I THINK It Was Worth It, Improvement in Skin Texture - Fort Collins, CO

It's been pretty much exactly 2 months since I had...

It's been pretty much exactly 2 months since I had my C02 of face, neck, and decollete. I wanted to wait to write my review to give it a fair chance to calm down and to see some effects. I know they say that it's just at the 2 month mark that the skin really starts improving, and that the improvement just continues up to the 6 month mark.

I decided to write the review now because I think I can definitely say there's been an improvement in skin texture and tone. There MIGHT have been a little tightening as well, and perhaps a tiny bit of decrease in fine lines, but those things are harder to say.

I'm 44 yrs old, EXTREMELY fair skinned with pink undertones (as in, any lighter and I'd be albino) :-). I constantly hear that I look about 10 years younger than I actually am, despite years of frying my poor white skin every year as a child. Also, despite quite deep crow's feet around my eyes when I smile, loose hooded eyelids, and quite pronounced horizontal forehead lines on what I think looks like loose skin. So, while I didn't start out with horrible skin for my age, I definitely have "problems" that friends my age with darker skin (pretty much all of them) don't have. A little foundation goes a long way for retaining the appearance of porcelain skin that I'm often told I have. :-) Not to mention regular botox on the forehead for the horizontal lines!

Anyway, I intended to write regular updates with photos as my healing progressed after the treamtent, but it was so normal---i.e. swelling, redness, leathery flaking, then horrible itching, and finally pink new skin---that I decided to not bother. The one thing that was different in my case is that the doctor warned me ahead of time that with skin as fair as mine, I was sure to have prolonged redness, longer than normal...and I did. She said because of this she gives complementary IPL treatments to her patients with really fair skin, at the 4 week mark, if needed. I couldn't get in til the 5 week mark and at that point while I still had redness, it had suddenly markedly decreased. We did do a very gentle IPL about 2 weeks ago, and honestly I don't think it really decreased the redness beyond what had already decreased.

However, at this point, just this week I realized that I suddenly didn't think I wanted to use foundation any longer. I always ALWAYS use foundation, so that's when I realized that there MUST have been an improvement in texture and tone. Also, about 3 weeks ago, when washing my face, my hands were suddenly gliding over my skin like over a silky babies bottom. My skin is habitually flaky and dry, it's been this way for about 15 years, and I'm constantly having to exfoliate, which only temporarily works. Not exfoliating just makes it even worse. I had prolonged flaking and dryness again after my treatment so I just thought there would be no change in that, but then suddenly VIOLA! it is smooth as silk! It also has a dewy shiny (not greasy) glow.

The area where I had the least improvement was around my eyes, which is a bummer because that is my worst area. Deep deep crows feet when I smile, and very crepey eyelids. For whatever reason, the we went what seemed like EXTREMELY LIGHT with the laser around my eyes. I know they have to go more gentle, but this practically looked like nothing was even done. It barely had a skin reaction after the treatment. When I went for the follow up, she said we can go deeper, so I'll probably repeat the laser this winter, just around the eyes.

I used to get botox for horizontal lines on forehead, and I decided to stop after the laser to see if I needed it anymore. This is hard to tell if there was an improvement because I'd been doing botox there for 8 years so I don't know what it would have looked like any longer with no botox had I not gotten the laser. But, I do have to say, that normally when the botox would start wearing out the forehead lines would become intolerable and in I'd race for my next shots. Now, it's been 5 months since my last injections and usually I'd get them every 3, and while my forehead lines are there, I don't think they are as deep or noticeable as they would have been before. So perhaps there was some subtle tightening and improvement of wrinkles in the forehead area.

In summary, it was not the dramatic improvement I was hoping for, and I don't feel like it shaved 10 years off my skin like some say it will. And, I'm still looking forward to the residual redness to go completely away (I had done a deep peel on my decollete area years ago and I had residual redness for several months after that that finally one day I just noticed was gone, so I know that is just my skin...it's going to take time, no fault of the laser or my doctor). Also, I wish she hadn't gone so light around my eyes.

But overall, I do think I'm glad I did it. The healing/swelling/itching was definitely a beast, but that was to be expected. I'll come back later as my skin has more weeks/months for the improvement to work its magic, and update my "was it worth it score" then. For now, I'm leaving it as "not sure", although if I had the choice, I'd pick "not sure but I think so". :-)

Update on CO2 laser, now 3.5 months post treatment

OK, I can now say that it was definitely worth it. :-) The biggest change I now noticed since the last review is that my eyes have improved. Being that that was my area of biggest concern (puffiness, pretty severe droopy eyelids for my age, and pronounced crepiness), I'm pretty happy.

About 2 weeks ago I started noticing my eyes looked less tired, more alive and open. I looked closer and I might be imagining it, but it does look like there's a little extra "fold" now on my lids. As in, before there was just a big puffy droop, and now it's almost like some of the skin has been removed and it's pulled up so that I can see the fold of skin underneath, if that makes sense. I took a selfie to compare it to pre-treatment pics to see if I was just imagining it, and lo and behold, I definitely definitely do look WAY less puffy and droopy around the eyes. This is pretty remarkable because as I said in my first review, we had gone pretty gentle around the eyes.

The one downside that I've noticed is that as more time goes on without botox (which I used to receive every 3 months as I said in the first review), the horizontal forehead lines are becoming more and more pronounced. I think the botox had just been relaxing them so much and as I'm able to now use those muscles to scrunch up my forehead, it's inevitable that they would become more and more noticeable. Still, they're much less than before the treatment.

I am now planning to repeat the procedure just around the eyes, this winter over the holidays. The doctor said she basically does a large "goggle" around the eyes, so that will get the lowest/worst forehead lines also. We'll do it a bit stronger than we did the first time around the eyes.
Dr. Guzman

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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