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Pixel Not Worth the Risk

I was hoping to reduce a few fine lines, slightly...

I was hoping to reduce a few fine lines, slightly uneven texture, a few small acne pits on one cheek,and pore size with the Pixel laser after it was recommended/suggested by the technician who performed another treatment on me.

So far it is a disaster and even though I may not yet be finished "healing", (I am on day 5) I want to warn others to stay away from this procedure as it is not worth the risks, and I think it is very misrepresented by the manufacturers, salons and yes, even doctor's offices.

If you think about it, there are many bad reviews, and on other boards some real horror stories. This means RISK, and if i had been smarter, I would have been grateful for the state my skin was in--very very good after years of issues, and I healed my skin naturally, with nutrition, exercise (to increase circulation) and mostly very natural--though not necessarily cheap-- products. I am constantly (well, I had been, we'll see if that happens anymore) told I look so much younger than my 37 years.

First of all, the procedure did hurt like bloody hell. And yes I had the numbing cream applied 1/2 hour beforehand. I talked through it to distract myself. My thought was, no pain, no gain. Bull. Sometimes pain means something very bad is happening to you. I had to sit with the cool air blowing on me afterward for about 35 minutes before the pain was tolerable enough to drive home. I was red the first day (and yes, it did sting a lot afterwards), bright pink the second, splotchy bright pink/red the third, and now I am splotchy red with the rest pink, with several 1/4 inch red marks, crepey skin on my cheeks that I never had before, acne when I haven't broken out in several years, more crust on my face to let slough off, but the areas where it has been sloughed off there is the crepeyness, little fine lines, acne, pore size unchanged (probably larger due to the Vaseline substance I'm supposed to slather all over my face) AND hyperpigmentation...NEW AGE SPOTS! I have freckles and fair skin, and have seen claims that this procedure reduces freckles and age spots--bull. This is thermal damage, people. So is a sunburn. I have looked and looked to see how this differs from a very major sunburn and can only find dermatologists who warn that that is very similar to what this is.

There are NO long-term, like 10 years down the road, studies to state whether or not this might contribute to cancer. There have been studies (unfortunately I found these after the fact) that warn of DNA damage to surrounding areas. Some of the skin (20%)gets vaporized and grows back, but the 80% skin that is left behind has "collateral damage" from the heat and bad things happen, I'm proof of that already. My only hope is that new collagen WILL eventually form (it should, I'm just scared) and offset what's been done to the rest of my skin.I hope these red marks/splotchiness go away, but from what I've read, that takes 6 months to a year to not flare up when you get hot, exercise etc, and some red marks are permanent. The only good thing i notice so far: the 2 fine lines/wrinkles between my eyebrows have reduced, but I strongly suspect that this is simply due to microswelling which is still present.

I want to warn others that I, quite a savvy woman, was duped and I hope to be a voice that encourages you to find more natural, less destructive and punishing ways to increase the health of your skin. I wish I had.

On another note, this was done in a cosmetic surgeon's office, but i never met the doctor. I signed a waiver that stated he had discussed risks and possible alternatives with me...neither of which occurred, I simply trusted my technician, as she had also had the procedure done twice and liked it. Yes, stupid of me to sign something that they knew and I knew was a lie. My wishful thinking was "if it really were necessary, they would." If I had been realistic I would have realized "if it weren't necessary, they wouldn't make me sign a waiver." I was given no post-operative instructions beyond putting their gel on my face the first day and wiping off the dead skin with a washcloth a few days later. As if it were that easy.

I SHOULD have insisted the doctor meet with me to analyze my skin (although the tech had told me that she had done more of the procedures than him) and recommend the best settings. But no, actually, I shouldn't have done this procedure at all, in the first place. I still hope beyond hope that some good will come of this, I'm heartbroken that I did this to myself after working so hard to heal and like my skin.

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Comments (21)

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I've had one and got a huge improvement of my skin. Therefore, I got my second one last Friday. Yes, it is very unpleasant procedure and discomfort healing process however, you will see a result for sure! Always, aftercare is important.

