About a year ago I noticed a significant change in...
About a year ago I noticed a significant change in my skin. I feel like overnight it became more dry, sensitive, mature and aged. I also lost facial fat which honestly im not sure if its from natural aging or an ipl treatment that i had bc ive read people on here experiencing that from ipls. Maybe even from hormones my skin changed i just don't know but it went from decent to terrible quickly. From about the age of 15 I became addicted to the sun. I'm 45 now and fair skinned. I would lay out with no sun screen on my face and get red and burned but loved the tan that would come soon after. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I honestly did not know what I was doing to my skin long term. My skin became very weathered looking about a year ago. Lots of fine lines and scattered scarring I'm guessing from teenage acne that showed up when my skin began breaking down and losing collagen and elastin from all the sun damage. Total nightmare. I tried a chemical peel, laser geneis, ipl, retin a, microdermabrasion and microneedling treatments all with little to no results. I started reading how Co2 lasers were the gold standard treatment for younger looking skin and every thing it said it treated I was dealing with. I actually went for a consultation back in October for the Co2 but the esthetician there suggested I try rejuvapen treatments first being it is a less agressive treatment so I agreed to 4 treatments one month apart which did not give me the results are I was looking for. I then went for another consultation and decided to go ahead with the CO2RE fractional laser resurfacing treatment. I had the treatment done on Thursday and today is Saturday which is the reason for the NOT SURE review which i'm praying will be changed to WORTH IT in about 3 weeks. I just want to be a success story finally. I also spoke to a patient that had this procedure done 3 months ago and she said she 100% trusts this dr and her results are wonderful and would do it again when the time comes. That was wonderful to hear! The procedure went well. I took a percocet and 2 valium beforehand and felt relaxed but was given about 12 needles in my facial nerves which were very painful and then the procedure began which took about 30 minutes for my full face. Some areas I barely felt and others hurt alot but I never once asked the dr to stop bc I just wanted it done and over with. Both the dr and nurse commented that I took it like a champ and that most people don't. I left there feeling like I had a bad sun burn and face swelled up but not too much redness yet and had like a charred look to it. My husband drove me home and the recovery began. After about 3 hours the burning subsided but the oozing and pinpoint bleeding started. I iced my face 2x which felt good bc feeling very sore. I am using the ointment they gave me in my aftercare kit which will be used for the next 4 days. I am also taking valtrex and arnicare in addition to the percocet and valium as needed. I cleansed my face with cerave put on the ointment and slept with head elevated. Not feeling too bad considering what my poor skin has just been through.
Woke up really looking like a burn victim. Went to see the dr to make sure things are looking okay. He said so far so good. I am to start the facial soaks today using what was given to me in the after care kit along with the ointment. Im still having pin point bleeding and oozing but not too terrible. Very swollen today. Skin feels very tight and sore. Dr said surface skin will look great in about 3 weeks and then over the next 3-6 months collagen will build and fill in the deeper wrinkles and lines. Im due back for another check up in a week from today.
Still very swollen, face feels tight and still look like a burn victim. Lots of redness but no more spot bleeding. Will continue to ice and do my soaks 4x a day and use the ointment. Hoping the real peeling starts soon. If anyone has any advice for me during this recovery please share. I will not be posting pics at this time simply bc i am not comfortable doing so yet. If this procedure goes well it will be life changing for me as I have been very down on myself and have not felt good about myself in a year. Makes you not want to be around people or do anything when you don't feel good about yourself. It's a terrible feeling. Praying I did the right thing and have a wonderful result like many others on here. Im writing this review bc I loved reading everyones experiences and it helped make my final decision so hopefully my story can help someone too. I plan to keep updating daily so if you have any questions for me please ask.
Swelling has gone down a little but am still extremely red. Face feels very dry and tight and is cracking. Really hope to start peeling soon. I am continuing to ice and do my soaks and put on my ointment every 3 hours. Feels very good to soak and put on the ointment. The second time I did it today skin started peeling off a little bit here and there. So happy!
Skin continues to be very dry, tight and red. Swelling has gone down a little. Lots of dry dead skin (scabs). Face still little sore. Continuing soaks and ointment every 3 hours. Skin is continuing to flake off as I put on the ointment which is great. Spoke to esthetician today who said peeling can last up to 2 weeks which seems so long and hoping it doesn't take that long. She also said to use a thin film of ointment to avoid breakouts. I also asked about pigmentation issues as I am nervous about that. She said that would not be seen until 4-6 week after treatment. Just continuing to pray all goes well. Follow up appointment this Friday.
Waking up today noticed my face did not feel as dry which is good. Today I am supposed to switch things up a little. Continuing soaks but instead of using the ointment I am using the Regenacell Epidermal Repair Creme that came in my after care kit and using TNS Recovery Complex 2x a day. This is new regime until skin is fully healed. Skin not as red as it was or as swollen. Still lots of peeling skin flaking off and also not as sore when I wash my face. All good stuff which to me means the worst part is over. I do feel the ointment was more moisturizing than the cream I am now using but the cream can be used more liberally and as often as I feel needed so that is good. In the areas where the skin has peeled off my new skin is pink and smooth which really excites me but will not fully judge the overall look of my skin for at least another 2 weeks and until all dead skin is gone. My chin area is the worst as the settings were higher around my mouth area so am assuming this will take longest to heal.
