My Active FX Diary - Salt Lake City, UT

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  10th November 2012 Michelle...


10th November 2012

Michelle Watts, Born 26/02/67, Aged 45.

Today I went to have an Active FX treatment in Salt Lake City, Utah.

This is my personal experience, please remember that everyone is different so your experience although will be similar will not be exactly the same. This is just a guide so you can gain some insight into what takes place.

I took 400 mg of acyclovir before bed last night and again this morning. I arrived at the clinic at 8.50am, was greeted warmly. I filled out the paper work which asked me about certain past and present conditions like: clotting problems, pregnant, are you taking tetracycline, are you prone to keloid scarring and other questions.

My Doctor came in and we chatted about the procedure and after care. I felt in very experienced hands but I had done a lot of research choosing my Doctor.

I was also given a cleanser and cream (Epionce Medical Barrier Cream) to use after the treatment. I chatted about sun screen and although I do have sunscreen I decided to buy a mineral powder sun protection from the clinic. I was also given a lot of information regarding after care with step by step instructions. Then I took 800 mg of Ibuprofen.

I then had topical anaesthetic placed on my face. This was left on for one hour. My face did become very numb including my lips even though the cream was only put around them. After the hour I was asked to wash my face. Washing a numb face feels a little odd.

I laid down on a clinic couch and my Doctor placed topical anaesthetic drops into my eyes. After a few seconds inter ocular eye shields were placed inside my eyes. These felt odd but did not hurt ( and I'm not use to having anything in my eyes.) The procedure was not as bad as I was expecting but everyone does have different pain thresh holds. Mine I think is quite high I suppose as I have had three babies without using any pain relief, all natural births.

My face did start to feel hot and pulsing. Ice was applied to the area before each section was treated which helped a lot. The Doctor explained that the forehead, around the mouth and under the eyes are more sensitive. The treatment took about 15-20 minutes.

After the procedure was finished my whole face felt really hot and pulsing. Dr removed the eye shields and flushed my eyes. Vision a little blurred afterwards. A thick layer of cream was applied to my face so I looked very shiny. I was given a bag of ice to take with me.

It was snowing outside and I was looking forward to standing outside in the cool air. Once outside I felt no different, face still burning.
Then I got in a taxi to go back to the hotel and the heater was on full in the face was starting to become quite uncomfortable with the added heat.

I'm sat on the bed writing this and my face is starting to feel more comfortable. Not burning but still a little hot and tight. In fact probably about 70% better. It has been 80 minutes since the end of the procedure.
I have not needed to use the ice pack.
Will be taking Acyclovir 400mg twice a day for the next 7 days.
I can cleanse my skin tomorrow for the first time but not tonight.
If I feel itchy I will take Phenergan, I will probably take one tonight before I go to bed.
I will need to sleep on my back tonight. I will probably sleep propped up a little.

Dr told me that tomorrow morning my eyes will be very swollen.

I'm going to a friends for tea tonight......I hope I don't look too bad.

It's now four hours since procedure and my face feels fine, no burning at all. I have put some cream on as I'm not allowed to let my face become dry. The skin on my face feels completely dry to touch. By that I mean rough under my fingers. Under my eyes have become more swollen and I'm not sure if I'm imagining this but the areas of pigmentation are looking darker already. I have one tiny pin prick of blood on my left cheek. My face isn't oozing or raw at all.

Was told that tomorrow when I first cleanse that my face will feel bruised.
At the moment my vision is blurry but only because the cream has started to seep into my eyes.

I don't think I look too scary so should be okay to go out later. Just really don't like having a shiny face.

I did go out that evening and was honest about what I had done and my friends were really interested. One said that her friend had it done and she had problems after. This is why it is important to do your research first before choosing a doctor.
She is really looking forward to seeing my results.
Had my 400mg of Acyclovir and 50 mg of phenergan before bed. I didn't sleep very well mainly because I am a side sleeper and you have to lie on your back.
I started off half sitting up to sleep but I was very uncomfortable. Nothing to do with my face as that feels just fine, no pain at all.