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I had it done 2 years ago. I am about to have a dark strange growth cut out of my forehead my dr thinks is skin cancer. I have a scar also onmy forehead fromthe pixel-too long on that spot or something-definitely a rsult of thepixel. I also am getting all kinds of little holes-lie enlarged pres on my face i never had or had any issues with having before. I caution and agree there are cancer risks.
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I am at week 3 and am kicking myself for doing Pixel. My skin is still splotchy, itchy and flaky. And like in the rest of these posts, my wrinkles look worse (I'm 64). I was assured that my skin would be back to normal by now, but it is far from that. In addition, with Thanksgiving in a few days, I have an enormous pimple about to erupt between my eyes. I so regret doing this.
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Hi Kim1090! I hope to hear back from you, as it's been about 6 months since you posted. I am curious to find out how your face has turned out. I too had the pixel done about 3 1/2 days ago. I have not peeled yet and can still see the tiny red dots. I have been lathering my face with Aquaphor and making sure it stays moisturized. I wonder if this could be why I haven't peeled? Anyway, I also have a large indented area on my cheek that looks like a scar from the laser. There are also squares and little indented lines that you can see from the laser. I am freaking out and hoping that this will go away. I feel like I never should have done this b/c my face wasn't bad to begin with. I have large pores and I was hoping to reduce the size of them and even out my skin. :( This is so depressing! Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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CK23 - Sent you an email.
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Hi All: I had an appointment for this friday to do this pixel laser treatment. I have had a dermabrasion, a Co2 laser to feather the dermabrasion scars, and now was looking to repair some pocks and have pores look smaller. (so I was told) After the comments made, I feel that I should appreciate what I have and feel that I may be in a bad case of skin roulette I may not win or want to play. The doctor you talked about sounds EXACTLY like mine. ( not there emotionally, physically, getting me to sign off waiver before treatment, hasn't really seen my face or know of my past traumas either, I am an avid user of Retin A for over 10 years.) BIG WARNING.... Thanks Forever! A big Heartfelt to those who have suffered and wrote these stories and continue to suffer....
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Thank you very much for your reply. Yes, mine too. I did it 2 weeks, 4 days ago and I am devastated. How many months ago did yo do it? Have you done anything to try and correct the damage? I am going to a world class laser surgeon on Monday to see what can be done to correct it. If I find out anything significant, I will let you know. This has been a horrifying experience.
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I did it months ago. Would never do it again. I don't recommend it. I think the texture of my skin is worse off from it.
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I hope to hear back from you Painter, I just finished reading more of your posts and I am in the EXACT same boat now. THIS is just awful. I had such beatuiful skin before this mess. wish I would have just appreciated what I had. PLEASE TELL ME WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO GET YOUR SKIN BACK TO NORMAL!!!!!
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UPDATE: I went back to the cosmetic surgeon's office that performed this procedure about a month after the procedure because I looked so much worse. They said it didn't seem like my skin was shedding properly so they gave me a free microdermabrasion treatment which helped significantly. I'd say it decreased the negative effects of the Pixel treatment by 50%. I then had a second free microderm two or so weeks later, which also helped a lot. At this point, which is a few months later, I would say I am almost back to where I started, with the addition of a few more age spots (which showed up immediately post-pixel) and slight crepey-ness on my cheeks when I smile. It is no longer something that concerns me, though. I just wish I had never wasted my money and time, or that I had gone to a DERMATOLOGISTS office for a consultation. They did not examine my skin AT ALL pre-pixel, the actual MD never even met me, no one asked if I was on Retin-A (which I am, and which I have read can lead to complications)...those kinds of things should have warned me away. But you have such high hopes, and once you're there and ready to go, what are you going to do, walk away if they don't examine your skin and you don't get seen by the doc? Yes. I recommend yes. I'm just grateful things have resolved as well as they have over time, and that it's not as bad as for some posters on Make Me Heal etc. Just hoping 10 years down the road it doesn't turn out this created DNA damage that's invisible now. Here's hoping. So my last word (unless someone posts a question) is: if you are willing to take a risk, more power to ya and good luck. If you are not willing to take a risk that you might wind up worse and waste what at least to me is a lot of money...just wear sunscreen and pamper your skin in more noninvasive ways. Retin-A had worked wonders for me.
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Painter, Did you have pixel co2 or the original pixel? To respond to someone who said you must be making this up, I completely believe what you are saying. I had the pixel co2, "the latest, greatest" thing, 2 weeks ago and am horrified by what I see. First, the dents from where my skin was lasered are still visible and the squarish grid pattern is obvious. I was told the main issue would be redness which I would have been fine with and that hasn't even been an issue. WHat is an issue is that I now have new dents and a rolling look to my skin as if from acne scars which were not there before. I do not see one improvement even in the color or tightness of my skin. I wish that I had never done this. I am just curious as to whether you felt this way at all and if thats the case perhaps I should get some microdermabrasion as well. I obviously wanted my skin to look better but I am truly crushed and in a panic that I just really really messed up my skin for life. It's to the point that the texture and new scars are causing me to breakdown in tears and not leave the house.
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Hello I have done pixel treatement 2 months ago hoping to remove some brown spots like you everyone was telling me the wonders of pixel and how not only it will remove all the brown sundamage spots but collagen will be built up and that I will look 10 years younger i did not even think I did t right away , my skin looks worse then before with brown spots, my neck has browm scars that look like birth marks, before my neck was very neat and i dont know why the pixel was done there..answer of the doctor "we have done in order for you to have same skin colour as you face...whatever that means.. I am very upset and when I red your post I was glad I was not the that has experienced this torture treatment that made my case worse. Please let me know is your face ok now I feel so bad thank you in advance painter
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I had it done two weeks ago. NOT HAPPY!!!! My skin around my mouth and chin are completely different than the skin on my face and never looked worse. Holes!!!

