I’m a 54 year old, non-smoking vegetarian female who works out regularly, so I’m in excellent health and I look a lot younger than my age. However, when I turned 50, I started seeing the inevitable signs of being alive five decades, specifically, fine lines around my mouth and chin, as well as upper eyelid wrinkling. I knew it was time for me to think about getting something done.
For four years, I did research on all the various cosmetic procedures available that I felt would best help me. The first procedure I was contemplating was upper eyelid surgery, but after speaking with a dermatologist who does fractional laser resurfacing and who told me that eyelid skin can be improved by a procedure she does called Total FX, I decided to try Total FX before surgery. Not only was I hoping for an improvement on my upper eyelids, but of course, to diminish the fine lines on my face, as well.
The procedure: I took two valium pills an hour before, had my face covered with numbing cream and was given a dental block. I handled the procedure very well, but I won’t lie…it was a bit painful at times. Some spots I didn’t feel at all, but others hurt. If you can imagine rubber bands being snapped on your face really hard, that’s what it kind of felt like. I grit my teeth and visualized the improvements I would see in my skin and it was over before I knew it. After the procedure, it felt like a sunburn for about an hour, but it was easily tolerable with a misting bottle to cool me off.
The next three days were not the most fun, but I never expected them to be. It’s not that I was in pain…it’s just that my face looked horrendous…swollen, bright red, bloody in spots and there was just an overall feeling of being uncomfortable. Two things I did that really helped were; 1) I stayed really busy around the house to get my mind off of my face, and 2) twice a day I filled up my bathtub with warm, not hot, water, laid on my back, held my breath and nose, and lowered my head under water for several 15 second intervals in order to soak my face. Water is the greatest healer and I have no doubt this ritual sped up my healing process, as well as my healing process was aided by my normal diet which is rich in living fruits and vegetables.
Those first three bad days were over before I knew it and then I was on my way to seeing the improvements I had hoped for. Immediately, I was amazed at my upper eyelids and how the skin had tightened and lifted up the tiny sag I had before the procedure and how it smoothed out the creases on my upper eyelids. I thought it was too good to be true and was worried that it might not stay that way, so I was prepared for it not to last. I was also astounded that as the dead skin washed off, my new face underneath was practically flawless (all the tiny lines seemed to have disappeared completely and my pores were a lot smaller!). Again, I was skeptical. My face was still swollen and I am aware of how swelling can smooth things out. I knew I would have to be patient and wait till all the swelling was gone before I saw the real results. It was not until my fourth day that I felt I could be seen in public, so I went to the grocery store late at night (with a little mineral makeup on to cover the redness). My face looked puffy, but acceptable to strangers. By day seven, most of the swelling had gone down and I was able to go back to my normal life as long as I had makeup on to cover my redness. (I think it took about two weeks for the redness to go away completely.) Just as I had suspected, when the swelling went away, the fine lines started to become visible again, but they were definitely improved. And my overall complexion had a smoothness, evenness, and glow about it that I was thrilled about. As for my eyelids, they still look amazing and a huge improvement from what they were before Total FX. I sometimes look in the mirror at myself and think I’ve had an upper eyelid lift, but with a more natural result. I can’t believe I’ve had such an improvement without having had to be cut with a knife.
In summary, the fractional laser resurfacing I had was most definitely worth the money and discomfort I experienced. It has been two months since my procedure and there is an obvious positive difference in my skin today. In fact, I have seen a steady gradual improvement over the past two months. I’ve been told it takes four to six months to see the maximum results and all I can say is….if I never saw any more improvement from this day forward, I would still be extremely happy with my results.
I’m a rather skeptical person when it comes to promises made in the world of beauty and anti-aging, so I am not easily won over. When I say there is an improvement, I mean it. I am not saying that at 54 years of age my skin is now 100% perfect and like that of a teenager, but there is without a doubt a marked improvement. I think results from laser skin resurfacing are highly dependent on the doctor performing the procedure. If you have a doctor that really knows what they are doing and what laser setting to use for your skin type, I think you’ll get excellent results. You simply have to do your research and find a doctor that is highly qualified to perform on you, or you may be one of the people on this forum who wastes their money, or even worse, gets scarred or injured.
As far as the pain and discomfort factor associated with a procedure like this, it was totally worth it to me, as well. Beauty comes at a cost, and anyone who elects to undergo a cosmetic procedure must accept the reality of the phrase….“No pain, no gain”. We are so very fortunate to live in a time where solutions to aging issues exist and technology is advancing daily, offering us more alternatives each passing year. I, for one, am focused on being grateful, instead of complaining about a few moments of pain or discomfort in return for a miraculously younger appearance.