Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

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Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:01 pm

I had ablative CO2 laser (not Fraxel) on selected spots on the right side of my face. It has been 8-9 months and they are now blueish in hue and look like they are indented, so it looks like my face "caved in" in those spots. The location of these spots makes my face shape look much worse compared to the left side which was better to begin with. I am appalled at the difference.

I've been to a different doctor and have tried Retin A but apparently that has dangers as well. I've taken MSM and so on and so forth. I feel like I've tried everything. Hoping, praying, forgetting, negating, researching and trying out all the different options. I've written blog posts on inner beauty and yadayadayada... none of it is working. I want my face back.

Right now, I'm trying Dermarolling with 0.75 needle length. It feels like the difference between the treated area has already subsided since 2 weeks after doing the microneedling. In fact it seemed better even immediately after needling, but I read that is due to microinflammation. I already did another session 1 week after the first session. Some say that's the minimum amount of time you should wait... other recommend as much as 4-6 weeks. It feels like my skin is not as firm after doing the second treatment, so I guess I will wait at least a month before doing anything again... Not sure if I should keep going with the Retin A meanwhile.

Really getting sick and tired of all the waiting. Maybe hiding all mirrors and taking no photographs and basically hiding in a cave for a month would help, so I wouldn't lose my patience and do anything too drastic.

I think Microneedling is better than laser as it doesn't cause any thermal damage. Otherwise it functions quite like Fraxel. Not letting your skin heal properly between treatments could cause some skin thinning and other complications, realistically.

I hope I'm making things better, not worse... Cheers!

~halfaprettyface
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by DCNGA » Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:46 pm

I had ablative laser, Erbium. It did not cause fat loss for me, but mild scarring and malar mounds beneath my eyes. The scar improved, the malar mounds did not.

Every doctor will argue that ablative can cause fat loss, but I take what most medical professionals say about lasers/light devices with a grain of salt. They've not walked a mile in any of our shoes.

Texture and skin color change (hyper and hypo) are known, published side effects of Co2 and Erbium. Luckily, I did not have that side-effect but I know that hyper is more likely to resolve over time, hypo can resolve but it can take a very long time, if ever.

I'm sorry for what you've experienced. I wish I had a magic wand but since I don't, time is your best friend.
"It is a good thing to learn caution from the misfortunes of others."

"If you wish to succeed in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius."
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:48 pm

Well, updating on progress here. I tried updating before, but apparently I keep writing too long messages, at the end realising I've been timed out and the message is forever lost.

So, I tried Dermarolling with 0,75 needles, with a 1-week interval first, then 2 weeks, then 3 weeks. During the 2-week interval I also used Retin-A and sometimes hydrocortisone. I have to say this was not a smart choice. After doing the next dermarolling my face felt really saggy and I was panicked for the next 3 weeks that I have ruined everything. Well, my face started to feel firm again at the end of 3 weeks, but definitely will not do that combo again! Yikes!

So, minimum 3 weeks breaks from now on, and no more dermarolling+Retin-A/hydrocortisone from now on. Microneedling is also supposed to help with saggy skins, IF you do it right, so I will not think about that mishap anymore, but I definitely don't recommend it to anyone! I don't want to think about what damage may have been caused, but the truth is my skin might be a bit worse for it. Retin A is an acid and dermarolling increases penetration. The acid isn't supposed to penetrate so far into your skin. Hydrocortisone also causes skin thinning, so... Nonononono. Dermarolling itself is not so bad but combining these products with it is a huge no.

I'm done beating myself up over it. Like I said, dermarolling causes skin to firm up by producing more collagen. So I'll keep rolling with at least 3-week intervals, and hopefully any damage that may have happened will be undone. Have to be more careful from now on.

On the positive side, my skin tone looks more even now than when I began Dermarolling. I keep hoping it would just vanish overnight, but I have to be more patient. After Dermarolling I use a product meant specifically for microneedling, an anti-pigmentation serum. In the following days, at night I use a skin-firming cream, in the morning I take some MSM with vitamin C, during the day I use silicone scar gel to reduce redness. Sometimes in the evenings I mix MSM powder or turmeric or both with aloe vera gel and use it as a mask to wash away later. I also try to ingest some turmeric in the evening with food in case it helps.

