I wanted to post some info on my experience with SmartXide DOT laser treatment on this forum as the info I read here was very helpful in making my decision to have the tx. Previous posts were also helpful in preparing me for the actual procedure and recovery. I had the laser tx on July 11, 2011. My primary goal was to even my skin tone, get rid of age spots and sun damage.I was also seeking improvement in fine lines and wrinkles.
The tx was performed in the doctor's office. I received a Xanax and a Percocet prior to the tx as well as numbing gel for approximately 45 minutes. They had forgotten to give me the Valtrex for prevention of cold sores but gave me one to take before the tx and a prescription for afterwards. Eye shields were used and these were not nearly as bad as I expected. Only my face was treated (not neck). There was some slight stinging but not what I would call pain. The tx lasted about 40 minutes. They covered my face with Aquafor gel after the tx.
Afterwards, my husband drove me home. We stopped to get the prescription filled. There was no pain. I used cold compresses for the rest of the day. My skin was very red and mildly swollen. Continued to apply Aquafor intermittently. Slept okay - gel is messy.
Woke up the next morning very swollen - eyes narrowed - skin red. Continued the Aquafor and intermittently used the cold compresses.
The second post procedure day I washed gently with the cleanser they gave me - Revale. The third post-procedure day my skin turned brown and I started peeling. I had to go back to the MD for a followup. I was very reluctant about going out in public as I was still quite swollen, brown and peeling - pretty freakish! I tried to cancel the appointment but they insisted I come in. I told them I would definitely scare the people in the waiting room. They laughed and said I could come to the back door and knock. MD said all was going well, no problems noted.
Post-procedure day four lots of peeling and face mostly cleared of dead skin. It's not the same kind of peeling as a sunburn. It came off like wiping sand away. It was weird. I did not pick at all - I was afraid I would scar. I washed gently several times but always put the Aquafor back on. Without the Aquafor my skin was just too tight and dry. Skin still very red and moderately swollen.
On the fifth day I washed and used the Revale day cream everywhere except around my eyes - where I used the Aquafor. (I came to hate the messiness of this stuff though it was very soothing to my skin)Lots of itching for a couple of days!!!
Back to work on Day 7 - yikes. First time to wear makeup. The Clinique covered the redness pretty well - but kind of mask-like. Still minor swelling and moderate redness. I was kind of self-conscious for the first couple of days. I had been quite open with my coworkers so they were very supportive.
Progress continued with decreased swelling and redness day by day. Always wore makeup when going out.
I am three weeks out and looking normal with the exception of continuing redness around my eyes.
Initially of course with the swelling - absolultely no wrinkles. That was interesting. But now the laugh lines are back but there is some improvement in the other fine lines around my mouth and eyes. I can still see some demarcation lines just at the edge of treated area quite close to my hairline especially at the temples. My skin tone is very even. Almost all hyperpigmentation is gone.
I am told that maximum benefit comes at about month 5-6. So I will try to post again at that time.
At this point I would do it again. In retrospect what I expected to be painful was not (the actual laser tx) and the recovery which I expected to be easy was much more difficult.
Using the Aquafor, which sounds simple, was very aggravating. It was messy and somehow transferred to all my clothes and bed linens. The peeling did not start as soon as I expected so I was brown much longer than I wanted to be. The swelling was more severe than I expected and was always a lot worse when I got up in the mornings. When I stopped using the Aquafor, my skin was very tight, dry and itchy. It drove me nuts for a couple of days (days 5 & 6 especially) I was much more self-conscious about going out during recovery than I thought I would be. I only went out twice in the first week. I wore a large hat and sunglasses for sun protection but also to avoid curious glances. For the first week eating was a little difficult as the skin around my mouth was tight. I lost five pounds during that week. A welcome side effect.
I continue to avoid sun exposure at all times. I went back to MD again at the two week point. No problems. Scheduled next visit in 6 weeks.
I am hoping that my skin tone continues to even out, especially the redness around the eyes and that collagen production will yield a further improvement in lines and wrinkles.
I would recommend scheduling minimum 7 days for recovery and 10 would be better.
Good luck if you proceed.