CO2 Fractional Laser 12 weeks Out - HMA Rating: 0 (or how about -5)

My neck has always been older than my face. I've...

My neck has always been older than my face. I've tried every dermatologist recommended cream, ultherapy, matrix rf, fotofacial (the latter two helped the most I think ) until finally, after extensive research I decided to bite the bullet, suffer the downtime and skip onto the CO2 fractional ablative laser which vaporizes the outer layer of skin to promote the regrowth of more youthful elastic skin as well as the future production of collagen. This laser supposedly also helps with hyperpigmentation (which in my case wasn't such an issue since I'd addressed that in late September with excellent results. 

Video Pre and 13 days Post CO2 Fractional laser

Co2 Beginning to Day 13
3:52

Important for you to see the scary neck I had before CO2 - the whole reason I opted to do it.

My neck skin was wrinkly and thin and old. I tried Ultherapy, Matrix RF (which worked VERY temporary), Botox, Fillers, Creams, Peels...CO2 was going to be my last hurrah.

6 Weeks and 3 days out

Yesterday I went to Dr. Carlotti's for a check up and honestly wasn't expecting to leave so, well, hopeful. I also went there for some Botox on my neck and jowls as well as a little filler on my jowls while this stuff is healing. I'm leaving to a conference tomorrow and am a little freaked so I'm at least going to look the best that I possibly can in spite of the co2 recovery. Well, Dr. Michelle suggested a light fotofacial and I was NOT on board at first but the woman has this aura about her that makes you feel like she knows what she's saying and cares about the results so, hubby at my side, said 'let's do it'. SO GLAD. It was like immediate toning down of the redness and the areas of hyperpigmentation. She explained too that some of my skin was congested so today I went to my other favorite doc for a dermaplaning. I'm pretty pink still but I did just get dermaplaning - had a cocktail - and am in a mad rush to get my stuff together for the conference I'm leaving for tomorrow. I have makeup on at the moment and it was fine until I sat in front of the warmth of the computer.

About 6 weeks after co2 laser I found the makeup recipe cover the blotches, etc.

Well, today is 7 weeks since the C02 but I have finally found the perfect combo of camo for my red splotches on my face and dark pigmentation on my chest, neck and underarmish area. First I try and smooth the surface with my favorite primer which is actually monistat chafing gel, then I combine the Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream with Miracle Skin 20, Pur Mineral Makeup, Revision Regular, Revision Matte, and Neutrogena Sunscreen and pat it on starting on my neck, chest and area near the underarm and pat the rest on my face. THEN, what isn't in my photo is that I put concealer under my eyes and on my eyelids (they are darker and a bit red) and FINALLY I take a powder brush and fill it up with Pur Mineral Powder (not in the photo bcz my hands are only so big...) and dab it on the worst areas layer by layer. It works! Attached is a pic on the 7 week mark. I mean I wouldn't sit under any bright lights or anything but I look good I think! I'll take a pick after I wash it all off later.

11 weeks post C02

Yesterday was 11 weeks. I've had two IPL treatments to help get rid of the hyperpigmentation on my neck and chest (and shoulders?) caused by the C02 and the flushed skin on my face. My face is a lot better although I still flush for no particular reason sometimes and also when I'm angry (like a cartoon!) and always when I exercise. A blister formed on my right shoulder/chest area and popped, the skin peeled off so now I have a small scar that I know will go away after time. My pigmentation is the same on my neck and chest but it could still be healing from the IPL as it can sometimes take a couple of weeks as you can see in my IPL experience in September. It's hard to tell if the C02 at least dealt with the original issue which was crepey lines on my neck because the pigmentation makes the lines look more obvious. I will know once I get rid of the lines. I have a couple events to go to but I plan to have my normal IPL place do a hard core neck and chest IPL in early march. Frustrating. At this point I would never recommend the C02 laser but it's only been 11 weeks so...

Neck 12 weeks after C02

No different from before except now I have hyperpigmentation.

19 weeks out

4 IPL treatments later, I have a teeny bit of scarring on my chest and the texture of my face is a little rough but I'm happy to be about back to normal. The fractional CO2 was a mistake and I do not recommend it unless you have super bad acne scarring or enlarged pores (orange peel skin) and there's not a lot else you can do. It did nothing for my crepey neck skin so I am about back to square one no (except $5,000 poorer). You can keep up with battle against the neck skin. I will not give up!!

Scottsdale Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

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