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After aggressive laser, scars and large pores are absolutely no different 8 days later. Waste of my time and money. See photos.

It's hard to tell in the before picture...

It's hard to tell in the before picture (it's the only one I have), but I have lots of mild to moderate rolling scars on my cheeks, an ice pick, and a box car scar, and some rough textured skin, plus large pores. I'd been contemplating laser's for a long time, then a saw a livingsocial deal for a local spa for $399 for a full face pixel perfect (aka Pixel Harmony) and I snagged the deal right up.

Some observations about me and my skin: I have thick skin (which made me a good laser candidate, FYI, most African American's have thick skin, but I'm of Eastern European descent.) I get cold sores on my lips every few months (this is VERY important to tell your laser technician/doctor, so they can give you an anti viral med, if not, you'll end up with bad cold sores all over your face, which result in MORE scars.) My skin is the type that burns easily. I was told by my dermatologist that I need an ablative laser for the rolling scars, he said a non-ablative laser wouldn't do much good for the rolling scars. The reason I got this done is that when I called the office before purchasing the coupon deal, I asked them if this was an ablative laser, they said yes. However, when I got to my appointment I found out it was just a non-ablative... But, I got it done anyways, and I'll post more as time goes on.

The appointment: My face was scrubbed clean, I was then given a numbing cream. After 30 minutes the numbing cream took effect. Technician asked me about my main concerns, I said rough skin, rolling scars, and freckles in corner of face. She said this laser won't get rid of the freckles, but the rough patches and the rolling scars were very fixable. She did what they call "stacking". With a fraxel they do "passes". So on the rolling scars she did 5-6 "stacks" and on the rest of my face she did 1-2 stacks. Stacks meaning how many times they press the laser button in the same spot. It didn't hurt too bad, maybe a 3 out of 10, and I could smell my skin burning despite the vacuum device being on. I was done in 15 minutes. She put an ointment on my face, and I was out the door. I bought a kit from one of the online sites, maybe skincarerx. The kit I bought was the SkinMedica post laser kit. The ointment is nice, it doesn't break me out like aquaphor does.

My face just looks and feels sunburned. I'm currently sleeping elevated on my recliner to prevent swelling, and I'm taking a benadryl twice a day to prevent any allergies (this was actually suggested by Dr.) I think it's going to heal fine because I took all the right precautions and did my research (thanks to the many helpful reviews on realself). I didn't use anything with acids or benzoyl peroxide in it for 2 weeks prior, I made sure to use sunscreen while going out. I didn't use any masks or scrubs, I didn't wear makeup. So time will tell whether or not this laser works on my rolling scars.

Day 4 today, so far I'm peeling alot, my skin is...

Day 4 today, so far I'm peeling alot, my skin is very tight, I can't apply make up. I'm glad I took a week off work. I'm applying SkinMedica TNS recovery complex about 10x per day and drinking LOTS of water, as instructed. Skin looks much smoother and most importantly, no scars insight. Ice pick scar remains though. I'm guessing the huge scar reduction is because of the micro-swelling from the pixel. I wonder if after a few months my scars will be visible again...

Well, today is day 8, and the micro-swelling has...

Well, today is day 8, and the micro-swelling has subsided. And guess what...I look just the same as before the laser. My scars are still there, to the full extent, and my large pores are still just as large. And this was after what the technician told me was THE MOST AGGRESSIVE SHE COULD DO with 5-6 stacks in most areas. She told me that my skin would be wonderful and mostly scar-free for about a year before I would just need a "touch-up". This was definitely a waste of my hard earned $399. I'm glad I didn't pay full price. I will not get any non-ablative laser services done anymore. I may one day consider an ablative CO2 laser like fraxel re:pair, but not until I see post laser photos of the patients years after they had it done. You can see from my photos that my scars are still there. What helped me better this laser did (but on a more consistent basis) is my previous skincare routine of kate somerville exfolikate 2x a week and at home glycoic peels...I'll just be sticking to that for now.
Enfuse med spa. Chicago.

Unfortunately, they didn't answer alot of my questions, and most importantly, they never asked me if I get cold sores. I learned about the cold sore information from a consult with a plastic surgeon about having my lips done, and I happened to mention a medical spa was lasering my face, so he gave me lots of helpful tips that the med spa never gave. I mentioned this to the med spa manager, the fact that I could've had a bad herpes outbreak on my face, and she made excuses why they didn't tell me. SHe said, "Well, we would have told you when you came for your appointment" I said, "But then it would have been too late, since I need to take the anti-viral medicine BEFORE the procedure." I asked her what their protocol was for anti-virals and lasers, she said take the medicine 2 weeks before laser. I had called prior to that to ask the other 2 laser techs, and they both gave different answers, one said 1 week before and 1 week after. THe other said just a week before and nothing after. Now my plastic surgeon, on the other hand, said when he does CO2 lasers he has his patients take just for 2 days before, day of, and 2 days after. I won't go back to the med spa for another laser treatment, but depending on my results from this, I might go and have a Dr do this procedure, not a tech with 9 months of esthetician schooling. I just found out in Illinois that anyone who is an esthetician (aka: 9 months of schooling) can perform non-ablative laser treatments. But only Doctors or Physican's Assistants can perform ablative laser treatments like fraxel repair or pixel co2.

2 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
2 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
3 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (5)

Some establishments that provide laser do not have a MD on premises, so they cannot (or should not) do ablative procedures. Only a MD can prescribe antivirals to prevent outbreaks. This is information you should find out by doing research beforehand and, if you had, you would know that it takes months—not days—to see improvement from lasers. In addition, though most important, do *not* get healthcare through a Groupon, or any other "deal!" If the establishment was so great to begin with, they wouldn't need to hold a sale.
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Actually you have to wait from 4 to 6 months to see the results! So relax and wait!!
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Hi, I read your experience and I'm sorry it wasn't better. I wanted to share with you what I had done for my acne scars, similar to yours. I've had fraxel done 4 times and while it hasn't gotten rid of 100% of the scarring my skin looks great. I even get compliments on it which is something I thought would never happen. It worked well for me and even though it was expensive it was well worth it. Good luck.
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I am sorry you were not able to obtain the results you were expecting.  How frustrating:(

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Welcome to RealSelf and thank you for sharing the details of your experience.   I am glad to hear that you had the knowledge about the anti viral meds.  Very helpful information!

Keep us up to date on your healing process.

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