Don't yawn with a big mouth, makes cheeks feel very tight!

Would you be interested in me posting my day by day diary with photos? Let me know.

Day One I am so tired and have a terrible...

Day One
I am so tired and have a terrible headache.
No pain at all on my face.
Eyes swollen as much to do with cream seeping in eyes as the treatment.
Took my Acyclovir
Cleansed my face using the cleanser given to me then applied the cream. I experienced NO stinging or irritation when I used the cleanser and rinsed it off. I patted dry my skin, no rubbing. Face feels rough, quite brown with little dots visible in places. Dr Jepson told me he could see a lot of pigmentation around my eyes. I must admit I didn't think I had much pigment there. He was spot on as I am very brown in that area. It is amazing what damage lies beneath your skin. The only way of finding out is to have your skin scanned for UV damage. My face although did not look too bad on the surface lit up like a Christmas tree in the scanner. I had this done many years ago in NZ.

My instructions say to cleanse three times a day and to apply the barrier cream for 4 days regularly.

It is really important that you are compliant with the aftercare instructions.

I will be venturing out in day light today. So long as I wear a hat and no direct sun on my face I will be fine. I cannot use sun block until my skin has peeled.

One other thing I am hoping for once my eyes go back to normal is some improvement in my MGD. Mybomium gland dysfunction. IPL is being successfully used to treat this in the US and they think that it is the heat from the light that is helping uncap the glands and liquefy the meibum. As the laser delivers heat I'm hoping it may have had some effect. I had right up to my lid margin on the bottom treated but he didn't do my upper lid, just under my brow bone to the crease.

I am just waiting for the itching to begin but all is calm so far.

Cleansed skin at lunch time and applied cream. Skin did sting a little afterwards, mainly over cheeks and the side of my eyes. I'm a little red in the crease of my eyes. A kind friend said I don't look too bad but kids were staring at me in the shopping mall. I look like I have been skiing and not worn any sun block. I'm going out to a restaurant for tea later......

Eye lids still feeling very heavy, skin around my mouth feeling tight.
Day Two
Face feels very tight this morning. Won't be smiling or laughing too much today as I feel that my face may crack.
No pain/discomfort at all.
A little itching.

Been out all day today in the cold. Wearing a hat.
Face very tight especially still around my mouth and eyes. Eyes remain swollen. Applied cream twice whilst I was out.
Lots of odd looks but nobody said anything.
Face seems more red/brown today. Went out for a meal. Was feeling self conscious today.
Day Three.
Slept a little better.
No change this morning in how my skin looks.
A little itching over fore head and chin.
Hardly any flaking yet, only a little around my nose.
I don't want to open my mouth too wide in case I accidentally make skin peel off before it is ready
Driving to Zion Park today.
Had to wear my hat in the car to stop the sun shining in on my face. It feels so nice to wash my face and reapply the cream. I have noticed a bit of flaking from around my mouth and nose this evening.

Day Four.
As you can see in the photo: not a huge amount of change. Some of the skin has peeled away from below my bottom lip.
I don't think my eyes are as swollen, but I could be wrong. What do you think?
I am washing my face four times a day not the three that was recommended. It feels so nice to put the cleanser on then rinse it off. This is when most of the skin flakes off too.
I am trying to be really patient and I am not picking or touching my face in between washing.
For some reason I am feeling very self conscious about my appearance today?! I have been for a walk around Zion and did some shopping. The sun was just in the wrong place and was shining under my hat so I had to wrap my scarf around my face. I am paranoid about getting any sun on my face. I want to take really good care of this lovely new skin that I am going to have.

