Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Kittee » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:31 pm

I really know what you mean about people just thinking you're ugly or whatever. It's almost like you want to tell them you didn't used to look like this, and that you're not supposed to look this way. That's how I feel.

Yes I suppose you could blame any kind of scars on yourself. I guess I meant more that nobody has acne on purpose, nobody wants acne. It isn't always easy to treat and some people still have it regardless of treatment. Then it can leave scars and you can't always help that. In my case, I did something to my face on purpose and in doing so made it worse, so I feel more guilt for that than I would an acne scar because I feel I directly brought it upon myself. Like if I could have just accepted my face it would be fine. That is just me personally, though.

Sorry, I did not know that any of the redness was due to a mask you had! :/
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by ChrisAnne » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:28 am

I feel the exact same way!! I feel like telling people hey I used to be pretty just so ya know lol. I hate myself for being that vain or whatever you want to call it but it's the truth. My husband used to always say to me "you are so lucky, you're skin is so clear". Yeah that hurts to think about these day. Kittee I will definitely tell you how it goes at my apt and for sure if the Osmosis does any good at all. I'm sure it will take some time to see if it is really working or not.

It's so weird how different the skin can look day by day. Today my skin looks "good" and by good I mean good for now. Not good for what it used to look like. But I know not to get too happy about it because in two days it may and probably will look horrible. I truly embrace the good days every time I get one.

Gretadisk my holes look different than yours. They are the pin holes from the actual device which looks like pores kinda but in a really unnatural kind of way. And then I do have actual pore issues and those lines everyone talks about when I smile and of course that huge triangle scar on my right cheek bone. It's just a hot mess in general. I do pretty good with makeup but texture issues are very hard to disguise with makeup. I have probably spent pretty close to $1000 in different foundations in the last 4 months. It's ridiculous. This whole situation is ridiculous and ironic for all of us.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by ChrisAnne » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:31 am

Oh and btw gertadisk, I don't think by any definition you are ugly and I highly doubt that is what anyone is thinking when they look at you IMO.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by redbysciton » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:22 pm

Actually Gretadisk I see a huge diff between the 2 photos you posted March 8,2015. There are marks in the 1st photo that do not appear in the 2nd photo. I was wondering if you had airbrushed the 2nd photo, that's how much of a difference I see.

If you did not airbrush / photoshop it, then I would say that the dermaneedling has made a huge improvement. If you got that much improvement from dermaneedling then I have to seriously consider getting into that. And yes, the smaller holes in the pic of your left cheek are the kind of holes I have too from ONE DAMN IPL tx!

It does suck to be one of the lucky few for whom these stupid light/laser devices do NOT work. I cannot stand to see / hear people blathering on about how great and easy these treatments are and how they fix everything. Every single time there is an ad - cough - faux news article lifted from some laser mfgr's press release and printed as if it's a real news piece / review, it should be a requirement that photos of people burned / damaged by these devices be published alongside it.

Good luck, and I'm glad to see your skin looking so good. Please keep us posted on your progress, because I am interested in the dermaneedling, or whatever you most attribute your improvement to.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by redbysciton » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:28 pm

And Gretadisk I applaud your bravery in posting full face photos. I have not gotten up the courage to do so myself. I have to start getting over that, because the shame is what's keeping the public from understanding the scope and depth of the problem. I do at least have some photos w/ my eyes whited out that I need to start posting on more forums to let people know what is going on. I would also need to do the same (white out the eyes) w/ some before photos too.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Erica » Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:27 pm

Speaking of photo-shopping, if only I was as adept at it as the clinic who did that to my "before" and "afters." :(
“It always seems impossible until it's done.” Nelson Mandela
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:05 pm

Well, yeah, some red marks are gone but they were aggravated by a mask earlier. They wouldn't have appeared at all if it weren't for the mask, so they also went away more quickly.

Hmm, I do think the situation has still improved overall, though. I do think the Microneedling helps.

In fact, in a fit of desperation I Microneedled that square-shaped dark spot rather harshly with 1,5 mm Dermaroller a couple of days ago, after taking those photos. I felt like there hadn't been enough improvement, so when that desperation hits, sometimes I take drastic measures. :P And now, after the initial redness has vanished, I do think it actually looks lighter...

