 6 post-Portrait & I feel pretty damn good. I have only a minor amoutn of peeling on my nose & what looks like a pretty light sunburn everywhere else. I thought for sure that I would be housebound for all of the 10 days I took off work, but I've been out of the house since Tuesday, going out for dinner the last couple of nights! Maybe it's the minor swelling and the redness that makes my skin look WAY smoother and even-toned, but I'm pretty happy today.

I had my follow-up with my doctor yesterday & she said that I'm healing "on schedule." She said that many times, after the swelling and redness goes away, the patient will think that nothing has changed. Then she says the collegen remodelling kicks in, then you start seeing the real results. Man, if my skin would just stay the way it is now, I'd be a happy man! BUT, I'm also a patient man, so we will see what these next few weeks/months brings. I will continue to post my experiences.

On another note, I asked my doctor about Fraxel, since she is very reknowned & highly published. The manufacturers of this type of equipment come to her to test new technologies, so she was offered a Fraxel machine. She said she declined it, as she is skeptical of any treatment that needs multiple applications to see results. Portrait does offer a multiple treatment option, but she says the high-powered treatments offers most of the benefits of a CO2 laser, without the downtime and without a lingering blood-red face that could last for months. This is NOT to discount Fraxel, this is just her professional and personal opinion. This also does not discount CO2 laser treatment, as she says that's the only thing that really works for bad scarring, in conjunction with other treatments (punch, etc.), depending on the scarring.

I was attracted to Portrait for the same reasons she mentioned... that one treatment is supposed to offer big results. I, like most people, can't take lots of time off work. What I could do, however, is to take one of my 4 weeks of paid vacation & just bite the bullet with a high-powered treatment. Again, we shall see what the end results will be, which I will happily pass onto this forum.

-Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.spectacularskin.com/cgi-bin/acn...rames;read=5472

This is a link to an encouraging message on another board from a poster named lakegirl, who had PSR:

I have done 5 PSR3 treatments and am very happy with my results so far and I am seeing steady improvements over time. I just finished my last one a few weeks ago so now I'm giving my skin a break letting it remodel. I like it b/c it is not a laser and it is somewhat painful but tolerable. I have scarred pores and small indented scars and I think I have seen about a 70% improvement to date.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, LakeGirl posts to this forum under the name Electroscars... I had emailed her before I had Portrait done & she was kind enough to answer all my questions. Her brother had the high-powered treatment done as well, so she had lots of good firsthand info.

Anyhow, today makes a full week since I had it done... it was last Friday. I am only slightly red, with a small amount of peeling on my nose & forehead. So far, I am extremely happy... both with how I look now and with the low amount of downtime. I think this is where Portrait really shines above other methods... the lack of significant downtime.

I remain cautiously optimistic about my results. My skin has tightened to the point where my uneven texture has smoothed out to my satisfaction, but this could just be residual swelling (even though I don't look swollen), so I am prepared for it to subside (although I hope not!). My faith is still in the longer-term collegen remodelling.

I have another follow-up with my doctor next Wednesday, so unless there is anything new to report in the meantime, I probably won't post until then.

-Steve

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

×