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Just Had my Smartxide DOT Therapy for Acne Scarring

If anyone has specific questions for me, I'd be...

If anyone has specific questions for me, I'd be happy to answer.

I did this procedure for my acne scars, for tightening of the upper eyelid (right under the brow), for sun damage, and for my lip line, which looked really irregular from scarring over the years.

My doctor and his staff are just simply the best. I did research for about one year before choosing this doctor - he's one of the most highly respected professionals in this industry. Laser manufacturers approach him specifically to give feedback on new equipment. He fixes laser mistakes made by other doctors - this was huge for me.

The type of laser you get is not as important as the person wielding it. My doctor is a true artist and I trust him 100%. He understands the complexity of laser treatments and customized the plan for my skin.

Yes, he's more expensive than the others. When it comes to laser surgery, though, why would you settle for less than the best?

April 15th, 2010: day of surgery (day 1):
They took several photos, did a Visia skin analysis, rubbed several layers of the numbing cream in for 90 minutes total (this doctor insists on 90 minutes of numbing so he can go as deep as necessary with the laser). Then I had a treatment with the LED GentleWaves machine, which promotes healing. Then a toredal (ibuprofen) shot in the buttocks.

The doctor and his assistant made written notes directly on one of my photos, to plan for the depth, shape and spacing of the laser "dots". During the procedure, the doctor spoke to me often, letting me know which area they were working on next, and he and the assistant discussed the numbers they had written earlier. This felt very customized to me. If anyone reading this has a doctor that wants to use a DOT laser on just one setting, all over the face, RUN AWAY. That means they simply don't know how to use it. What you really want is an artist, someone who uses different depths, shapes and spacing to achieve different results for different types of scars, and for different types of skin all over the face.

The procedure DID hurt - I won't lie. But it wasn't a screaming pain or anything....just felt like small rubber bands snapping over and over. Whenever one section of my face was complete, they placed a cool compress over it. As the surgery went on, the "fire" feeling built up and felt pretty bad. I don't want to lie -if you are going to do DOT therapy and do it right (have the doctor go deep), then you have to be committed to the discomfort, too. My face looks amazing and I would do it all over in a second.

I did smell burning (hair singe) throughout the treatment. Afterwards they compressed me for about an hour and then I left.

I went home and followed their instructions for compressing, vaseline and hydrocortizone. It hurt, and felt like my face was on fire that first day and evening, but the heat was in the background and I was able to get some laundry and meals prepared, etc....the pain wasn't debilitating.

Day 2, 9:00 am:
I elevated the head of the bed to help with swelling, and slept pretty well.

My face is now red, rough and looks "bronzed". It doesn't hurt as much as yesterday though. I keep compressing as much as possible to help the healing. It feels pretty tight. On Day 1 the vaseline stung a little bit, today it doesn't.

Day 2, 5:00 pm:
OK, wow.....after 8 more hours, my face doesn't feel as tight, the swelling has gone down, the redness has subsided a bit - I feel great. I wouldn't even know anything had happened if I didn't look in the mirror.

All day today and yesterday I have been doing a 15-minute cold compress about every 90 minutes. Yes, it's a pain but the more moisture on the skin, the faster the healing. I also drank about 12 glasses of water yesterday and trying to do the same today.

For the compresses, I use two washrags dipped in ice water, wring them out lightly so they are still pretty wet, and lay them over my face (folded) with my nostrils poking out in between them. Then I press my hands all over my face to really get that moisture in there. Then remove when the timer goes off 15 minutes later.

Day 3, 10:00 am:
The swelling is gone so I'm going to stop taking ibuprofen. I elevated the head of the bed last night, but I'll return it to normal tonight. Sleeping has been the hardest part, trying to stay on my back so I don't roll over and leave all my Vaseline on the pillow.

I can't tell if the redness has subsided in the last 24 hours, but I'll take pictures anyway.

Day 3, 4:00 pm:
Redness is faded on part of the face - now it's started to itch and tickle and peel a little bit. Still feels tight. I washed carefully with Cetaphil, and some skin did roll off when I dried my face. I'm happy - I think my healing is going really fast compared to others. I think it's because I ate well for a couple of weeks beforehand and drank tons of water, slept well and exercised, and just made sure my immune system was as tuned up as it could be for the recovery period.