Day Five.
Slept better last night.
I'm peeling in spots all over my face now. Face not feeling as tight.
I'm still managing to get the barrier cream in my eyes!
Looking pink in some places I have peeled and pale in others. A little red around my mouth.
Very happy with how things are going so far.
Day Six.
I am continuing to shead my burnt dead skin and the new skin is a ruddy colour in appearance. I have developed a few red raised pimples on my left cheek.
I can tell that the wrinkle I had on my top lip has almost gone but that may just be the swelling. At this stage I don't think the pores on my nose are any different. My skin appears tighter under my left eye than my right eye. Under right eye remains puffy. The laser did not go as far under my right eye as it did my left.

Day Seven
It's exactly a week since I had my Active FX treatment.
I have lost a lot of the dead skin. Still have some to go though. I have been very gentle with my skin as I didn't want to encourage the skin to shed but shed in its own time. If you do this then I think it helps with the skin underneath not being too red. I am also in a low humidity area at the moment which may be why my skin is not exfoliating as fast? I am still using the barrier cream on my unpeeled areas and Cetaphil moisturiser on the peeled areas. I have not put any sun screen on yet, I will wait until I have completely peeled before I do that. This is also what my Doctor recommended.
I have noticed more raised red bumps like spots on my face but I think that this is probably quite normal. New skin is very soft.

Day Eight.
Almost finished peeling now. Just a bit left around my jaw to go.
Going to put sun block on today as I'm going tramping (hiking) in Zion National Park.
Evening: just washed my face and almost all my face has peeled. Just a few very tiny patches left. I am not too pink.
I have to say that I don't think there is that much change but maybe I need to take a good look at my before photos and be patient as collagen will still be building over the next three months or so.

Day Nine.
Cheeks and under eyes are feeling itchy and a little sore today. Red spots on left cheek are not raised today and seem to be diminishing. Still have the smallest amount of skin still to peel around jaw hair line. I have developed what I think is a little atopic dermatitis in the corner of my upper eye lids close to my nose. This area was not treated so I don't know the reason for this. It's not itchy but does not look very nice.

Day Ten.
Completely peeled now.
Still red, tender and itchy under eyes just above cheek bone.
In this photo I'm wearing tinted sun block.

Day Eleven
Today I have my follow up with my Dermatologist.
Up to now I have noticed that the Active FX has done wonders for my pigmentation from sun damage. Unfortunately my wrinkles are still there and my pores have not reduced. I have noticed that my left eye has lifted more than my right! I will be interested in seeing my before and after photos because sometimes it’s difficult to judge change.

Day Twenty One

I am happy with how the treatment has evened out my skin tone. I feel that my pores are exactly the same as before and actually now seem more noticeable to me than they were. I think I have a little hyper-pigmentation starting under my right eye. My foundation is gliding on to my skin now and looking much better than it did before. A friend told me yesterday that she could see that my skin was looking more plumped up even from when she had seen me two days before. Another friend said that my skin tone looked more even and the lines on my forehead not as deep as they had been. One of my Husbands colleagues said to him that I looked well rested.

I hope that you have found my diary about Active FX treatment interesting and informative. If you have any comments or questions please do not hesitate to post them. I will continue to post photos every month as they say that the effects of the treatment continue to become visible up to six months afterwards.

I will be taking my 2 month post treatment photos on the 10th January 2013 and will post them next to my before photos.

I am looking forward to reading your comments and answering any questions you may have.
Have a great day,

Today I had my 8 week post Active FX photos taken....

Today I had my 8 week post Active FX photos taken. I have changed my skin care to NeoStrata and have just started using their lightening gel on the pigmentation under my right eye. My skin does look lovely when I am wearing my favorite BB cream by Boots No 7. Friends who know I have had the procedure done tell me that they can tell a difference. I will continue to post monthly my photos.

Skin is still looking good post Active FX

I am still very pleased with the results of my Active FX. It's been about 20 months now.
Dr Steven Jepson

I did alot of research on the Internet and also combined my treatment with a holiday to SLC from New Zealand. Reviews on the internet were very good and I have to say very accurate. Dr Jepson was great and I highly recommend him.

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
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 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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