I previously underwent the Pixel CO2 back in the middle of 2009. The results were amazing. However I was left with noticeable remaining sunspots (AKs), which was the main reason I did the procedure.
I just had the procedure performed again (4 days ago). I had realized that I wanted more improvement and some of the sunspots were getting bigger.
BTW: I'm a guy. I shaved the afternoon prior to the appointment. They used the newer Pixel CO2 laser that can operate on 70 watts; verses the older 30 watts only laser. This means the laser is more aggressive in depth. And it comes with both 7x7 and 9x9 "head". The 9x9 can potentially cover a wider area for faster service.
The pain was exactly what I remember: very accurate rubber bands popping numerous times on your skin. (I had a bully for an older brother; so rubber bands aren't anything new to me. :o) The smell of your burning skin takes a little getting used to. However, the assisting nurse described it as the same smell as after using the tanning bed too long.
Day 1) A breeze! Little pain, lots of Aquaphor, some OTC painkillers. Sleeping is a hassle. I decided to sleep on the sofa to minimize my side . I placed a clean, older towel under my head. No plans to leave the house until next Monday 6 days away. Plenty of food eat and books on my Kindle to read.
Day 2) My sister phoned at 6 am. Family tragedy! My nephew passed away suddenly overnight at the age of 25. I told her I would be there asap. That's 400+ miles away. I packed clothes, ointments, pills, towels, and a huge can "who gives a %#^#%!!!!" I was going to mourn my beautiful, beloved nephew and to be by my sister's side. After 8 hours in the car, I knock on her front door. She opens it's and stares blankly at me: "May I help you?" She didn't recognize me; what with 25 yo beard missing and a now swollen face. I wasn't surprised.
Day 3) I quickly became the center of attention, whenever anyone didn't want to deal with the death. So many people were asking questions about the procedure, the cost, the doctor, the pain, and mainly my reasoning. I feel a bit blessed to be able to take a little of the stress out of this horrible situation. Today, my face is bright red, puffy, peeling, burns, stings, and shiny. I keep wondering when I may stop the Aquaphor, but no one really has a good answer. Sleeping upright in a hotel bed is uncomfortable, but exhaustion is a great motivator.
Day 4) Tight!!!! Cool water is my friend. I keep reading about vinegar soaks and think I might stop by a store and get some to remove the sting a bit. The redness is still very pronounced, but is beginning to be mitigated by small areas of "normal looking" skin.