I mostly use all these different creams and supplements to keep myself from Microneedling too often. I have to feel like I'm doing something. Oh, and of course I stay out of the sun during the day. But anyway, I have to believe some of this has got to be working! I do truly feel like the damage could just fade any minute now... I wish it would. But I have felt my skin where the laser treatment has been done and it feels like there is some deeper damage. The skin is very thin in the treated area, and it feels like it is not connected to the underlying tissue. That is also where the skin looks blueish. Luckily this is a rather small area, but in a crucial spot. I think Dermarolling could help with the deeper damage, I just have to stay content with the creams until I can do another session.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:12 pm

Oh, and I'm also going to the gym more regularly now. If my skin feels saggy, I avoid the threadmill and generally jumping around, lol. But from what I understand, exercise can help heal wounds, and at least it makes me feel about 20 times better! Today in the morning I literally wanted to die, then I ate for my misery, felt a bit better but not much. Couldn't concentrate on the task I was supposed to do at university. Decided to go to the gym instead, gave a good round on the punching bag, did some series of exercises for my back, went on the threadmill since my skin doesn't feel so saggy. I felt awesome afterwards! Even got that task done at university afterwards.

Seriously, guys, exercise. Do some weightlifting. Hit the punching bag. I really LOVE boxing, really gets all that frustration out. I'm imagining if I became a professional boxer at least my face would already be screwed up, hah! And then I'm imagining how this punching bag gets his face messed up even worse. Some coping I got here. Sweet, sweet revenge on the punching bag.

Much better than wallowing in your misery and not being able to get up from bed, at least. I think I might become an exercise addict. Even if all else fails, I might still end up with a good-looking body and better general health. Remember, your face is not all of you. It's not your mind, and it's not your entire body either.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:20 pm

I'm a girl btw. But I do feel really at home at the gym hitting the punching bag, sporting my buzzcut, with half of my face all messed up! Seems so strangely fitting.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by RW39 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:20 am

Gretadisk,

great news. i've been mega dosing vitamin c for quite some time now. recently i just added in MSM. hopefully ill see it work. It hasnt really done anything texture wise, but it helps the redmarks left from acne heal up faster.

I'm a male and i work out a lot. the endorphins get me going and feeling happy for a little bit.

But great news on the even skin tone and overall improvement. hoping you see even more progress!
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:21 pm

A few more thoughts that I arose while on Christmas holidays. I met with my sister who has a 4-month-old baby. She was always taking care of her. Never a boring moment, for sure.

Well, I got to thinking, what with me being so impatient with the laser marks; you can't expect a baby to turn into an adult in a year. You can't make a baby learn to talk in day. Why do I expect to see magical results in my skin in a few days? You can't make the human body do something that's impossible. Healing, just like growing, takes time.

And of course, my family still loves me, marks on skin or not. Of course they do, they raised me from a tiny helpless baby. I mean, that takes patience.

Maybe I can also be patient with my skin. There are no miracles... I can help it heal, but there are no guarantees.

Also, even with these issues with my skin, I'm still me. My sister is awesome. She says my skin has gotten better and the marks are nothing to worry about. For the first time I can actually believe that. On the train back home, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought I saw myself, the way I'm used to seeing myself. Not the horrid version with awful marks on skin. Yeah, they're there... But I could see past it.

My sister also explained I'm not a horrible failed person just because I had a failed laser treatment on my face... That's all I could see before when I looked at myself in the mirror. I don't anymore. I feel so much better.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by taija82 » Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:34 am

I'm happy for you to feel so much better and giving us all some good perspective that human body does require time. I just wanted to say what you said about seeing in the mirror, about being a failure because you somehow " failed" this laser, that is exactly how I feel too, and it contributes to the feelings of guilt. My friend mentioned something like this today as well.
I wish you much peace and slow but steady healing.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:27 am

Well, I just did another round of microneedling with 1.5mm needles after patiently waiting for 6 weeks this time. Just read in a study that long-lasting erythema from burns responds very well to Microneedling. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3921236/) This somewhat alleviates my concerns that I may be prolonging the erythema with Microneedling. Of course it's redder for the first few days but in the long run it should help.

I also bought some snail cream based on an acquaintance's recommendation... Apparently it helped her daughter's acne scars. Also bought an expensive Dead Sea salt mask which only ended up drying out my skin completely. Hopefully I will get my money back.

With all this crap I have lying around I could start a skin care pharmacy. Or at least a herbal medicine shop.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by KVolek » Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:51 pm

I have been looking into snail cream as well. Which one did you buy?
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:23 am

Baba de Caracol Regenerating Cream. Bought it because it also has retinol (derivative of vitamin A) and aloe vera, which are also supposed to help. Also Q10 coentsyme, though I'm not that familiar with it. Apparently it helps to prevent breakdown of collagen and prevent sun damage.