You have to be careful with Microneedling, though. Cover your face with a thick scarf if you go outside for a couple of days. Then you can use sunscreen. The most important thing to be aware of is that the new collagen maturing into the most stable form takes at least 4 weeks. So keep the treatments between 4 weeks, minimum. If you needle too often, you will lose collagen instead of building it. So your skin will start to sag. Trust me, patience pays off. You don't want to damage your skin even more in trying to fix a failed treatment. The minimum time to wait between 1,5mm needling sessions is 6 weeks. So, longer for longer needle lengths.

I didn't wait 6 weeks this time, just 4, in my fit of rage. Don't do as I do, do as I say. :D The treated side of my face IS saggier, but it already was even before laser. I remember looking at it, thinking how those huge rolling acne scars must have broken so much collagen that my entire cheek started to sag. But yeah, if you do it, be SAFE. Near Christmas when I only had 1-3 weeks between treatments and also used acidic products, I think my skin definitely looked saggier than before. Microneedling enhances skin penetration greatly, so beneficial products will have greater effects. But some products, although they may be useful, should not be combined with Microneedling. For example, Retin-A, which I did. Later I read lots of reviews how Retin-A and Microneedling are a very bad combination. It's too acidic for the dermis. So that definitely contributed. Those were a few horror-filled weeks.

So, be careful with what you put on your face after Microneedling. I bought a lotion that is meant precisely for transdermal absorption, and reducing pigmentation. I even read up on the ingredients, lol. It contains hyaluronic acid, which works better in the dermis than in the epidermis, for example. And keep the treatments in between 4 weeks, minimum. It's based on the natural rate of renewal of the skin, so there's nothing you can do to change it. And do read further into the science of Dermaneedling. Done right, it breaks up scars tissue, producing normal collagen instead. And it's useful for lots of other things, too.

One thing I'd recommend is using a Dermastamp instead of Dermaroller. If you do use a Dermaroller, use one with 200-ish needles instead of one with 500. The sparsely separated needles puncture into the skin better. In my experience, the one with 500 needles can scratch your skin more easily. Dermarollers in general might scratch your skin, and that's more likely to cause more scar tissue. So the Dermastap is the safest in my experience.

Dermastap also allows you to stamp a smaller area. Keeping the treated area small might reduce the likelyhood of causing saggy skin. That's just my opinion, though. But I think it's better to leave healthy skin alone if you have it. This way you are less likely to damage healthy collagen. Instead just focus on improving scarred areas. If they're large areas, then use Dermaroller, but make sure to lift it off in between rolls. That way you won't scratch yourself with it.

*information vomit* I guess I'll continue on a related subject in a second post. So that's that about Dermarolling/Microneedling/Dermaneedling. You can also have it done professionally if you like, which is of course safer. Remember to disinfect well if you do it at home.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:57 pm

Waiting for 4-6 weeks is painfully long for me. So I had to combine other treatments with Microneedling just to keep myself from doing it every week, thus causing more harm than good.

So I got a gentle moisturising cream. Seriously, any will do as long as you feel like you are doing something, and it is not at least harming you. Otherwise I wouldn't have patience to wait that long. But I thought recular cream wasn't doing the job, so I got a snail cream. (Snails are pretty effective at healing their skin with their mucus, apparently works on humans too) Not sure if this is helpful, actually. This particular cream also has many acids in it, however not in high concentration... So I'm not sure how suitable it is with microneedling. But it has some pretty good ingredients, too, so I'm on the fence about it. Pick what you think is best for you.

I tried turmeric milk for a couple of weeks, but I gave up because it stains EVERYTHING yellow. So mainly for the past month I've been taking Omega-3 and a multivitamin pill. Sometimes Magnesium. Sometimes MSM powder.

I've also been taking Pycnogenol consistently for a few weeks now. I made a whole other forum thread about it in Supplements section. I think it really works in making the overall skin tone lighter. It inhibits melanin production, and also gives extra protection from the sun. And it protects collagen from degradation. So maybe it helps your skin to retain more existing collagen while microneedling? I think Pycnogenol and MSM in particular go pretty well with Microneedling, because MSM helps new collagen be built. So one helps retain more healthy collagen, the other helps build new collagen. I often take a larger amount of supplements for a few days around the microneedling session.

The precise regimen depends on what you are trying to treat. But I think healthier collagen is better for everyone. :D So if you Microneedle, don't do anything rash... Can't emphasize this enough. If you want better collagen and firmer skin, you will not get it by being too aggressive. But you do have to get around 100 holes/cm2 if I remember correctly, for a treatment to be effective. But it's best if you research that more yourself.

