Total FX - CO2 Fractionated Laser for Acne Scarring - Not Worth It!

I had been looking forward to having a skin...

I had been looking forward to having a skin resurfacing procedure since the late 80's. I got cystic "welts" all over my face from taking Accutane in my teens which left me scarred. Fast forward to my 40's, I finally had the money and did research and finally could to make my dreams of smooth skin come true! Actually a less acne scarred face was what I was hoping for...

Quick summary on the day of the procedure: I took the valium and had numbing cream applied. The procedure took about 1/2 hour. I have a high tolerance for pain and I would say I was mildly uncomfortable during the procedure. I wanted my Dermatologist to go as deep as possible to get as best results as possible. I made her aware I wanted her to do as much as possible because I was hoping for a "one & done" procedure. I could not afford to do a 2nd and 3rd procedure as each treatment was over 3k.

I did this procedure over 2 years ago now. The only things that I notably recall is using a ton of Aquafor all over my face after cold water / vinegar face washes multiple times a day. Sleeping was horrible for me as I am a side sleeper and tried to keep my face off the pillow. I was fearful my face would dry out and stick to my pillow (which did not happen). I ate a ton of popsicles (like 4 boxes in 6 days) the cold pressed on my cheeks helped the swelling at the beginning and the itching towards the end. I had to use baking soda and vinegar to get the Aquafor out of hair. Every 2 days I drove to my Derm's office to get my face thoroughly cleaned to avoid any infection.

I have to say I was so incredibly astonished at how are bodies have the ability to heal. When I was on day 1 & 2 I never thought my face would be completely healed at 1 week. I was quite amazed at this healing process but it's not for the faint of heart sort of person. It's hard to walk through this transformation. Even though I was in no real pain, it's just real uncomfortable. I was grateful my mom helped me do the face washes and prepared ice packs for me. Having someone to help you is strongly recommended!!!

Now to the results... if there are any noticeable? I was very excited after a week to apply makeup and I noticed a huge improvement :) at that time. I had been told by the Dermatologist not to get excited too soon as there will be swelling. She was right :( After 2 weeks my face was red and seemed like it went right back to the way it looked before the treatment. I had such high hopes for this to help my scarring as I was told up to 50%. I was told my "orange peel" chin would get the best results. Which now that I am 2 years post op still find it hard to see any real improvement in the texture of my skin anywhere. Mostly I am left bummed out by this experience. I had high hopes and the doctor feed into that hope by saying 50% results but it's more like 10%. I notice since the procedure the huge pores on my nose are not as full of oil as it was before. However after years dreaming about having this procedure I do feel like I got that check off my bucket list.

I want to clarify that the Total FX CO2 (fractionated) is not the same as the old school UltraPulse CO2 (non-fractioned). The newer fractionated lasers are in my opinion not effective from acne scarring (unless maybe you do multiple treatments). If I had it to do all over I would have kept searching for a doctor who still operated the old school "gold standard" UltraPulse CO2. Then I would have had a chance to get the results I was dreaming of. I wish I was not so scared of it... BE AWARE of the patient satisfaction results on the fractionated lasers, it's in the 50% range for a reason.
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon

She was kind and seemed knowledgeable and spent adequate time with me. I can't say enough about her staff and how great her office staff and assistants are. They were kind and compassionate and made the whole experience much better than it would have been. 1st red flag is she had no photo before and after’s of patients who had acne scarring that had services. If she had been doing this procedure or other lasers like it and had no photos to show that is a red flag. 2nd red flag is she said she could not get any patients permission to share a patients phone number to talk to about the results. 3rd red flag was she said you may need more than one treatment (meaning… You need more than 1) and more treatments are not included in the cost. So if I needed 3 treatments that would cost over 10k. 4th and final red flag is she took my before and after photos and never scheduled a post op visit to review the results or discuss my satisfaction of this procedure. I would not go back to this physician as I feel it's more about her paycheck and less about her having a passion for helping people be happy in their own skin!

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 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
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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