I am writing this review because realself was instrumental in helping me find out information about fractional laser treatments and I learned a lot about Deep FX from here. So I thought I'd give back and add to the database of info.
I am a 34 year old Caucasian male living in Tokyo Japan. I wanted to have Total FX to make my complexion brighter, to get rid of lines and crepiness under my eyes, to improve skin hooding above eye, to slightly raise my eyebrows which have droopped slightly in the last few years and to tighten the loose skin around my mouth.
I was very nervous about having this procedure done for three reasons. One, there are some very scary stories written about fractional laser mishaps on here. On one hand, I understood that people who have a negative experience are much more inclined to write negative reviews on the net, but the stories are still scary and had stuck in my head. It is important to note, that the majority of the negative reports were from people who had Fraxel re:pair and not Total FX. This is confirmed by doctors on here who have used both lasers. I think this has something to do with the Fraxel re:pair not emitting enough energy when it is used and the laser damages cells that it is not supposed to. But I'm not a doctor, so I'm not sure. It does appear that the redness with Fraxel re:pair lasts much longer than with Total FX.
I was also concerned about having this procedure done, because the clinic that performed my procedure is in Tokyo Japan, and while they have performed Total FX on thousands of Japanese people, I was the first Caucasian to be treated. Japanese people have thicker and darker skin than Caucasian people so I thought the doctor would not know the proper settings for me.
My last concern was that I have been using Renova cream for the past year and it wasn't until three days before the procedure that I found that use of retinol creams should be discontinued for two weeks before the treatment. Of course I immediately stopped using the Renova, but it had only been three days. I expressed my concern with the doctor and he seemed concerned as well, but he said he will bear in mind my Renova use when he performs the procedure. He said that while he is working, he can see how my skin is reacting and can adjust accordingly. He added that within the window of what is safe, he will put the laser up to the most effective setting. I expressed all of my concerns about the safety of this procedure and even showed him pictures of one lady from realself that was severely scarred from Fraxel re:pair. He reassured me that it would be safe and I trusted him.
In my case, the procedure was not as painful as people are reporting on here. It really wasn't that bad at all. While you are having the procedure, just tell yourself that you going to experience a little pressure, as opposed to calling it pain. The doctor also applied a anesthetic cream to my face, anesthetic tape under my eyes, shot me up with Novocaine and gave me a pain pill. On top of this, I drank two beers before I walked into the office. Lol!
I had active fx done all over my face except under and above my eyes. I had deep fx also done, everywhere including under and above my eyes. After it was done, I had some bandages places on a few areas that were slightly bleeding, I paid my cash, got in a taxi and went to my hotel. My face was not that bad immediately after the procedure, just like a bad sunburn. I did not experience oozing like some other people mention. I did not look like a monster like some people have looked like who used Fraxel re:pair. I just looked like someone who got badly sunburnt. I have however stayed in my hotel the entire time since the procedure because I don't want to expose my skin to the sun and I while I don't look a monster, I'm not exactly looking like Brad Pitt.
I have been applying some sort of cream the clinic gave me that is supposed to have steroids in it. I also apply aquafor so that my skin is never dry and retains moisture.
It has now been 50 hours and parts of my skin are either red in color or reddish-brown color. The skin around my chin has started to flake a little. There's a slight plasticy look to my face when it is certain light, as if there was a piece of tape on it. It's hard to explain. I'm sure when the skin sheds this will go away. I will update.
Updated on Feb 24, 2010:
It has now been four and a half days since my procedure. Believe it or not, almost all of the peeling started and finished on day 3. By day 4, I was pretty much able to leave my home and go about my business as normal, even though my skin was still red (although not that bad) and there was still a little peeling skin. As I write this post, my skin is just mildly red. Many people seem to describe peeling for five or six days, so I wonder why my skin finished peeling so soon. Perhaps the doctor didn't go deep enough when he did the procedure.
As far as results, I think it is too soon to tell, but the lines and crosshatching lines under my eyes are 90 percent gone. I don't know if this is due to swelling or not. My complexion is much nicer even though it is still a little red, some areas of discoloration from before are gone. My pores are smaller too. As far as tightening, I think this will be something that I will be able to better report on in a couple months, but the area around my mouth seems tighter, and the area under my eyes seems tighter than before. This could be my imagination or just swelling or both. But I will update again soon.