Anyway, back to supplements! I'm trying to treat mainly hyperpigmentation. So the MSM and turmeric/curcumin and Pycnogenol are all useful for that. I recently also read about Glutathione, that also whitens skin, and came across that the human body actually produces glutathione itself. Some things that were listed to increase glutathione production were MSM and curcumin. So I try to take those when I can (handle the taste).

Curcumin has also been studied to work as well as Prozac as an antidepressant. I stopped taking it so frequently a couple of weeks ago, and last week I'd been feeling downright suicidal. Skin benefits or not, that's one reason to take Curcumin. The reason I trust it more than antidepressants is because a) it's all-natural (and I am dumb) b) it causes your brains to produce more BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), that boosts memory and can even repair disconnected neural pathways. Some antidepressants work that way, too, but I don't want that. And psychiatrists frustrate me.

So, supplements in summary: Curcumin and Omega-3 for recovering your brains from high stress. MSM and Pycnogenol for collagen. Pycnogenol, MSM and curcumin for brighter skin. MSM and Microneedling both cause higher absorption of whatever lotion you decide to use on your face.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Kittee » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:21 am

I ran out of my turmeric curcumin, I need to pick up another bottle. Still taking MSM, vit c and magnesium. I want to try the pycnogenol too because I am also dealing with weird splotchy pink areas. Tbh I don't even know what it is, if it's broken caps or hyperpigmentation. ugh....I did so much research on dermarolling and skin needling until I finally bought a .5mm roller. I rolled a small section of my face and then nearly had a panic attack. Not because I did anything wrong, but because I am so scared of messing up my face. It's like I have PTSD or something. Anytime I do anything to my face I am convinced I am causing more permanent damage. I really think I am going crazy. My mom keeps telling me I need to see a psychiatrist and she's probably right. Maybe the Yasmin I just started is making me more crazy than usual.

Chris, yes I read it usually takes at least 3 months for Osmosis products to make a difference. I really hope it helps you!! :) I think I am going to wait at least a year before I try to treat anything on my face because of my fears, and also because scars can remodel for up to a year or so. If my scars haven't filled in to my satisfaction by then, then I am going to try dermastamping. I also feel stamping is safer than rolling because I have heard people can get track mark scars from rolling if they don't notice a bent needle or something, and more scars is the last thing I need with my mental health going downhill over my face. Also I am not too keen on doing anything to my entire face these days. I'd feel better spot-treating. I am thinking of starting to use emu oil again because it is supposed to have healing and anti-inflammatory properties and is said to help thicken the skin. I hate putting stuff on my face but I don't think it could hurt. Maybe if I just do it once a day, like before bed.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by ChrisAnne » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:09 pm

Hi Kittee. So I met with the esthitician (man I have a hard time with that word lol) anyway I go on April 3rd for an Osmosis organic medi facial and then she is going to get me on a line of products. Wish I could go sooner but she leaves for vacation tomorrow. I'm a little nervous but feel like I need to go with it otherwise I just keep going back and forth in my head and never actually do anything. I had also reached out to a Dr. on realself that came up with his own line called ProCell therapies. He did get me in touch with someone locally who does the microneedling followed by his products but I'm still on the fence about anything putting more holes in my face. Decided I'm putting that off and giving the Osmosis a shot. I will definitely update good or bad on what happens with that.

Really bummed today. Had a whole week of really good skin and then last night it all went to hell again. I am pmsing which I feel like may have something to do with it. The drop in estrogen or something. I don't know but I am getting so sick of all this. Well wish me luck! Hope you are doing alright and making progress.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Kittee » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:41 am

Good luck with it! I haven't seen a ton of reviews but the ones I have seen are good. Maybe somewhere down the road I will try either Stem Factor or Catalyst. I am feeling bummed as well. My face was starting to look tolerable to me and I was feeling slightly more like myself, and now I am breaking out pretty bad probably due to starting birth control. I hope this passes soon because acne on top of already messed up skin doesn't make for a very good look. It's not horrible but I already have a hard enough time trying to accept my face without zits, sigh. I didn't think at 26 I'd still be dealing with these stupid skin problems, but here I am. >:( Every time I have a bad skin day I just tell myself "this too shall pass." I hope I'm right!
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by redbysciton » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:31 pm

Gretadisk: Thanks for the info on the dermaneedling. I was wondering how I could do a small test area w/ a roller, and the info you gave about the dermastamp gives some confidence I could try a dermastamp for a test area.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:24 am

I would take a picture, but as has been noted, pictures are kind of unreliable. So I looked in the mirror in natural light today, and noticed that in the middle of the "dark square" near my mouth, there are four lighter spots that weren't there before. Not sure what has caused it, but they're definitely there. They seem to be the normal color of my skin.

