My Pixel Treatment

My favorite spa was running a half price special...

My favorite spa was running a half price special on pixel, so after much deliberation, I went for a consultation. I wanted my face, neck and chest area done and was quoted a price of $1500 for a series of three treatments. The aesthetician said she had was certified, had been doing the treatments for over a year and had had it done on herself. She told me it would be uncomfortable, but not painful and recommended I take ibuoprofen before and after the treatment as needed. She also recommended I buy Aquaphor for use afterwards. So, after even more deliberation, I decided to go for it.

I did the first treatment at 11:00 am on Monday. She did not use a numbing gel, but she did give me a small handheld fan to use as needed. It was most definitely uncomfortable. Some areas I hardly felt, while other areas were much more sensitive. She did my face first, then put cold, damp towels on it while she worked on my neck and chest. She then put the towels there and refreshed the one on my face. After a while, she took those off and put a blue gel like substance on my face that she said would help with the redness and keep it moisturized (she sent me home with lots of this). After that dried, she slatered me in sunscreen.

Looking in the mirror everything looked better than it felt. However, I had black, sooty looking smudges on my cheeks that made me look like I had just cleaned out my fireplace! She seemed happy about that, said it was sun damaged areas and would flake/peel away.

I went home, drank lots of water, took some ibuprofen and spread the Aquaphor on my face. The Aquaphor felt really good, but it gives a shiny, vaseline like look which only exagerates the issues. The next time I looked in the mirror the sooty spots had changed to a dark tan, leathery look and the rest my face was sort of sunburned looking, but in a mottled, uneven sort of way. My neck and chest were an even bright pink tone, much more like a sunburn. No way could you go out in public....I wouldn't even go thru a drive thru!

I really didn't hurt, but for the rest of the day it was impossible to ignore the very irritated feeling. I slept with a beach towel over my pillow and a head band on because of the Aquaphor's greasiness.

Woke up the next morning and looked scary!!! Had swelling and puffiness on top of the issues from the previous day. Took a long shower and when I got a out I was able to very gently wipe away a lot of dead skin. After about an hour the swelling and puffiness disappeared. Looked and felt much better, but still not where I would want to be seen in public. My neck and chest were now a mottled pink. Healing, but obviously not quite right.

By Tuesday evening, I did run to WalMart with some carefully applied concealer and styling my hair forward to cover the worst and wearing a turtleneck (thank goodness it was cool out!). I didn't want the shiny look, so I din't put the Aquaphor on. May have looked better, but I couldn't wait to get home and slather the stuff on. It is very soothing and helps with the tight feeling.

Woke up Wednesday morning with no swelling or puffiness. Everything is getting better, but I think it will be Thursday before I'm truly comfortable in public. Had the screen door look, but it was really irrelevant compared with the redness and brown areas.

Anxious to see how it looks tomorrow. The spa told me that many people have microdermabrasion to remove the dead skin. I just couldn't see spending that much more money, so I bought a Neutrogena at home microdermabrasion kit. Looking forward to seeing how everything looks tomorrow. I've got a full day planned, so it better be good!

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Comments (7)

