I have been lurking on this board for...
I have been lurking on this board for a few weeks researching the Total FX procedure. After doing endless research, I decided to go for it!
Day 1: I went to the office and brought my two pain meds and an anti-anxiety med as requested by laser technician, Lisa. I took the meds and she applied a thick application of numbing cream over my entire face (including eyelids). She darkened the room and put a blanket over me as I lay there for approximately 1.5 hrs (it went by fast as the meds relaxed me). After that time, Janet (office R.N) gave me a dental block inside of my mouth. Lisa removed the numbing cream and Janet returned and gave me dental blocks on the external portion of my face where I was having the Deep FX done (cheeks, frown lines, chin, and mouth area. I could barely feel any of the blocks. Yay!
Lisa started with the Deep FX. I couldn't believe how pain free it was, I just felt a couple of spots of hotness on my cheeks where the dental block missed. Lisa then began the Active FX. She started on the forehead and eyes (I only had numbing cream there, no blocks). It was a little stingy but went by very fast. The she went over the Deep FX areas which I never felt since it was still numb. Plus she had cold air on my face the whole time which took the burning edge off. It was VERY bearable. I was surprised how pain-free the whole thing was as I had major anxiety beforehand. I had also read how many people said how bad it hurt which freaked me out. If you decided to do this. GET the dental blocks!
When we were done I waited a few minutes while my husband came to pick me up. During this time I really felt my face burning. Lisa said it was best to wait at least an hour before applying the Aquaphor and cold compresses as it locks the heat in and makes it burn worse.
I got home and waited an hour until it felt bearable. I applied the Aquaphor and just used a handheld fan for a few minutes. The burning went away after a couple of hours. NO pain. I think the anxiety beforehand is the worst. I slept on my back that night just fine.
Day 2: This morning I woke up quite swollen (especially the eyes area). No pain. I washed with Neutrogena bar soap and applied the Aquaphor (I am supposed to do this 3x a day). My face scary looking but I mentally prepared for this by looking at several pics of other laser patients beforehand. I feel fine which is good since I have a 1 yr old to look after :). More updates coming soon. Thanks for those that have wrote about their journeys, It really helped me.
I am 39 yrs old. Mild acne scarring on cheeks and nose. Sun damage mostly on sides of face. I mainly wanted to smooth surgical scars around my nostril area (from rhinoplasty) and scarring around lips from a lip advancement several years prior. Please feel free to ask me any questions!
This morning I woke up a little more red, especially in the Active FX areas. A lot of the crusty Deep FX areas (mostly cheeks) have sloughed off. I have not started to peel yet. Face feels a little stingy when I wash it, but no pain otherwise. I have pics if anyone would like to see. I can email them privately.
Actual Day 3 (I'm a day off) :)
Skin is doing well. Feels warm and a little tight. Noticed the tip of my nose area is starting to peel. The Aquaphor is so greasy and it's in my hairline which is driving me crazy. I am continuing to wash and apply ointment 3x daily. Saturday or Sunday I switch to Aloe Cort cream and regular moisturizer from my Laser tech. No more Aquaphor!
The weather is so nice outside, it's been hard to stay inside and hide out! I keep sending daily pics to my laser tech and she says I'm healing well. I will go see her on Monday for a check-up. Hope all is well out there for fellow laser recovery patients :) More to come...
Update Total FX
Well, I made it past the first week. Today is Day 11. I finished peeling around Day 6. My face is still very red but I can cover it well with mineral makeup. It's magical stuff! Since I'm so red it's hard to tell if the sun damage is gone. I have light acne scarring and cannot tell any difference with those yet. The surgical scars under my nostrils seem smoother.
I've talked to my laser tech and we both agreed I would need those touched up in six months as they are deep scars. The fine lines under my eyes are gone and the ones between my brows are much smoother (as well as my forehead). I have to be patient as I know it can take a few months for the collagen to build up (at least I hope!).
The Aquaphor really made me break out bad on my chin and lower cheek area. I stopped using it on Day 7. My laser tech (who's also an esthetician) gave me a great facial yesterday. She did some extractions, high frequency, and a mask. My skin looks much better today. I am using an Obagi cleansing gel 3x day, Aqua Cort (for redness), and then I layer with hyaluronic acid and emu oil. I also put on sunblock before going out and I purchased a big sun hat.
It's hard to see much difference at this point. I'll update soon!
8 months out and glad I did it!
11 Dec 2014
8 months post
I have been really happy with my progress. My skin is much smoother and even looking. The light acne scarring I had is pretty much gone and smaller pores. I get occasional comments about how nice my skin is :) I do have a couple of hyperpigmentation's on my cheeks from where the laser passed which are easily covered with makeup. I get a Deep F/X touch up on my cheeks, nose, chin, mouth area and frown lines in a few weeks. Since I've already been through it, I don't have the anxiety I did before.
Touch -up done
I just wanted to to do another update on my Total F/X progress. I had my touch up approximately three months ago. My face was treated with the Total F/X laser (a pass of Active F/X and Deep F/X combined) except under my eyes and forehead. The healing was much easier this time. I was completely peeled over in five days with residual redness for another month (which is easily covered with mineral makeup). The light acne scarring on my cheeks and nose are hardly noticable now. I had a different laser tech (Janet) perform my treatment and she was excellent. I'm very happy with the procedure and would highly recommend it!