New skin looking good! Still have peeling to do but it's coming along. Face not sore anymore when I wash it. Face still very red and little dry and tight after washing. I have a few spots of what I believe is called petechiae on my forehead. Not sure what caused that to happen or if it's a common side effect of the laser so put a call in to the dr office and waiting to hear back. Pretty sure it's nothing to be too concerned about and will fade in a few days. Anyway, looking better and not so much like a burn victim anymore so believe the worst is over and just need to wait for the redness to fade over time and the rest of the dead skin to fall off. Face is little itchy but bearable. New skin looking good!
Not much of anything new today. The dr office said the petechiae is common and nothing to be concerned about and will fade. Still just waiting for the dead skin to finish peeling off and continuing my aftercare. Starting to feel a lil down being stuck in the house for a week now. Can't wait to be able to wear make up and go out again. Tomorrow I see the dr again so will get for a little. Still not presentable in public lol
Saw dr today and he said everything is healing nicely. I'm bummedc bc I still have lots of scabbing around my mouth where he went deeper and am hoping they fall off soon. He said it can happen fast like tomorrow or take a few more days. I will just continue soaking and moisturizing and hope they come off sooner rather than later so I can finally wear make up and go out! It's only been 9 days and I know the full healing process can take up to 3 weeks so I will be patient.
Having a tough time today Bc missing a family celebration. I'm bummed Bc all around my mouth like upper lip and chin area still have many scabs left and I can't be seen or wear make up til they fall off. I knew downtime could be up to 3 weeks but I'm getting anxious. Everything else looks really fresh. All the areas that bothered me that have peeled already are either diminished or gone as of right now. A lot of reviews say that skin gets better and better as time goes by up until 6 months so that would be awesome. Praying the rest of the scabs fall off soon so I can get back to work and on w my life. Face redness little better and i have the special make up that covers it pretty well. Can't wait to use it. Just need more time and patience.
Day 10 petechiae
I'm so upset. Was just sitting here watching tv when one spot on my face became really itchy. I sat here itching it bc I knew it was a scab free area and when I finally got up and looked in the mirror it looks like I have a hickey on the side of my cheek! I feel like I just set my recovery back another 5 days At least til it fades. I should have known how fragile my new skin is and not to do that!! I read icing the area for 20 min could reduce the inflammation and help it fade faster so I'm doing that now. If anyone has experienced this after a CO2 treatment please let me know. The others that I had are fading slowly and are small. This is about the size of a dime and blood red. Couldn't be more mad at myself right now! Hope the icing helps!
So still upset w myself for scratching my face and causing a red spot but this too shall pass. Been icing it and feel it looks a little better. More scabs around my mouth came off today so I'm super happy about that. I've been using a nail clipper to clip any dead skin that is peeled off and just hanging there so that works well. I feel overall redness is getting much better. Due back to work on the 23 rd but we will see. I know people say they go back in like 10 days and no one could tell anything was done well definitely not my case. Hoping in a few more days I can wear make up and finally see friends. This is not an easy recovery and not easy looking at yourself all red and scabbed up. People say skin gets better and better as the weeks pass so we shall see. As for now my skin definitely looks fresher and smoother which makes the downtime worth it.
Spoke w the esthetician this morning from my dr office and she said as long as I have no raw areas I can start wearing the oxygenetix make up. More dead skin came off this morning so just a few more spots to go! The skin around my mouth where treatment was deepest is very dry though so keep moisturizing. I think I will actually do my hair and make up today so I can feel human again plus I found a tick on my dog that I cannot remove myself so I need to take her to the vet and have no choice but to go out and be seen. The petechiae area on my cheek is fading a little and w make up hopefully won't look so noticeable. My new skin feels soft and continues to appear smoother and fresher. It's just around my mouth that is dry and needs good exfoliation but can't do that just yet. I scheduled a hydra facial at the recommendation of the esthetician to get off any leftover dead skin but can't be done til one month after procedure so I booked an appt for June 13 and see the dr again on June 3 for another check up. I've had hydra facials before and they feel wonderful and helped to remove milia that I was dealing with. I have one stubborn milia right now on my forehead and honestly can't believe it survived the laser procedure!!
Day 13 Final update
My last scab finally came off today above my lip. I didn't rip it off but I can't say I didn't help it along just a little. I still have some dead skin that just doesn't want to come off yet on my chin but it doesn't look bad so I can deal w that. I moved my hydrafacial up to June 6 so if it's not off by then it will be off that day. Looking forward to that treatment. I see dr again on June 3 for another check up. Still have a lot of redness but that's to be expected. The red mark I made by scratching my skin is fading nicely so all is good w that. My new skin I plan to baby from here on out. It looks fresh and smoother. Of course there are things I see that still bother me but not as much as before so I'm happy. I don't think any treatment will 100% satisfy anyone as we are our own worst critics. Hoping it gets even better in the coming months but for now this will be my last update. I can wear make up now and get on w my life. Yay!!
18 Jul 2016
2 months post
It's now been 11 weeks post treatment and I am very happy w my results. Of course we always want more but my sister told me 2 days ago that my skin looks smoother, fresher and brighter!! I do feel better about myself after doing the treatment so that alone makes it worth it for me. It took Til about 2 weeks ago for my redness to really fade but my skin is now more even toned. I will take care of my skin from this point forward and will never ever sun bathe again without using protection. After the summer I plan to start a retinol Bc Retin a too strong for me and I'm really going to try and go for monthly facials, eat better, sleep more and use good quality skin care! If you are considering doing this procedure I say go for it based on my experience :)