I think the microneedling has had the biggest benefit. Along with this lightening cream that is meant to be used with the microneedling.

I think I'm going to use up my snail cream and supplements, and not spend money on anything new right now. I need to start saving money now, so let's just focus on using what I've got. Magnesium, Omega 3, Snail Cream, some stupid overly expensive face mask (never again!!!) and whatever pointless stuff I've wasted money on. So I plan to use those up during the summer, and focus on studying, career, exercise and hobbies in the meantime. It's also nice to have clean home, I've noticed.

Whatever you do, just keep moving. Keep doing things. Don't be scared lying down doing nothing. Yesterday I spend all day taking care of tasks and I had this pretty good feeling, like I had been exercising. Good stress. Why waste my time wallowing in regret. Just focus on the now. There are so many things to do. Learning IT, coding, working on my bachelor's thesis. So many things.

Keep tackling those issues that scare and you will find yourself moving forward. Rejoice every small step. That's all there is. If it takes a long time to tackle, make a plan. This skin issue can't be solved today. But I have a plan to follow. And that allows me to focus on today, and what I do, and not my skin. The skin is somewhere in the future, though I'm working on it every day.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:32 am

The dark square near my mouth is actually almost completely gone! Holy crap!
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:30 am

Managed to take a picture, actually.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh10 ... hrhwsn.jpg

You can clearly see that there is a cross-shaped lighter area in the middle of that dark square.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sun May 10, 2015 1:00 am

Hmm, that cross-shaped area may have improved, but nothing else has gotten considerably lighter yet. It almost seems it has gone back to the way it was after laser, but I can still kind of see the lighter cross.

Soo... it maybe got a little bit better but nothing's been happening for a while. I guess it may be because I decided to stop dermarolling for the summer, to avoid further hyperpigmentation.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:16 am

I had to go and do another microneedling session at summer. Well, no further hyperpigmentation as I feared, and it does seem to have gotten marginally better.

Some time ago I read about water fasting for 3 days renewing macrophages, and as excess dermal pigmentation is located in macrophages, I now intend to do the fast this weekend. Just saying it here so I wouldn't bail out!

And oh man, is it hot here. Would end up drinking a lot of water anyway, fasting or not!
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Kittee » Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:45 pm

I am glad to hear things are getting better for you! I really want to try a dermastamp. Yesterday I used a single needle on one of my ice pick scars. I might try to do this every 6 weeks or so.

I heard water fasting is good for scarring too. I did one for 5 days a few months ago, not sure if it helped or not. I would probably have to do it more than once maybe. Good luck with it! :)
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:53 am

Well, on the first night of the fast I couldn't sleep and I ended up eating because I hated the rumination.

I think I will try again today, but maybe I'll allow myself to drink some tea. Maybe some milk and orange juice. More like a juice fast?

Intermittent fasting also has benefits, so even if I only managed to fast for 14 hours, that's still useful for overall health. But I really want to try 3 days to see if it will improve anything.

I just have things to do and especially with longer fasts you're supposed to rest more, so I feel like it might disturb my daily routine.

I was going to mainly rest for the three days of the fast, but that's way too boring, so I'm going to focus on getting stuff done and just skipping meals. You need to have something to do to avoid thinking about food. :P

I have some other reasons to do this than skin as well. My teeth, for example. For the past year I've been so focused on my skin that I have completely neglected my teeth. Had a huge cavity that almost needed root canal. During my summer break I've gotten a lot of things in order and I'm going to get back to caring for my teeth. Some people have written about remineralising teeth, and being the crazy person I am, I'm going to try some methods. My teeth definitely will not mind a break from eating. Gonna go to the store today to buy some oil to do oil pulling. I think I refuse to accept that damage is permanent even when most other people think it is... Lol. Maybe that's crazy or maybe that's genius. I should become a medical researcher. :P
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Kittee » Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:37 am

Water fasting is so hard! I actually quit in the middle of day 5, lol. It was so boring and I was hungry the whole time. I don't work at a paying job but I am a mother of two (1 and 4 year old) so it's impossible for me to rest the whole time. I was very strict, I didn't even eat so much as a vitamin when I was water fasting, and I did it that once and haven't been able to do it again :P I have read that orange juice fasting is very beneficial as well, though :)

I was doing intermittent fasting last year, before my damage occurred, to lose weight. I started doing it because the Hodge Twins (hilarious bodybuilders on YouTube, good for a laugh and they have some good advice) recommended it. Also I never liked to eat breakfast so it was easy for me. Fasting supposedly increase human growth hormone, which I think is good for your skin.

