Prolonged Healing from Active Fx - Los Angeles, CA

Overall, at this point (almost 5 weeks post active...

Overall, at this point (almost 5 weeks post active fx on face, neck, chest), my face looks horrible. It looked better two weeks after, but progressively got redder and darker red areas around eyes. Also have a small rash under each eye, not sure from what? Have been diligent about sunblock, staying out of sun, using moisturizer, hypoallergenic, etc. Makeup does not stay on my face. I went to see a dermatologist who gave me a steroid shot, prednisone by mouth for 5 days, and a cortisone cream. I have grid marks on my face that won't go away, and blotchiness. If I had any idea I'd look like this I would never have done it. I can only hope that in a couple of months or so, that at least this redness and blotchiness will go away! the dermatologist said it would all go away in time and that the doctors just don't always know how your skin will react. I thought this laser would be an improvement over the old C02 laser, but, I would say, unless you are a full-on mess, don't risk your face to this. I'll try and keep posting as time goes on, but right now, almost 5 weeks after, I am depressed about this.

Redness is slowly subsiding, but I do have a small...

Redness is slowly subsiding, but I do have a small rash under both eyes which is not getting better. I am seeing a different doctor next week, as I am very concerned. Cortisone cream does not help and just about anything feels like it burns under my eyes. I would like to hear from a doctor on this site. Any suggestions?

I would say, now 3 months past, it was not worth...

I would say, now 3 months past, it was not worth it. See some improvement but this small improvement was not worth the anxiety I went through. I still have problems with my face, and don't know how long they will continue. thumbs down..

Name not provided

I don't believe the adverse effects are due to the practitioner, rather the 'unknown' factors due to skin types, etc. The doctor is very conscientious and skilled. Great doctor, but based on my bad experience, can't recommend the procedure to even my worst enemy. Well, maybe my worst enemy!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Thanks for your help. My doctor has now prescribed flamazine. It may be lightening but, honestly- I think it's more wishful thinging and staring at my face every ten minutes. I would not recommend this and would never do it again. This has been horrible.
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I don't think there is anything you can do to 'prep' your skin. I have seen more doctors about this than you might imagine! It will get better, I promise you. There are no miracle creams or anything else that will speed it up. I would, though, start using a hydroquinone cream, at least 4% to possibly ward off hyperpigmentation, although it's not guaranteed. You are only 17 days out. Those lines will go away, for sure! It can take 3 months or more, but they do go away! Get dermablend makeup, either coverblend or the liquid foundation. It is a miracle and highly recommended for anyone that is going through post procedure. No one will know you are wearing dermablend, and your skin will glow! I am continuing to use it now for the coverage and my laser skin has completely resolved. Good luck!!!
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This is so helpful- I am 17 days post Active FX, very red, with lines all over my face. I am so depressed. I took one week off work and now I have missed 17 days. I am mortified and have spent an overwhelming amount on creams 'that promise to clear this up.' How did you guys heal? I am looking at my face and can't see this healing anytime soon. Almost two weeks to get to this and it looks this bad. My doc told me it was because we didn't prep my skin months in advance. Huh? Preparation was never mentioned to me until now.
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Hi, for some people it's a long time to recover. I had it done about one year and 6 months , now you can still see a bit the redness over my cheeks till the jaws. I always had to cover it with s good foundation,
To get to this result it took me almost the same amount of money that the dermabration costed me .
My derma doctor gave me a mixture of retina A,Hydroquinone 4% and Avantan cream to use at night , and in the afternoon another cream called Skinoren.for the redness . Now I am only using this if it doesn't get better he prescribed me some pills called Doxycycline .
These are not over the counter creams and a dermatologist should see you , if yours tell you it goes away by itself dump him and go to another . It happened to me and it took me around 6 months and a lot of money for his consultation for nothing .
I cannot sue him cause they make you sign a paper before that you understood the procedure and complication . And then they tell you you are the first that this happened. I saw a lot of comments in the Internet with same problem, they should stop using this method they don't realize the stress and pain they are causing to poeple .
Well good luck and in time you will recover .
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Dublin Ireland

