It’s been a little more than three months since I had the laser Active FX resurfacing procedure at Dr. Zimmet’s office. I am happier than ever with the results. My skin has never looked better. It has continued to improve since I had the procedure. The thing I notice most is that my skin is tighter overall than it was before. Because the treatment stimulates collagen formation, it should continue to improve for a year. Friends who know that I had the treatment and who don’t see me every day have remarked that they can see the difference from month to month. It’s been very gratifying to receive lots of nice compliments on my skin.
The only regret that I have is that I didn’t have the treatment done on my neck at the same time. A friend of mine is about to have the laser FX treatment on her face, neck AND chest. We are about the same age, and one of her main complaints is sun damage including large freckles and brown spots on her skin. I look forward to seeing her results. I sort-of jokingly told Dr. Zimmet that if money were not an object I would have had the treatment on my entire body. That would have made for an interesting recovery!
Clearly, I would recommend the laser FX treatment to almost anyone. The discomfort was minimal, and the results have been totally worth it. Seven days in the house was an investment, but I was prepared for it and it went by quickly. I would definitely do it again. Thank you to everyone for reading my laser FX diary and for your comments. This has been a fun and rewarding adventure.
Day 6 after Fractionated CO2 Resurfacing (Active FX)
Day 40 after Fractionated CO2 Resurfacing
by Hadley, Skin Care Specialist at Zimmet Vein & Dermatology
I recently took the plunge into Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing (Active FX) and survived! As an aesthetician, I’ve experienced a variety of skin treatments but this was by far the most challenging and rewarding. Active FX requires dedicated post-procedure care and maintenance by the patient at home. This process is imperative for proper healing. This guide is based on my personal ActiveFX experience and intended to help patients prepare for and manage the healing phase of Active, Deep or TotalFX.
Active FX Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing Video – Part I
Here is the third and final part of the video from my laser resurfacing procedure, taken by my talented friend Julia Hilder of Hilder Productions. If I do say so myself, my skin looks great. I will post additional “after” pictures soon.
Taken with iPhone, day 7.
It’s Day 7 and I am going about my normal activities. So far, no one has pointed and/or gasped. Without the ointment now my face feels tight and very, very smooth. Still a tiny bit of peeling and the one bruise over my right eyebrow still slightly visible. I’m obsessed with being covered with sunscreen, and yet still, for the few minutes I’m in really intense sun walking to my car between meetings, I’m paranoid about my tender new skin. I put on sunscreen at 6:30 in the morning to walk the dog–that’s new. I’m carrying sunscreen in my car in case I need to re-apply, or ever forget to put it on in the first place (unlikely).
Night 5 was the worst. It was the first night that I didn’t sleep well, I tossed and turned so much that I rubbed most of the ointment off and had to get up in the middle of the night to re-apply. I also managed to get lots of it in my hair—so much so that when I washed my hair the next day it didn’t come out completely. I also realized last night that I was really not going to be able to go to my morning meeting. Not only was my face still too red, I’d developed a bruise around my right eyelid. I emailed Dr. Zimmet about it, he said that it was probably from one of the nerve block shots, and that bruising was rare but not unheard of. I agonized all evening about whether to call in sick for my 8 a.m. meeting, and at 11 p.m. decided to email my client and reschedule. I never do that—unless I’m contagious I’ll go to meetings when I’m sick to avoid rescheduling—but I just didn’t see how I was going to able to sit across from my client in the bright light of Starbuck’s at 8 a.m. Continue reading →
Post-procedure Day 5
I’m definitely not ready for public consumption yet. And I’m about to see only the second person I will have allowed to see me since this began—an ex-boyfriend from college, now friend, who is in town from Fort Worth. I’ve over-warned him about how I look. I look better than yesterday, even, but there is still a very obvious line at my jaw where the procedure began and my face is red and peeling. A couple of places look kind of yellow-ish, almost like old bruises healing. I’m trying to think positively about tomorrow, because I don’t think I can call in sick for these meetings in the morning. I’ll be able to wash my face three times between now and then, but I can’t imagine it’s going to be OK to wear makeup yet. The instructions say to keep using the ointment until I’m not peeling anymore. But I definitely can’t go to the meeting with my face all covered with ointment—that just isn’t an option. I’m supposed to go for one more follow-up visit at Dr. Zimmet’s tomorrow but that won’t be until after my two morning meetings. I’m just going to have to suck it up and go, I guess. I’m having an early dinner tomorrow night at Uchi with friends—at least it’s somewhat dark in there and I can try to have my hair down around my face. Thank goodness I have long hair!
Yesterday I was super-excited about how tight my skin looked, especially my eyelids, around my mouth and eyes. Continue reading →
Dr. Zimmet is using a better camera than I've been using, so this photo is a great representation of how red I look on the fourth day after the laser FX treatment.
Big changes today. Lots of skin peeling. It’s hard to keep my hands off my face. Still a little puffy, and red/brown on most of my face, and most noticeable around the edges. Bright pink where skin has peeled off on my cheeks. I took this picture last night realizing that it shows the most contrast. I had my first post-procedure check-in with Dr. Zimmet this morning. (Either he or someone from his office has called me every day to check on me, which has been really nice.) He said everything looks good, to keep the ointment on at all times. He affirmed that I should be gently washing my face. Today I realized that I have a meeting two days from now and I am NOT going to want to be out in public. I still have two full days, and Dr. Zimmet said that once the peeling starts in earnest that the way I look will rapidly improve, but he agreed that I probably won’t want to be at this 8 a.m. meeting on Day 6. I’m going to try not to worry too much about it today. Continue reading →
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): Continue reading →
Still puffy, a little sore, and my face feels slightly hot. It’s not terrible, but I took an aceteminophen w/codeine earlier. My face is reddish/brown and swollen. I washed my face for the first time with the extra-gentle cleanser that they gave me. The directions are to wash, but not to wash off the Hydrobalm ointment, and then to re-apply more ointment. I could see some skin coming off already. I’m a little itchy in places. I keep touching my face and getting ointment on my fingers.
My assistant was here and said that it wasn’t as bad as she expected—I guess I over-prepared her. I haven’t seen anyone else yet, although I sent a picture to a friend and she also thought it didn’t look so bad. I look exactly like I remember Dr. Zimmet looking in the pictures he showed me after his Active FX procedure, so I’m sure this is all par for the course. I’m seeing him two days from now so that he can gauge my process.
The thing that has surprised me most is how tired I was yesterday. I guess it was unrealistic to think that I’d come home and get right to work as if nothing had happened. It makes sense that your body might be somewhat fatigued from working to heal. I’ve been eating very healthy stuff—a “green” smoothie with spirulina, some kombucha, a raw broccoli salad. Tomorrow I’m going to make the raw cheesecake and raw corn chowder. I have watched MANY episodes of CSI (I rented the first two seasons, which I’ve never seen) and read some of my book.