Day 4, 10:00 am:
I woke up with all the vaseline off of my face (and on to the pillows). I'm glad I have lots of pillowcases so I can change them out every day. My face was also peeling quite a bit. Not sure if you can see this in the day 4 photos. Right now it's itchy, it tickles, and it's peeling. The redness has faded. I'm going to try not to "help" it peel, as my doctor said not to do that....to just let my face peel at it's own pace. It feels a bit tight.

Day 4, 6:00 pm:
Redness fading to pink. The dead skin is just rolling off my face now, and my face is itchy. Every time I reach up to scratch, some skin falls off. There is no pain or discomfort, though.

Day 5, 9:00 am:
I woke up with some sort of lesion on one of my eyelids. It's right in the crease, and looks similar to when you get cracking in between the toes for athlete's foot. It's not bleeding very much, but the skin is just not acting like the skin on the other eyelid, which is normal. My face looks light pink.

Day 6, 10:00 am
I went in for my check-up and the doctor said I was way ahead of schedule in terms of healing. I was happy to hear that. So all that work (compressing, drinking water, etc....) paid off. I had a Gentle Waves LED treatment today to speed healing, and I'll have another one of those on Friday.

My face is still a little red but I can start wearing mineral-based makeup tomorrow.

Since the swelling is down, I can see that the appearance of my scars has been reduced about 50% with this procedure, and the full effect will be known at the 6-9 month mark, when collagen repair should be complete.

The next time I update will be at the 9-month mark. If I forget to update with photos at that time, would someone please e-mail and remind me?

Portland Dermatologic Surgeon

I mentioned this in my review, and I'll re-post it here: My doctor and his staff are just simply the best. I did research for about one year before choosing this doctor - he's one of the most highly respected professionals in this industry. Laser manufacturers approach him specifically to give feedback on new equipment. He fixes laser mistakes made by other doctors - this was huge for me. The type of laser you get is not as important as the person wielding it. My doctor is a true artist and I trust him 100%. He understands the complexity of laser treatments and customized the plan for my skin. He does not have the best communication skills or listening skills (seems to have a bit of social disorder) but it doesn't keep him from performing at an A+ level. His staff more than makes up for it - they are great listeners, great communicators and they make a great team.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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Thanks for sharing! I am thinking of having this treatment but I was wondering about the price range. Can anyone share their experience with costs? Thanks!
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i had fx laser 2day earlier for my hand cut scars.it is really hurting and feeling tight. the laser arers turned red and i am applying Gentin cream and norsol drop that my doc suggested.bu the problem is the edema ,its he red areas are raising higher nd it really hurts. i havnt seen a sign of the scar's reduction.nd it hurts.how long will it take to remove the scars?? i have two sessions left in gap of a month. it is really hurting and tight.
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How many times so they go over your face with the laser?
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Jaylene. I had laser Dot Therapy on most of my face, I was totally out as I was also haviing another procedure. I understand I am healing well, this was done 2 weeks ago. I am suffering from horrific itching on my face and head. I will do more cold compresses based on your suggestion, after that I have tried various remedies ie: stem cell lotion,aquafor, tri-calm, baking soda paste and Nothing is helping. Itching began 3 days ago and continues today,not getting any better. What do you suggest? I had this procedure 2 weeks ago today.I am going "out of my mind" with this. Thank you so much. Susan
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Hello there, I loved my face after I received the treatment. My skin was really tight and beautiful! The only thing that I did not like was after my treatment I began to break out due to all the vaseline treatments and aquaphor. My doctor and I went to less heavily treatments like lotion and just sunscreen. I wish I would have done it sooner because by the time I went to see Dr. Key my skin was already breaking out. I should have reduced the treatments when I began noticing but was scared for the scarring. But overall no scarring done. The only scarring I have now is from the ance breakouts I had after the procedure and the acne I've developed over the past year. My skin is fairly sensitive you see so any sort of breakout, if i pick it or not, I wound up with acne scarring.

Overall, when I ask my coworkers or freinds and even my family starting noticing that my skin looked better. It was more smooth and the pores smaller. I do have a huge acne scar from a cyst pimple that i will probably need the procedure where they take part of your skin and stitch it up. It's quite big that the DOT therapy didn't do much to it but on the other parts of my skin....like my temples...i do notice a difference. My cheeks still have acne marks as i have broken out over the past year. I talked to Dr. Key and told him I do want to undergo this procedure a second time. I am now 30 and my skin is much different from two years ago when I received this treatment. Dr. Key put me on Spiro and it is the only medication that helps me not develop those huge cysts during my cycle. Good Luck and I hope you have a postive experience as I did.

