CO2 laser resurfacing?


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August 31, 2017

I have. First time, many years ago (2012) with laser fraxel co2 - but I picked the skin out during the healing process (so dumb!!) and I guess I can't properly say it worked. I also feel like the texture changed a bit (I got larger pores), but some pigmentation improved. I got spots and scars in other places from the picking though. Then 2 times with palomar (a bit older technology) which seemed too mild and I felt like it'd be useless to go on... ...and last year, twice with deep co2 - it improved a bit on the first time. My skin was clear (no acne for a change) and I managed not to pick, so results were ok for a first session and I felt encouraged. Then the second time my doctor did it over an acne break out. It got a weird reaction and my acne multiplied. I did not pick in the beginning, but it only got worse... so I picked to make "it better" (...right?). Wrong: new scars for me. So my advice is: first, make sure you have clear skin and can control your urges. Have someone babysit you during for the after/healing process (seriously). Choose a very good doctor with loads of experience and aware of your condition... I have hope in lasers personally, and have read that the best is to combine different techniquez, chemical, and even fillers/ fat insertion, microneedling etc. I plane to do so once my skin has recovered completely - and I will feel in control of my urges. ...Otherwise it can backfire and be a waste of money...
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August 31, 2017

I have. First time, many years ago (2012) with laser fraxel co2 - but I picked the skin out during the healing process (so dumb!!) and I guess I can't properly say it worked. I also feel like the texture changed a bit (I got larger pores), but some pigmentation improved. I got spots and scars in other places from the picking though. Then 2 times with palomar (a bit older technology) which seemed too mild and I felt like it'd be useless to go on... ...and last year, twice with deep co2 - it improved a bit on the first time. My skin was clear (no acne for a change) and I managed not to pick, so results were ok for a first session and I felt encouraged. Then the second time my doctor did it over an acne break out. It got a weird reaction and my acne multiplied. I did not pick in the beginning, but it only got worse... so I picked to make "it better" (...right?). Wrong: new scars for me. So my advice is: first, make sure you have clear skin and can control your urges. Have someone babysit you during for the after/healing process (seriously). Choose a very good doctor with loads of experience and aware of your condition... I have hope in lasers personally, and have read that the best is to combine different techniquez, chemical, and even fillers/ fat insertion, microneedling etc. I plane to do so once my skin has recovered completely - and I will feel in control of my urges. ...Otherwise it can backfire and be a waste of money...
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August 31, 2017

Thats exactly what I worry about. Thank you for your reply! I am wondering that if I go through with the procedure, it will trigger me to pick more if it causes me to break out. So right now im just doing chemical peels at home and over a long time it does improve the skin...especially temporarily after I do a deep peel the skin is taught and the tone is even...I get a lot of compliments on my skin after I do peels. But then it sort of settles back to normal and I have to do another peel all over again. Preferably and realistically once ever 1.5 months. The real effects are minor and subtle. The scars fill in very slowly...and the progress itself isnt visible until a year or so into the regular chemical peel treatment because the dermis needs time to thicken and the scars themselves take a while to fill in after each treatment. Yet once those changes set in, they are permanent...unless ofcourse you start picking and creating new scars. About what percent did the C02 laser improve your scars each time you went through the procedure?
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August 31, 2017

I'd say my best time, it improved +20% (with deep co2). I had done a month before "fotona laser" and fillers and it made my skin look a lot better... but I pick... and pick... and ruined any results. (It is hard to tell as each time there was a different issue) Lasers are safe and the peeling aspect is actually "better" vs chemicals - meaning, no big chunks of skin can be seen (it micro exfoliates and you need to keep it super moisturized / avoid looking in the mirror...). You are a bit red, and completely recovered after max 1 week... can go to work/out after 4-5 days. I'd recommend if you can not to go out until 5 days passed, in my case I put make up on (doctors allow the nn comedogenic type), but it triggered me from looking at it and trying to conceal it - pulling some dry skin off (which is strictly forbidden). The idea is to space them out every month or 2, and have like 5-6 sessions to actually see real results... I think my deeper scars will not be that easy, some even look worse after laser. My doctor insists it is because the acne was gone (at the time) so I focused my eues on the scars... Not sure. Will need many sessions / constance for actual results... and discipline. And like I said, it probably needs to be combined with other techniques! What chemical peels do you recommend?
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August 31, 2017

Check out my post on this forum... the before and after picks are inverted (the one on the left with larger pores is actually the "after" pic): https://www.realself.com/question/miami-fl-normal-larger-pores-worse-scars-after-laser-deep-co2?utm_content=noanswer&rsuid=3074203&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dr.author.answer-user_authored_question#5167431
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August 31, 2017

(Very important... ...to always treat well the acne before laser!! In my case as I said my skin got "crazy". Not worth the risk)
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August 31, 2017

