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.