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Active FX Post-procedure Recovery Day 3

If anything I look worse today. The white area around my eyebrows is very visible in the sea of red/brown that is my face. Pictures are not doing it justice. I’ve tried to get close-ups but with or without the flash it’s just not showing how crusty I really look. I can totally see why the instructions repeat several times to use old sheets and pillowcases. My pillowcases are totally gross when I wake up. I’m going through lots of washcloths and towels as I’m washing my face four times a day as instructed. My face feels a little bit sore, mostly when I touch it. My skin is tight—I can really feel the tightness when I frown or wrinkle my nose. Also itchier today.

Here is a video about the procedure:

Here is the Active FX post-procedure regime (given to me in writing the day of the procedure):

Apply hydrobalm (ointment) three to four times a day until your skin peels (at least four days). Do not let the area dry out.

A heat sensation is common the first day. Apply cool compresses (such as frozen washcloths) if desired.

Swelling is common, and typically begins to reduce by the third day.

Sleep with your head elevated the first two nights to reduce swelling.

Oozing may occur. Blot as needed and reapply Hydrobalm.

Use old pillowcases and sheets while using the ointment and wear old T-shirts.

You can shower the next day but avoid hot water on the treated area.

The following day, wash the area gently with Cerave (a gentle liquid soap provided by Dr. Zimmet) morning, afternoon, evening and bedtime (four times a day). Do not attempt to remove Hydrobalm when washing.

Reapply Hydrobalm immediately after cleansing

Avoid “picking at” and scrubbing of the exfoliating skin—allow it to peel with the gentle washing process.

Avoid sun exposure.

Finish prescribed Valtrex.

Itching is common. Use Benadryl as needed but don’t drive after taking Benadryl.


The weather is overcast and sprinkly so that makes it easier to be inside. And it’s the weekend now.

One friend dropped off DVDs of Ugly Betty and Pushing Daisies, so if I get sick of CSI (still have all of the second season!) I have something else to watch. There’s also my iPad, with lots of movies on Netflix that I could stream if I had the attention span to watch a movie. I’ve read most of a book (The Chelsea Whistle—it’s OK, not great but I started it for one of my bookclubs and feel like I have to see it through to the end). My friend Jane is coming over tonight with takeout, wine, board games and her 10-year-old son, who my dog will be most excited to see. This is only day 2 without a walk for him, and he seems a little restless. I need to get him racing up and down the stairs, which isn’t hard to do as he loves to play hide-and-seek and another game that involves my throwing one of his toys down two flights of stairs.

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