But yeah, mostly I bought it because it happened to be available in a Finnish online health store, so it had low postage costs and arrived fast (I live in Finland). But it seems good enough for me.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, tryi

PostPosted by taija82 » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:59 pm

Just a word of warning I just read a post in realself
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by taija82 » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:01 pm

There was a person also from Finland I think who had bad damage from needling and retin a combined , I think the needle length was 1.5. Sorry can't remember but point is be careful and gentle as needling is not entirely safe always, although I think there are less horror stories out there than about laser. Good luck
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:48 am

Yeah, I noticed that in the first two weeks when I tried to combine Retin A and microneedling. My skin was definitely saggier. Don't even want to think about what would've happened if I had been doing it for longer!

Luckily I caught it in time and I think my skin is better now as far as sagginess goes. But for anyone considering Microneedling, definitely don't do Retin A at the same time.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:32 am

Finally some pictures.

Image
Here you can see the shade difference in one of the treated areas that bothers me the most. You can see it's clearly darker than the surrounding areas.

Image
These are all of the treated areas. I had to do it in spots because I'm a stupid motherfucker and wanted to save money.

ImageImage
The difference between the two sides of my face. The left side wasn't problematic in the first place, so I had nothing done on it. Compare to the right side that has several blotchy treated areas in addition to the original scars making me look like a ******* mountain troll. Looking at that picture makes me ******* cry.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:50 am

Image

Here's what the right side of my face SHOULD look like. At least a bit closer to it.

The worst was last year I was totally into some guy, but he said we should be just friends. He said it's not because of my face, but I will never believe him.

Also, **** all those people who say they notice nothing in my face. The fact that you don't notice it just means you think I'm ugly. You don't realise that's not how I should look. **** those people. **** everyone. **** everyone in the wide ******* world. **** this face, **** that guy, **** everyone.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:51 am

I think I'm going to go beat up a punching bag.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:19 am

Well, I did that and put on some makeup and now I feel better.

Now I can also refer to these pictures to see if any improvement is happening. Sometimes I think things have improved, and the marks are almost gone. Sometimes it feels like nothing has actually changed in the past 8 months. It's been almost a year since the laser treatment and after about 4 months I realised that some areas seem to not be healing whereas other marks (on my forehead) were already gone.

Yeah, so I'll try to update a month later with new pictures to see if anything has actually changed. I'm going drink turmeric milk every evening. Previously I've had some problems trying to take turmeric because it tastes so awful. But this drink seems to working. So for the next month I'll be doing the following:

snail cream every evening
turmeric milk every evening
sunscreen every day
(silicone scar gel underneath the sunscreen) - I don't always do this because it takes so long to dry - and putting on the sunscreen is a must
(MSM 5-10g)

Not sure if I'll continue with the MSM because after latest dose I got a seriously upset stomach for several days. It was painful. I must have taken like 20g. Maybe I'll cut back to 5-10g/day. 5g at a time, so max twice a day. But I could swear when I took high doses in the beginning of January the blueness of my marks faded a lot. I really devoted to it for a few weeks and thought I saw improvement. But I don't think that's worth destroying my intestines for. It was seriously painful and my puke tasted like MSM. Never again.

I guess I'll try to rely on the turmeric. Remember that I haven't really been taking it properly before. So maybe I'll see a difference if I'm diligent about it. Perhaps I should also give PsoriaGold a shot. After returning that terrible salt mask I could easily afford it without even feeling guilty.

One idea I'm toying around with is just making a mask to cover half of my face. At least I wouldn't have to worry about sunscreen all the time! And then I could pretend I'm a cyborg.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Kittee » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:59 pm

Yeah, I thought about making myself a Phantom of the Opera mask, then people would just think I am weird instead of thinking I have bad skin :P I started taking MSM powder recently, I really hope it helps. I take a teaspoon, twice a day, which is like.....3,600 mg a dose, I think. Along with plenty of vitamin C. Also just started doing the caveman regimen (no washing, no products, not even water) in hopes of repairing my skins acid mantle, which I am sure I have destroyed. I am getting desperate, lol.

Speaking of the whole caveman thing, when I got really depressed from this face/skin business I stopped using soap at all while I was showering or bathing because I didn't give a crap, and surprisingly enough the skin on my body feels great. I no longer have the dry winter skin I had been dealing with, and I don't stink from it, either :P Just something weird I discovered. From my depression I have cured my rough flaky skin. At least some good can come from this crap.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:44 am

Great that the caveman regimen has worked for you! I do sometimes wonder if the skincare mishaps I did especially in the beginning have just prolonged my suffering, and if everything would be better had I just left things alone. But I trust that I'm smarter now.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Kittee » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:11 pm

It does seem to be helping a bit! :-) I have been skipping soap in the shower for a couple weeks, but only just started the regimen more specifically on my face three days ago and any red marks I have on my face look lighter. I suspect it is because I am not irritating my skin at all. I am hoping this will help my scars heal quicker. After all, I am only in this situation because I couldn't leave my damn face alone >_< I really do think that over doing the topicals can cause more harm than good sometimes (clearly in my case!)
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:04 am

I just read that dermal pigmentation is trapped by macrophages that cannot dissolve them. They stay in the dermis and show as discoloration. This is also the same mechanism as how tattoos are made.