Hey, when I don't want to think about my face or food, I play some Skyrim :D Not sure if you care for video games, but I just recently started a new game on there. My husband bought the PC version for pretty cheap on Amazon, since our PS3 stopped reading game disks for whatever reason. Anything to get my mind off my face, ya know? sigh.

And tell me about it. I too had been neglecting my teeth. I recently had an infected area in my gums back by one of my wisdom teeth, and then I noticed a dark spot on my tooth :( I had to take antibiotics for the infection (now I am on them again for a throat infection..rar) So my gums are better but I started trying to take better care of my teeth. Trying to floss every day, mouth wash, I also read about remineralization. Some people said they were able to get rid of their cavities. I think they said one of the most important things is vitamin D, so I was taking that, but I am out so need to get more. With this bad throat infection I had been forgetting my teeth again this past week, but it's a lot better now so I can get back to worrying about my damn face and teeth. I need to get back on my low carb diet because I need to lose the last bit of my baby weight, and it's probably one of the best diets for your teeth.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:30 am

Oh yeah! Games are really cool, but I'm a student and I have a lot of things to focus on. And I think my computer is having some problems, so I should focus on getting a stable job, so I can get money to fix it.

Failed at fasting again. Goddammit! It doesn't help that I read that for the first couple of days fasting wastes muscles before it starts burning fat. So, you know. I would like to avoid that.

One thing that is constant is me wishing I could go back in time before any of this happened. I have wasted so much time on this. Even if it is cured, that is time I will never get back. But still, I have accomplished a lot of things in the past year. I bet I would feel even worse if I had just took a whole year off from university and stayed at home or something. I dunno. Someone once told me you cannot change the past, only the future. And that is true. Oh well.

I once read that writing about past painful experiences helps to overcome them. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ul ... g-about-it
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Kittee » Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:35 am

You make me want to try fasting again! I should have done it when my throat was the worst because I didn't want to eat anyway :P

I wish every day I could go back in time. I know it isn't healthy. I woke up today and realized I have been depressed over my skin for nearly half of my son's life. That makes me feel like a failure as a mother. I feel like my life would be so different if I didn't have this dark cloud over me all the time. I want so much to be happy and enjoy my life but this is holding me back.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:36 pm

So, I've been observing my skin after doing the second microneedling during the summer. The needled area keeps getting better. The small lighter spots inside the darker-shaded skin keep getting larger. At this rate, I think this time next year they might be gone.

I'm so thrilled thinking about a summer when I finally wouldn't need to worry about sunscreen every second!

Last time I used a self-made curcumin mask and snail cream soon after needling and I think that may have sped things up. At this point the area I was most worried about is mostly dark along the borders, closer to normal in the middle.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:27 am

Well, I figured out how to fast! You just need to play The Sims nonstop, lol. I literally felt no desire to eat at all (well except once). Over 24 hours now. I feel kinda amazing!
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Kittee » Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:36 am

lol, see!! I told you video games are good for getting your mind off things xD Be it food or your skin....and I love The Sims :D I am glad to hear you are having success with fasting! I'm trying to get back on a good eating plan, and maybe try a little water fasting again soon.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:18 am

Well, I think I lasted about 60 hours. Hey, better than last time! Next I'll do 72.

I went to the university, which was stressful, so I broke the fast. It's a whole lot easier to fast when you're relaxed and having a good time. I mean, if a bear was chasing you, you wouldn't want to be tired and starved then, right? Just moving gets a lot more difficult while fasting.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:51 pm

Decided to fix a small problem with my haircut and I'm happier with my overall look. I tried covering the dark areas with makeup, but somehow I think it looks better without. They add personality. I think one area actually got darker because I microneedled during summer and decided to go out a few times without sunscreen. But it... doesn't really even bother me.

In fact, I haven't been thinking about my skin in the past couple of weeks much at all. Some random men have even been flirting with me in the streets. So why care... It's okay.
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