Pixel Laser for Mild Acne Scarring and Moderate Post-Acne Discoloration. Little Rock, AR

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Yesterday, I went in for my first of a series of...

Yesterday, I went in for my first of a series of Pixel laser treatments. I decided to do this to improve the acne scarring and discoloration on my cheeks. My acne is not bad, but even after the zits are no longer active, they leave unsightly red and brown marks, which take AGES to fade and which stand out horribly on my pale skin. There are also a few very subtle, shallow scars that I would like to erase. I've wanted to have this done for years, but because it's so expensive, I kept putting it off. Out of desperation, I finally decided to go for it. I have tried every O.T.C. product and home remedy out there and they just don't work for me. We'll see if this does! My hopes are high!

The day of the procedure, I applied a topical anesthetic to lessen the burning sensation I was told would occur during the laser treatment. Unfortunately, I applied it too early, so by the time I was actually having the Pixel treatment done, the numbing cream had worn off entirely. This made my experience pretty uncomfortable. It was not unbearable, but it definitely hurt. When people say that it feels like rubber bands are popping your face, they aren't kidding, and the fact that you can smell your skin burning doesn't really help matters!

The procedure only took about fifteen minutes. After that, I was given a cold, wet washcloth to press against my face while the lady who did my procedure went over the aftercare instructions with me. This took no time at all, and after scheduling my next appointment, I was sent on my way, blazing red face and all! Thank the Lord I didn't see anyone I know! When I got home, my mom was horrified by what she saw! My face was VERY bright red and felt like it was on fire, despite me spending the hour-long drive home with my air on full blast at the coldest setting (the rest of my body was so cold that I was shaking). I spent the next four hours laying in bed with cold rags on my face, and only after some of the fever had left my skin did I slather on the Aquaphor.

It's now the first full day after my procedure, and I've spent most of the day hiding away, unwilling for anyone to see my looking this awful. My face is still very red and splotchy, though not as red as it was yesterday. I can see the pixel pattern on my skin, especially where more than one pass was made over the area. I did try washing my face with an aloe soap earlier. When I did, my skin felt super dry and disgusting, so I had to apply more Aquaphor immediately thereafter. Honestly, y'all, the first couple days are ROUGH. You will want to barricade yourself in your house and let no one or even speak to you. HOWEVER, I am holding on to the hope that my skin will be very much improved by the time this is all said and done. I'll keep you posted with updates every couple days!

Day Two Post-Pixel

I am now on the second day post-Pixel. My skin is very dry and is beginning to flake off in very small dots. The redness has been greatly reduced, but is still significant enough that I don't think it could be totally covered with makeup. My skin is still very splotchy in the areas where multiple passes were made, but in the areas where only one pass was made, my skin is almost back to normal.

Five Days Post-Pixel

It has now been five days since I had my first Pixel session. My skin is looking SO MUCH better than it did the first couple days after the procedure. I think I can already see improvement with the discoloration (I will try to add pictures tomorrow)! :) Unfortunately, while the Aquaphor is excellent for extremely dry skin, it started causing my face to break out, so I decided to stop using it only two days after my treatment. I returned to my normal routine, which is to wash my face with a Neutrogena acne wash and then moisturize with rose hip seed oil. The oil has nowhere near the moisturizing power of the Aquaphor, so my face was VERY dry and tight for a couple days. Also, confession: I know you're not supposed to pick at the dry skin, but I did. I also used a microfiber cloth to gently exfoliate my skin. Now, I'm almost totally back to normal, but I think I'll use my exfoliation brush tonight to smooth out the small rough patches that remain.

Ladies: I wore makeup on Saturday, which was only three days after my treatment. Given that my skin was super dry, the makeup accentuated the dry, flaky look of my skin. :/ I had to wear it, because the Pixel pattern was still very noticeable, so I just wore my hair down and tried to cover my face as much as possible without being weird! Haha I wore makeup the next day, as well, but that time I used only liquid foundation, no powder. Skipping the powder definitely helped things, but still . . . I wasn't exactly looking my most fabulous. The dryness is much improved today, and although I'm not wearing makeup, I think I could without looking scaly.

Two Days Post-Pixel, Second Treatment

I am now on my second full day post-pixel. I went in Monday for my second treatment, which I postponed for a couple months due to a bad flare up of hormonal acne.

I think the lady who did my procedure amped up the intensity quite a bit this time. The procedure was more painful than I remember it being the last time, and shortly after the treatment, I noticed that there were (small) places on my face where my skin was bleeding or had oozed puss. Sorry. I know that's disgusting.

Given my previous negative reaction to Aquaphor, I kept it on my skin only for the day of the treatment and on into the next morning. Tuesday morning, I washed it off with a gentle cleanser. It burned quite a bit at first, and it left my skin feeling REALLY tight! However, given that having the Aquaphor on my skin just for that short period of time left me with a couple of pimples (even though they're very tiny), I'm glad I took it off when I did.

I've come to the conclusion that Pixel is just not for me. My skin thrives on routine. I need to use the same cleanser, moisturizer, toner, makeup, etc. all the time in order to keep my skin clear, and any disruption of that pattern, no matter how brief, seems to adversely affect the balance of my skin. Given that the Pixel treatment necessitates reduced washing in addition to the use of heavy moisturizers, my skin just doesn't take to it very well.

As far as the appearance of my skin right now, it is very, very blotchy with brown/red marks from the laser. Based on my previous experience, I'm assuming (and hoping) that my skin will assume a more normal appearance within the next two days. The dryness and tightness are extremely uncomfortable, and the patchy look of my skin is too intense to be covered by makeup at the moment. I currently do not have any pictures to upload, but given that I forgot to take a "before" picture, any subsequent ones won't be of use as far as comparing my skin before and after the procedure.

To those of you pondering the idea of getting a Pixel laser treatment, PLEASE consider these three things FIRST:
1. Is your skin sensitive? If the answer to this question is yes, you should probably avoid the laser. Not only does it leave your skin almost unbearably dry and tight, but it necessitates a change in your skincare routine. Really consider whether your skin is able to undergo this much trauma and change without having an adverse reaction.

2. Do you have active acne? Again, if the answer to this question is yes, please avoid scheduling a Pixel treatment. The disruption in your skincare routine can be disastrous, which only adds to the problem you were trying to resolve. I let myself believe that the Pixel treatment would not only erase marks from previously active acne, but that it would also somehow diminish my chances of having a breakout in the future. Thus far, the Pixel treatment has made only a modest impact on scars and discoloration, and, again, the necessary change in skincare routine has caused my skin to breakout.

3. How much time are you able/willing to take off from work, school, etc.? Despite what other reviewers have said, I have previously found and am currently finding that almost a full week is required for recovery. Even after that, it may be another several days before the moisture is fully restored to your skin.

These are some very serious considerations to evaluate before you decide to have the Pixel treatment. Please don't rush into this like I did. For some of you, the procedure may be the best thing you ever do for your skin. But for others, like myself, you may find that you've made a poor decision and wasted a LOT of money in the process.

Best of luck to all of you searching for ways to gain beautiful skin! My heart goes out to you!
Sona Med Spa of Little Rock

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