Hi, I am four weeks after active fx treatment on forehead, eyes and two lines either side of my mouth and I look like a red raccoon. My skin is red, blotchy, have loads of square marks with dots inside them, have darker red nearly brown parts and I have indents all over (like if you lay your head on a patterened jumper and when you look up the pattern is on your face) I have been told that it will heal eventually but doc does not know when as he has never seen this before. This is not the four day back to normal treatment I had expected. After two days my whole face swelled up like a balloon an my eye swelled shut then got stuck together from all the plasma running down my face (nice). I just want to know has anyone taken legal action? and how long this will take to heal. Make up won't cover it except really thick stuff sent out to me by doc which of course stings the crap out of me so can't wear and am so depressed its not funny. I also have what looks like scars on my face pitted parts where there were none before. I only had it done for fine lines/wrinkles. I am worried now I am scarred for life.
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Hi. Sounds like you are not having a good time of healing, either. It is depressing when it goes this way. Go to another doctor for a second opinion about your skin. A dermatologist, preferrably. They may put your fears to rest. The redness can take some time. I can tell you that I am now over 2 months, and have developed hyperpigmentation on my cheeks, which is very depressing. I wish I had never done this. The doctor said it can take 3-6 months to clear up and, no, makeup will not cover it completely. Good luck. Please keep posting on your experiences!!
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Oh, I just wanted to tell you, too. the swollen face, oozing stuff is normal, believe it or not! My eyes were swollen almost shut. I also heard that those patterns on the face will go away, although mine turned into hyperpigmentation! I had to get hydroquinone bleaching cream, which apparently takes lots of time to work. I sympathize with you, seriously. You probably signed something though, before the procedure which says you understand the risks. I, like you, wish I had never, ever, done this. It has seriously caused major depression in my life. When it's your face, there's not much that you can do to hide it! Good luck, again. I hope yours clears up, AND mine, too! Wish some doctors would post on these comments. They all seem to think it's fine, no problem, but look at the damage it can do, even in the hands of skilled practitioners.
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Hi selfimposed,

Yeh I am havin an awful time and worse now cos I lied to my boyfriend telling him at first it was a reaction to a cream cos he was dead against me getting any cosmetic procedures and nurse said I would be healed in four days so thought no need for him to know but now its gone on so long I broke down the other night and told him the truth and he has dumped me for lying to him!! am not a happy bunny at all. so now I am single and look like a red raccoon a week before xmas. It's five weeks now and really not much improvement in fact one side now looks darker, I look like I have a birth mark in the shape of a mask that covers top half of my face. Doc is calling out again tomorrow with more make up to try and cover it and basically have just been told only time will heal it. I was concerned when I read the consent form but the nurse assured me it would not happen me only a risk to people with dark skin or who are in the sun a lot (not a problem in Ireland) so I trusted her that it would be ok and it was a huge mistake. The Doctor who did it said he has never seen anything like it before on any of his patients (lucky me am the only one according to him. What are you like now? do you still have waffle marks, also did you scar? I really think I have at least four scars but Doc says its too early to tell but when I did try make up on it highlighted the pitted area's on my skin. You are right about doctors posting things on here, its very hard to find out about. I also think it should mention the risks on the leaflets they give you telling you how great it is and the best thing is the hardly any downtime!!!. It is sould destroying because we can't cover it up and am so embarrassed everytime I have to go out I look like I have a disease on my face.I did this out of vanity to look better and then for it to go so wrong has really tore me up. Did you get a second opinion? or is it the same doc treating you? I have been trying with no luck to see a dermatologist but any good ones are booked months in advance and I need to see someone now. The Doctor who did the procedure is prob one of the best plastic surgeons in this country and no other Doc really wants to dispute him. I thought going with the best would ensure no problems but unfortunately not. I hope you are seeing some improvement and would like to stay in touch to see how you are getting on. I could give you my email and we could compare photos and see if we have the same thing but it sounds very similar to what I have wrong with me. God what a mess and all to get rid of a few poxy lines under my eyes!!! wish wish wish I never got it done and just got fillers instead. Anyway hopefully hear from you soon and you might have some good news. Good luck too :-)
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Hi there, sorry to hear about your experience. So, it's been 2 months now for me. The grid marks from the laser are slowly fading. My forehead looks great! Who cares? My bangs cover my forehead! I now have hyperpigmentation, brown lines splotchy, that the doctor gave me some specialized cream for. I have to use dermablend, and it doesn't really cover everything. My facial colors are quite a mix of brown, red, and normal. Lots of brown spots, even my neck looks dirty from the hyperpigmentation. I am slowly getting used to it and am going to see a specialist in LA next week. I am now paranoid to do anything! I have heard from other members that this can take a year to get back to normal, nice right? I have no scars. Knock on wood. I think my doctor is obviously disappointed. I know he didn't want this result for me, and I have read that 30% of people will hyperpigment like I did, which happened at about 8 weeks. I'll send you a private message with the email address.
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I forgot to say, those may not be scars, so don't worry. That will probably heal. I would try and get some hydroquinone cream, at least 4% from your doctor, because I believe the prolonged redness is what caused my hyperpigmentation, brown splotches, which look like streaks of dirt on your face. The hydroquinone will calm down the melanocytes in your skin, which are probably going wild from the inflammation. You put a very thin layer all over your face at bed time. It helps calm down the melanocytes from turning you brown. It may not be too late for you! 2% is useless, you need the 4% by prescription. Good luck and keep babying your face. Dermablend cover creme really does cover the red, and people have said my skin looks great, if they only knew!
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How are you doing there in Ireland? Is it getting any better? Mine is exactly the same, but I think I'm getting used to it now. Still very unhappy, and sick of heavy, almost theatrical makeup to cover this. Have heard different things from different doctors, don't you love it? Some say peel, some say do IPL, some say do nothing but the cream I'm using. Some say 3-6 months, some say one year. The consensus is though, this happens with a LOT of people. Meaning the hyperpigmentation.
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I read all your comments. How are you? did your redness or hyperpigmentation go away? Now I think it is over 1 year for you.
I did dermabration in Nov 2010. now 1 year and 2 months passed.My doctor too said like yours, he never seen anything like this before. I think its a lie and they say it to everyone who has the same problem.
My case is that after this time I still have redness. I was given the 4% hydroquinone plus Retina A,but still have the redness. My Derm says that I can do some kind of laser, but I afraid that it will go worst
Can you please tell me if you healed and what you did to make the redness or hyperpigmentation go away.