How is your face now? Please advise.
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Painter, I am in your exact situation now. I had the pixel laser (Profractional XC) 2 weeks ago and I'm horrified. I was happy to hear you're almost back to normal. And Happy to hear the micro-dermabrasion helped. I am meeting with a superstar laser doctor on Monday and I hope to have good news. I'm thinking if he treats "this mess" from the pixel laser with a traditional laser that removes layers of skin vs. what these pixel lasers do that maybe some of the damage to the surface will be removed. Can you please advise how you were able to repair the damage from the pixel laser? I am sitting here in devastation!
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jib17, I'm so sorry about your experience. I have the SAME EXACT effects that you had. Can you PLEASE tell me how your skin is doing now that some time has gone by - almost 2 years. Many thanks!
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I think whoever wrote this review is making a lot of it up. Personally I have had 3 pixel treatments done, had minor discomfort after each one but huge improvement on scars, texture, pore size, lines, and more. I work in the medical spa/laser industry and have seen tons of Pixel treatments and have never seen one that resulted in more lines and larger pores(as stated in the original post). I call BS on original poster simple due to my personal experience with treatments on myself as well as my clients.
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To "ProSkinConsultant": Nope, not making it up. It's been 2 1/2 weeks now and I'm slightly worse than before. Everyone responds differently. If you read other reviews on this site, you'll see many people didn't have positive results. There is another major cosmetic surgery review/posting site that has devastating reviews of a Fraxel treatment that is very like Pixel, and if you read reviews of Fraxel on this site you will see many unfortunate results. Why would I make this up? I only bother to post because I want to spare other people what I went through. I have nothing to gain. Considering you work in the industry...do you?

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Well I'm not quite sure what the pixel is, but I had a total fx (fractionated Co2 laser)procedure done at the end of January and my pores also seem larger than before. I have before and after pics that I had taken for my reference to see any progress. It's like the skin being thicker before and then it peeling,made the pores, which are glands, seem wider. I've been told this is called a wine glass effect. Smaller diameter on top and the farther down you go, the pore can be wider. So anyhow, I agree with painter. As far as acne scarring, it is still there as well. I have made an appt. with a different plastic surgeon to have them excised and stitched. He said 1 to 2 stitches, the fine line that will remain, but fade over time, will be less noticeable than a pit.Also, sun spots remain, a little lighter-but still there. My only noticeable results from my laser procedure, is that the texture of my face is smoother,shiny and still a little pink at about the 3 month mark. The particular procedure I had done, should not be sold as 1 that will fix acne scars, because it doesn't. This is for older people(I'd say age 50 and up) who want to brighten up their complexion.
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Dolvid, I'm glad your skin texture is smoother...I was mine was! Pixel is also a fractionated CO2 laser so yes, they're similar procedures. I still have hope that after a month (which is only several days away) things will at least be back to where they were when I went in. Maybe I just heal slower than other people, but when I broke a bone a few years ago it healed twice as fast as the docs said it would, and I'd always considered myself an easy, quick healer. I know the 'pro skin consultants' out there will be up in arms about this, but if I am still worse after two months I might ask for at least some of my $575 back.
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UPDATE: It has been almost 2 weeks. The pinkness, peeling and crustiness have resolved. However, the diminishment of a few pre-existing fine lines that I had noticed must have been due to microswelling, because they are back and even seem a little bit worse. The acne it caused is gone now...I believe it was only from the goopy protective product and the fact that some pores were also clogged with dead skin from the procedure. Pore size, unchanged if not larger. Still left with those new "age spots", crepeyness I didn't have before (although that is a little bit better than it was the first week) and 5 or 6 new little lines. Any small improvement in my small acne scars was temporary and also due to swelling that plumps up the skin temporarily. I think that all in all I look worse. I am still concerned about long-term effects after the research that I did. I'm hoping that after 30 days I will see some improvement, or at least be back to where I was. That's how long it takes to complete a collagen cycle.
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I too had a horrible experience with the pixel. I had it done 2 weeks ago. I have a pink scar on my forehead that I've been applying cortisone to and far more lines around my mouth and chin than before the procedure. I also have some darker skin on my chin than I did before the treatment.

My question-WILL THIS GO AWAY? I've never done anything so invasive and I'm worried! please post and tell me what things are looking like now.

Thanks!!
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