July 19, 2009 This is my first Pixel Perfect treatment and the first time with this Doctor. I have had three treatments of accutane over the years, laser resurfacing and dermabrasion surgeries. Many types of fillers and I was ready for a more permanent solution. This is only my second day after the Pixel treatment and I am still swollen and red. I had the treatment done on Friday at noon and with no sedation and no premeds. The snap sensation is a little uncomfortable at first, but by the time the second side of your face is being treated you are a little numb to the pain. After the left side was treated a cool wet towel was applied to my face. Then the right side was treated and when my entire face was done several wet cool towels were applied and later ice packs were placed on top of the towels. My procedure took one hour. I rested and compressed for a total of 45 minutes in the clinic before the BLT numbing combination was applied and then I drove home ( one hour). I wet compressed as soon as I arrived at home for 10 minutes and then applied hydrocortisone by then my face was completely numb and the redness was gone. The second day a used the milky facial cleanser prescribed by my doctor and then applied the facial barrier ointment, that stung a little. Then the SPF 30 that stung a lot, I recommend staying inside the second day and compressing with cool towels every 2 hours as I was instructed. My redness subsided quite a bit. Still taking benadryl and Tylenol and Valtrex as directed. Swollen, but I can see a little improvement. I am suppose to have five total treatments one each month. I cannot wait. This treatment was suppose to be the most aggressive. Compressing with wet towel as much as possible helps the healing.
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To another Texas Mom. I am going to the same place as you, I can tell by the products your using. I have not had my first treatment yet, can you tell me how it goes.
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I'm still very happy with the results of my first treatment. My pores are tiny, fine lines are almost gone and great improvement in the fold from the nose down towards the mouth. The lines on my neck and chest were much more significant to start with and didn't have a lot of change at the beginning. There is now a good deal of improvement there as well....nowhere near lineless, but much better. Since, I didn't have any problems, I plan to have my neck and chest done again, but without any increase in the machine settings. If I hadn't already had it done once when I read those studies,I'm not sure I would have done it. Depending on how everything looks I will either wait and do my third treatment in the fall when it's easier to stay out of the sun (I'm wearing lots of high SPF sunscreen and a visor but I'm outside a lot and still worry)or just use the remaining credit on regular facials. My second treatment is next week....I'll keep you posted!
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Just got home from my first pixel laser treatment,my face is so red like apple and feeling some tightness,my doctor was the one who did the treatment,the treatment feels like your being slapped by a rubber band,but not very painfull,though its tolerable,it takes 20 minutes to complete the procedure,hopefully this laser will help me out to recover on my acne scars on my face,most people who leaves a comments here after there first treatment are right,coz I just had my first treatment,all you need to do is patient and preparation,if possible get like atleast a week off from your work,coz so far,as I see my face at the mirror,there's no way that you could go out to the public,you can probly after 4 days or so.
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Well, it's been a full week since my pixel. Whoever said it was a lunchtime procedure with no downtime was delusional. Today is the first day that my skin is absolutely 100%. By day 4 I was looking pretty good with makeup on, but after a few hours the flakiness would appear and the red areas would start showing thru the makeup and my skin would feel dry with anything except the Aquaphor. So, I could go out, I just needed to be prepared for touch ups. Stopped using the Aquaphor on day 5 and went to my regular moisturizer using a little more. All of that face looks amazing!! Fine lines/wrinkles are almost gone. Even the folds/lines from my nose to my mouth are much, much better. You can't even see the pores on my nose and everywhere else they look very small. My neck and chest are better, but not as dramatic as my face. No post treatment breakouts, which is kind of surprising because usually anything oily/greasy like the Aquaphor would cause me big problems. Thankfully I did not have any of the scarring issues mentioned earlier. Hadn't heard about that before and it definitely scared me. I'll have my second treatment in a few weeks and think I'll postpone the third treatment until the fall. I can't imagine there will be much to improve on with my face after the next one which is pretty incredible since I'm 49! Wish we had done before and after pictures to compare. All in all I am very satisfied, but I didn't realize how long it would take for a full recovery. Hoping it is shorter with the next treatment.
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Texas Mom, I'm so glad you are happy with your treatment! Now that it is three weeks out, I'm curious if your fine lines are just as smoothed as they were at the one week mark? Because I know that at one week there is still "microswelling" going on, which can plump them up temporarily. By the way, I'm sorry to have scared you about the propensity for Pixel to cause neck scarring, but I still urge you to research it before you let anyone do your neck again like it sounds like you're planning to. There is a study at named "Hypertrophic scarring of the neck following ablative fractional carbon dioxide laser resurfacing" where the results were 5 of 5 people got scarring on the neck. I can't direct link to it but if you go to their website and in the search field enter "fractional laser neck" it will come up as the first result.
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Hi, I also had the Pixel treatment recently and am hoping for the best. I hope everything works out beautifully for you. I don't want to scare you but I think you should be aware that there is a risk of hypertrophic scarring when fractional resurfacing is performed on the neck. The conclusion of a study on this states "As with traditional ablative CO2 laser resurfacing, HS is a potential complication of ablative fractional CO2 laser resurfacing, particularly on the neck. With early diagnosis and appropriate treatment HS of neck skin may be reversible. We urge caution when treating the neck with this device and close attention to wound care in the post-operative period. Lasers Surg. Med. 41:185-188, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc." This can be accessed here: and if that link doesn't work, the name of the study is "Hypertrophic scarring of the neck following ablative fractional carbon dioxide laser resurfacing" and can be found on that site. I mention this to you only so that you do all you can post-op to avoid it. I'm sorry I can't tell you what that is, but your doctor should know. I also share this because it states "early diagnosis and appropriate treatment HS of neck skin may be reversible" so it is something to watch for. Good luck and I wish you all the very best.
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