Was it a fully ablative C02 or was it fractional C02 laser? The ablative type is the one which makes you ooze and your whole face becomes swollen. It removes all the skin to the dermis level. Usually to remove the scars the laser is used at full force. The fractional C02 laser creates small holes in the skin and you would need more treatments to see good results with that treatment. I recommend this youtube channel for information on lasers as the dermatologist seems to enjoy treating acne scars and knows a lot about them... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDt5QlQYP3I&t=420s . I recommend TCA peels for acne scars. I have once went to a derm and did a VI peel which cost me $300 in the Los Angeles area. But now I do peels at home by myself. I use Perfect Image 15% TCA peel which I purchase on Amazon ( its around $30 for a container which will last you a long time )...apply with a cotton ball and slowly build up the layers and the time of contact on skin. Technique matters as well...the amount of pressure you apply to the skin with the cotton ball and the overall layers as well as time of contact. But I slowly build up to the point where my skin becomes more accustomed to the acid and doesnt hurt as much ( when the dermis thickens ). Its all about gradual experimentation and building up to the point where you feel comfortable doing deeper peels. Ive done great medium level peels with the TCA, where the skin peeled off in a thick layer. Those give the best results but yeah there is a week of downtime for that. Has your skin gradually changed in its texture after the laser procedure? Could it have been simply dry skin which was causing the pores and imperfections to stand out? The laser could have caused dryness for some time as well as a thinning of the skin? Until the skin would have eventually build up again? What did your dermatologist say after the treatment?
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September 01, 2017

Is most of your scarring on the areas shown in the photos...as in the inner cheeks? That area in particular is the easiest area to peel. The acid tends to penetrate the skin there particularly easily. I have the thickest peeling on the inner cheeks, sides of mouth and chin. Inner central facial skin reacts beautifully to acids. The forehead and nose are fairly easy but require more passes. The most difficult area to peel are the temples. I think with medium depth peels you will see results..but need to do multiple peels.
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September 01, 2017

Hi Serene, ...some of my scarring is on the cheek, it is the area with larger pores... but I have scarring also on one side near my "smile wrinkle line", some mild ones on my forehead, a deeper one right in the middle of my chin. I will try some chemical ones for a change :)! Will visit a new doctor. Tired of mine :(. My lasers were: 1st: fully ablative, fraxel. I peeled a lot... it burned me too much and the doctor never told me to keep the skin moisturized, so in some deep crests on the temples I got some pigmentation at the time and I felt like it changed a bit the original texture. Did not want to proceed with that doctor... 2nd: with my present doctor, I did first fotona 4d since I was going out on vacation. It is non ablative, you skin gets super dry and you peel very little (microesfoliate)... but it tightens the skin and makes it thinner / shinier. I liked the results, but they don't last long and the price is too high to do it often. 3rd and 4th: Medium potence / ablative. I peeled but much less compared to my first experience and moisturized lots. I guess my doctor prefers to do more and more peelings since it is safer... the first time the results were encouraging, the second time it was a disaster since the moisturizing afterwords made my skin too oily and it had acne... so it boosted a horrible reaction and he put me on tetracycline for a month. I wish we coud post pictures here... would share some more with you :) I am afraid to try chemical peelings on my own, but will ask a do tor about TCA :):) Thanks for the tips! Mbr
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September 01, 2017

Forgot to mention: 3rd and 4th: "laser co2 deep" Answers to your questions: I believe the laser sometimes makes the skin look a bit worse, like an orange surface (afterwards, where you aready have bigger pores...) - my doctor said it was me concentrating on pores and scars since with the tetracycline there was no acne left to look at (now it is back :(...). But that we should keep it going with new sessions to see real results. I was also very oily for a while and taking some peptides/collagen/pomegranate and other stuff he gave me orally - since I don't have the same collagen I used too... but I decided to stop those and feel my pores smaller now. A friend of mine saw me and commented "your pores are mich larger - whatever you are doing, change strategy. Last year when I saw you it was not loke this". My husband noticed the same thing. But maybe it had to do also with doing the laser right in the middle of an infestation... (demodex maybe?)... not sure. I am just thinking maybe O should try something new - treatment/doctor...
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September 01, 2017

The fully ablative C02 laser is much stronger than the fraxel. It might be the best thing for acne scarring. It does look quite scary though and the healing time is prolonged. Some people cant go out for a whole month due to peeling and residual redness. As for the chemical peels, I myself was very scared to try them out at first so I paid to see a dermatologist the very first time. But after that I gained confidence in my skin's resistance and did plenty of peels at home. Peels also create that tightening effect (such as lasers) which is usually temporary..the deeper the peel the longer those effects will show. Yet after multiple peels you will gradually see the permanent improvement. Another great benefit of peels is the evening out of the skin tone.