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Hi, yes, you are right. It's been way over a year now. It finally got better, but I can still very faintly see a little on my left cheek. No one else would see it though. I got a new cream from a dermatologist that was 8% hydroquinone and 0.1 retin a. That seemed to do it. I think the redness makes it all look worse for you. I dealt with it by using a really good cover makeup; dermablend. I still use it to cover any minor imperfections. I use the coverblend now. No one can tell. I do believe that a lot of the brown spots I used to have are still gone after the laser, but some returned. (but can be covered with makeup) I would not do active fx again because of the hyperpigmentation and horrible recovery. I would not do any futher laser to 'fix' the problem, although I read that nd:yag is very gentle and actually would help. I didn't do it. Good luck, and keep posting.
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Posting an update: now coming into week 8. Still very uneven skin, laser grid marks pronounced, rash still present under eyes. Taking prednisone daily, can only use aquaphor on skin until rash goes away. Can't do anything to 'fix' like microdermabrasion until things are more settled. But I just bought some dermablend cover creme, which covers all the flaws. It is allowing me to actually go out without trying to cover my face with my hair. I highly recommend it to anyone who has suffered a big mess with any skin problem. Still too early to tell about this laser but it has caused enormous depression in my life.
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You are still in the 'normal' healing process after 3 days. They really should tell people exactly what to expect, then we might not freak out so much. I am now 5 weeks and still have redness, and the waffle marks. I have takend steroids, steroid cream, and hydroquinone cream. I think it's a touch better, but if I had any idea this would have lasted like this, I would have opted out, or maybe just got my brown spots removed. I actually looked good about 3 weeks after this thing, then things took a turn. Everyone tells me that it will eventually go away, but in the meantime, I don't want to go anywhere and hate looking at myself in a mirror. I have read that redness can continue for months.
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I hope you are doing a little bit better since posting last week. Just remember, each day brings a tiny bit more healing. I do understand your pain.

I'm interested in your story since I too had an FX laser on the face, neck and chest only 3 days ago. Granted, I know it's too soon to tell what my outcome will be, but I'm very concerned about the redness not going away. My chest looks like it was burned by a waffle iron and has not started peeling at all. I too am depressed, and after reading your post, I'm now scared of the prolonged redness. I'll see my dermatologist on Monday and hopefully he'll have some amazing new idea for healing that I can share. You never know.
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