I do realize now...that no matter what acne scarring lives with you. No matter how you try to treat it, if you are like me and just have ance prone skin then you have to just live with it. All this money I have spent over the years plus this procedure have made my skin better only to be right back where i was (well not as bad) with minimal scarring. My face will never be as it was prior when I was a teenager and had nice skin but I have realized that people love you for who you are not for what you look like :)
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Hi am going to have smart dot laser done in a few weeks Dr said i need 2-3 treatments. how are your acne scares now after your second go is it worth it? a lot of reviews are negative. i really dont want to wast anymore money and time on treatments for acne scarrrng that dont work.. Would love to know how your going and what you think.. : ) !
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Hi Blue blue, please see my comments. Good luck :)
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blueblue, I did Dot Therapy (laser surgery) because I am almost 72, The results are beautiful and tight but I do have a lot of itching,trying desperately not to scratch.
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Hello, i'm Fauve from Belgium and i went to a dermato some months before he reccommended me also the smart x dot laser treatment! She showed me pics of patients where u could see that some people had really more bad problems then mine, even if i find that mine is not so nice. but it looks really amazing, i've got that 'waw effect'!! i had some acne wich i touched alot and it let me some (laws, wholes but not deep) but it makes my skin not straight . especially when im tired or when i have period u see it more, cuz the skin is also tired and more shining (fat). (i try to do my best in english, it's my 3rth language ;-) ) next month i have again an apointment with the dermato, he will check every detail of my face and give me an apointment in november to start the first treatment, she says i have to do it 3 times to get a good result. I have a question: after how many weeks can u start the second treatments normally? i try to remebered if she said 4 or 8 weeks between each treatments, but im lost suddenly cuz when i see on some forums they say 'my second will be 3/6 months after first treatment?!!! how long does the redness stays visible? I'm looking forward to do it , really !! thanks to reply best
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Hi Missy! I love how we are both patients of Dr. Key. I didn't feel comfy going places for 10 days....the redness lasted a long time for me - about 3 weeks, but at the 10 day mark I started to use a little bit of Bare Minerals. Using makeup looked bad, though, because my skin was still rough, pink and peeling. Also, my fine hairs on my face singed off during the procedure (could you smell that with yours, too?) so when it grew back, even though you can't SEE if, it feel stubbly to the touch. Your face will NOT look better on day three in fact it will look worse, and sort of bronzy. It's tempting to "help" your skin peel but don't do it....just wash with Cetaphil twice a day and when you do, the skin that's ready to come off will come off. Keep drinking tons of water and leave compresses on your face for 15 minutes at a time. I used two, with my nose poking out of the middle so I could breathe, and laid down and listened to podcasts. You have to compress for at least 5 days, so you won't be going anywhere, right? :) I had whiteheads too around my nose and blackheads on my chin from the Vaseline - it's normal. Then my chin started to break out with about 10 small zits - looked bad. Eventually they went away and never returned. Today, it's the 30-day mark and I couldn't be happier - of course collagen production continues for 6-9 months, so at the 9 month mark I can't wait to see what it looks like. I'll answer any other questions you have. Are you using Vaseline when you go to bed? You should, even though it ruins pillow cases.... :)
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Hi there! Omg i love your post! it's so informational...i just have to ask how are your acne scars are today? I just got my dot therapy done yesterday and i have been sitting at home all day doing nothing! My doctor is also Dr. Key and I was just telling my sister how lovely him and all his staff to be. They were very nice to me and make me feel at home. I also got this done because i have bad acne scars..ive had them all my life and wanted to get rid of them or just make them look less deep you know? For me, the treatment did sting a little and my face was a little bit hot when i got home but all in all it wasn't that swollen or red. I noticed the dark brown grid looking marks as soon as i got home, they are also still there today. My question is when will i start peeling? I want to go places so bad but the brown spots are all over my face and it's really freaky! :o I have a follow up with dr key on Monday which will be day 5 for me. Tomorrow is day there and i hope my face will look better tomorrow. I don't really have much problem keeping my face moisturized, it's just really tight and kind of dry in the morning when i wake up but other than that i do compresses at least 4 times today and keep hydro and vaseline on my face all day. I am even breaking out with little white heads all over face due to all the moisturizing! Well any info you can give me helps! Thanks!
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