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Had Total FX on 6/5/09 - Pensacola, Florida

It was very uncomfortable. I received numbing...

It was very uncomfortable. I received numbing cream, 4 dental blocks and shots around my eyes. The worst part was around the outside of my face. A few times I thought I'd come out of the chair, but I figure I gave birth to a child so I can endure just about anything for the 20 minutes it took to obliterate the skin on my face. Oh, the things we go through to look good.

I had mine done for some pretty intense melasma that I have been dealing with for 7 or 8 years and mild acne scarring. I am knocking on 40's door really hard and am ready to start worrying about wrinkles like the rest of my friends. I haven't been able to even think about fine lines and crow's feet. When your skin looks bad all over, a few wrinkles are no big deal.

I am on day 5 now and am extremely optimistic. I have been reading your stories every day for weeks and thought maybe it's my turn to encourage someone else.

Yesterday was horrible and then the most beautiful thing happened when I washed last night...my old skin started rolling off. I could probably get more off if I tried, but I am following Dr's orders to a "T". The skin underneath is very red, but extremely smooth. I can't tell how much the scarring will be reduced, but I know the melasma is gone for now and that is enough for me...anything else is just a bonus. I may never go outside again and will follow a strict sunscreen policy. Maybe the Obagi will work for me now.

A word of caution, this procedure is really hard on your self esteem. Since day 2, I have been thinking, "what have I done...was my skin really that bad?" Although the past 4 days have been kind of rough, I am sure the payoff will be worth it.


It's been 9 days and I am thrilled. I am...

It's been 9 days and I am thrilled. I am excited to see how much it will help with the scarring since I have to wait a few months for that answer. I am still a little red and I still have some flaking, but nothing I can't handle. The pic I took today is makeup free, except for some lip gloss. My husband is amazed by the transformation. This procedure is like going from a caterpillar to a butterfly...kinda gross but totally worth the metamorphosis. I definately stand by my recommendation. I'd say if you have real skin issues go for it, follow your doctor's advice implicitly and be patient.

Pensacola Dermatologist

I have been seeing my doctor for years and he has always been very good to me. I think he's the best dermatologist in the area.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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Comments (5)

I have been meaning to post an update. It has been four months and yes it was worth it. However, my melasma is back despite all my precautions. I have seen about a 30 percent scar reduction. I have to say I am disappointed overall, but it is better than having done nothing at all. I hope this helps. Good luck.
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Dear Pensacolagal, Thank you very much for sharing your story ! Could you please give an update about the final results ?
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I'm now on day 9 and much better. I had been pretty miserable up to day 5, when I went into my doctor's office for a followup visit. They removed a lot of dead skin that apparently, I hadn't been aggressive enough in removing for fear of creating scars, and the discomfort stopped from that point on. Every day the redness decreases, but I'm still very streaky and blotchy, which my doctor says is to be expected at this point. All the major peeling has stopped, but there's still some flaking. I feel human again, but still have to stay out of the sun completely for one more week. I can see some fine lines between my eyes and on my forehead are gone almost completely. My upper and lower eyelids appear tighter and smoother. Lines around my mouth are improved, and may disappear completely as the collagen rebuilds over the next few months. I think it's still too early for me to tell if its worth it. I'm glad you are feeling so positive about your experience. I suspect with time, I will too. I just have a lot more healing to do.
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I am so glad to hear that someone feels optimistic on day 5. I've just started day 4 and hoped to wake up to more improvement than I did. The swelling is going down a little, but I still look like a monster. My mouth and eyes are distorted and pulled from swelling and tight skin and it's hard to see at times. I really wish my doctor had given me more medication, because I think for me, with the discomfort and trouble sleeping, I could have used some help to stay calm and rested. You do start thinking things like "what have I done and am I crazy vain to put myself through this". The procedure itself wasn't that hard (just had numbing cream and no other meds) but the burning for the first 24 hours and swelling and discomfort are challenging. I couldn't take steroids for swelling that my doctor usually prescribes because of an allergy to an ingredient in them. Maybe people who can take something for swelling would have an easier time than I did. I told my doctor I had 7 to 10 days to recover, so he based the depth of treatment on that. I'm sure there are lighter treatments that are a lot easier, but the results are probably less dramatic.
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I really think the steroids helped a lot. Sorry you couldn't take them. I lived on Benadryl for the itching. It is amazing how sound you sleep after a couple of those tiny little pills. How are you doing now? Most of my redness and 90% of my swelling is gone. I am having a mild break out, but that's to be expected. My friends are amazed at the transformation, as is my husband. I do know that about day 4, I said I would never do that again or recommend the procedure to anyone. I am in a much better "place" now and would do it again. I can't believe how quickly one's perspective can change. Hang in there...it will be worth all the agony!
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