Good improvement after single treatment for moderate acne scars
I am now 8 months out from my first Fraxel Repair treatment with Dr. Zachary. I´m an Asian female (37 years old then, 38 now) who had the procedure done for moderate acne scars on both cheeks. There was a perceptible difference in texture after a few weeks, then after two months, and my skin continued improving as the months went by. I am pleased with the results that I have obtained in just a single treatment. Previously, I had had 4 or 5 laser treatments by 3 different doctors over a period of four years before I saw Dr. Zachary in October 2016. None of the doctors were dermatologists - two had gone into aesthetic medicine after practicing in other areas, and one was a plastic surgeon. None had lasered with the intensity that Dr. Zachary had. Consequently, none achieved the level of results that Dr. Z did in a single treatment. The prior laser treatments cumulatively improved my scars about 40-50%. In one treatment, Dr. Zachary improved them by another 50%. So, in total, I would say I´m 75% whole - and my belief is that I would have gotten to this point a lot faster if I had just seen Dr. Zachary from the beginning. I was familiar with Dr. Zachary´s name as an expert in scar revision because I had read some medical journal articles that he co-authored. However, I was considering going to see Dr. Davin Lim in Australia for lasering when someone asked Dr. Lim online if he could recommend a U.S. doctor. Dr. Lim named Chris Zachary as well as another doctor in the Bay Area. I hopped onto this forum and after reading happywithrepair´s experience with Dr. Z, decided to make an appt. Earlier, I said that none of my prior laser treatments with other doctors were done as aggressively as my October treatment with Dr. Zachary. Specifically, none of them involved the use of local anesthesia (i.e., injections) - only numbing cream; none made me bleed quite the way this one did after the procedure (they are careful to bandage you up after lasering at UC Irvine); and none of them involved persistent redness that lasted as long as 3 months. It seems that these are prerequisites for effectively remodeling moderate acne scars. I won´t detail the entire procedure or what happened in the initial days post procedure. There are enough accounts of similar laser treatments on this forum to give you an idea of what to expect. Everything went smoothly; no complications. I had the procedure on a Monday and was okay to fly back to Dallas that Saturday. (Though the first few days post-procedure were rough and I was worried that I would not be able to get on a plane by the end of the week.) I didn´t use any bleaching creams prior to or after the procedure, and yet never experienced any hyperpigmentation / temporary darkening of the skin. That did occur after a few of my treatments with the other doctors, so I´ve since learned to be extremely cautious about staying out of the sun before a laser treatment. Although I was given a prescription, I opted not to take any anti-virals. I was fine. However, two moments during the procedure that made me feel very comfortable to be in Dr. Zachary´s care are worth mentioning. First, before he ever began lasering, the doctor took several minutes to carefully examine my scars. Now, I had my eyes closed / had eye shields in place, but I felt him turning my head first one way and then the other, as if he were thoroughly assessing the situation before him. It´s a moment of preparation that you wish every doctor who is about to work on your face with a high-powered device would take. The second moment, which may sound silly, was when Dr. Z demonstrated to me that he has common sense. This requires a little background. Of the prior three doctors who treated me, one liked to do her laser treatments while seated at the top of the patient´s head (like an aesthetician). I realized quickly enough that that was where she felt most comfortable, able to see both halves of my face without constantly re-positioning herself, and so I never asked her to do otherwise. I know that some people read text very well upside down; I don´t. Another doctor simply did what most do - he stood on one side of me and asked me to turn my face toward him when he needed to treat the side furthest away from him. And then there was the doctor who had the laser machine set up several feet too far from the table I was lying on, and she stretched and stretched that handpiece... After Dr. Zachary finished lasering the right side of my face, he stopped and I heard him say, ¨Okay, now, I´m going to go to the other side.¨ (Yes! Thank you!) And then this man walked himself over to the other side of the table, positioned himself so that he was at the right angle to best see the problem areas he was treating, and resumed lasering. So simple, so brilliant. None of my previous doctors used Fraxel or Fraxel Repair. But I don´t believe the brand of laser is more important than the operator. Dr. Zachary knows how to use the laser device of his choosing safely, yet effectively, to make a real difference in the appearance of scars - at least he did for me. Dr. Z´s nurse, Laurie, is wonderful, too. She really takes her time to provide the best care. I am scheduled to see Dr. Zachary for a second treatment on Tuesday (June 19). I´m looking forward to it as I´m confident that he´ll be able to take care of the remaining damage this time around.