I wanted to be free of the sun damage - Would Not Do It Again - San Francisco, CA

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I wanted to be free of the sun damage. The magic...

I wanted to be free of the sun damage. The magic in a laser was coming in the form of Active FX. I was prepared for pain from the laser, which hurt like heck, swelling, redness, taking time off to heal, daily care of my skin, icing, etc.

I was not prepared for a dreadful experience. Day 2 it felt like someone was going over my face with a barbed wire rolling pin. Not only did I look like a big red ball (swelling), I was taking 800 mg of Ibuprofen 3 times a day but it hardly helped the pain. It was difficult to sleep, to concentrate on anything that might take my mind off the irritation. Day 3 the itching started. Holy cow! In addition to the burning! I had been given an Aloe Vera & Zinc creme to be topped off with Aquaphor. The creme burned at first. By day 4 I was blistering. By day 5 I'm calling the PS, emailing her photos (I will not leave the house). She wants to up my dose of Valtrex because it may be shingles. Shingles?! Nobody said anything about that happening. Day 6 the big pus blisters are under my eyes and I'm afraid. If you get shingles by your eyes it can cause blindness. Day 7 I go to see my MD (I will leave the house before I go blind). Not shingles. No more Valtrex. Now I'm on Prednisone to ease the severe inflamation and using a cortizone prescription.

I'm very fair and I feel the Active FX was too severe for my skin. The right side was much more burned than the left, I still have red raw skin in a couple places that look like day 1. I did what I was told for after-care, and I wasn't told much. Thanks to this site I learned A LOT. I can only hope my skin will return to normal. I'm concerned about scars from this.

So many variations on how each of us respond. I never could have predicted this. I have a pretty high pain tolerance so that isn't the biggest issue, it's the pencil eraser sized blisters that, from day 4 to today, day 7, are still popping up.

This is to update my Active FX review. It's been...

This is to update my Active FX review. It's been 3 weeks and I still have red patches on my neck, lower right cheek, around both eyes and across my nose. My MD said I had a contact dermatitis, most likely from the after-care cream (a zinc and Aloe combo). She prescribed hydrocortizone cream to apply for the itching and predisone for 5 days for the severe swelling. I didn't leave the house for 2 weeks. I was very disappointed in my PS. She said it didn't look that bad. After a couple days of stewing over her lack of consideration I sent an email letting her know if it were her skin she would think it was that bad. She asked me to come back and agreed that yes, it was worse than she originally thought. She gave me Jane Iredale cream, that seems to do nothing, and offered a free IPL treatment in a month, after the severe burn on the right side of my nose, by my eye, heals. I've been to this PS for other beauty treatments and felt confident in her ability. Maybe the Active FX was just too severe for my skin, maybe she had it too high and a lower setting would have been better. Who knows. I just know I would not want to go through this ordeal again. I admire the women who are up and out of the house within a week, with no side effects. Consider yourselves blessed! As for long term result, I'm still hopeful. At this point, I do not see or feel tightening of my skin, though several brown spots on my jaw line appear to be gone. $3500 would have been a really, really nice vacation, instead I spent 2 weeks in recovery.
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