So, basically getting dermal pigmentation from laser is kind of like getting a really crappy tattoo. On your face.

Leaving this as a note here for further research. There has to be a way to remove those melanin-filled macrophages. (After a macrophage eats melanin, it becomes a melanophage, by the way.) Something in me hopes that MSM would help with that, as it helps with cell transfer. I THINK macrophages have to renew as well, slowly. But then again tattoos don't just disappear either. I don't know why those macrophages don't just get replaced.

******* macrophages, man.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:54 am

Just storing this study about the increased absorption caused by microneedling here:

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/psi/2011/158241/
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:38 pm

Image

Just took another photo yesterday, where it looks like there is absolutely nothing on my face. That's almost certainly a trick of the light though, because I don't think it looks that good in reality.

So I'm not sure just how good photos are at capturing the process reliably anyway.

But it still makes me feel kinda better about myself.

Also, I just made a couple of awesome drawings, and got a job offer, so I'm feeling optimistic! In the end it's the other things that matter more than your skin. But I'm thinking if other things are going well, maybe this will turn fine eventually, too? A girl can hope.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Kittee » Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:26 pm

I think your skin looks a lot better in this pic, but I do know what you mean about photos. It is hard to tell sometimes if it is accurate or the lighting. I bet you will continue to see improvement! I have similar pinkish indented scarring from the glycolic acid and my derm said she thought the scarring would fill in on its own. That gave me a lot of hope. Still worried about the color though.

That's cool that you are able to draw! I have 2 kids and they won't let me draw, paint, or even pick up a pencil, lol. Good luck with your job!! ^_^
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by RW39 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:04 pm

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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:20 am

That's pretty cool, RW39!

Edit: Just found another article on it. Apparently it's all about liposomes! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... cells.html
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:35 am

I think I should die.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Kittee » Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:47 pm

I definitely know the feeling, but just want you to know I don't think you should die. It probably doesn't help much right now, but I don't think you will feel that way forever. I have to remind myself all the time that things can get better. That goes for skin and life in general I suppose. Hope you feel better.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Mandy » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:45 am

I'm sorry u r feeling that way. But don't give up Your face is still beautiful. This desperate time will pass. I have felt suicidal and still had happy times after that. What your feeling right now won't last forever. We're here for you
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:44 am

Yeah, threw another mirror into the asphalt, so at least now I won't be checking it all the time. :P

I feel better already. Better to just focus on school.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by ChrisAnne » Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:07 pm

@gretadisk I know this has nothing to do with anything but I just wanted to say that I love your posts. You're so funny in such a dry not obvious way. :D And in that last picture your skin does look so much better. Some days I think wow my skin looks so much better and then 2 days later I catch a glimpse and wham it's like being sucker punched. I check this site everyday hoping that someone will have figured out the magic cure or combination to make this all better. I am really thinking about the micro needling but I am so scared to poke holes in my face. I keep trying to wait until I hit the 1 year mark until I do anything but it's sooo hard. I'm to the point where I would spend every dime I have and mortgage my house if I could buy a way to fix my face. Anyway really just wanted to say your cool! 8-)
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Kittee » Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:23 pm

Hah, agreed. Even though obviously none of our actual situations or feelings are funny in the least, I still enjoy your posts and think you are funny. Hope that makes sense.

Also glad to hear I am not the only one who thinks my face is ok one day, and then want to punch a hole in the wall when I look at myself a day or two later, back and forth. It's like a rollercoaster, a really crappy one.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:04 pm

Yeah, I think it's important to have some humor. Especially when things get tough. Thanks for your words.

Image

Anyway, tried to get the lighting and angle as close to each other as possible. 1 month after taking the first pics I showed here.

According to this color analysis, I report no change. Especially in that square-shaped area near my mouth. This is the worst spot ever to have dark discoloration, it looks like a shadow. I feel seriously frustrated, and I'm starting to think any improvement over the past year has been in my head. It still looks better in some pictures, but that's just because my camera doesn't capture the colors correctly.

I think I don't have enough humor to handle this. Maybe if I run a marathon it will go away? If I overdose on MSM? Shove my face full of needles? WHY CAN I NOT DO THIS?????? FUUUUUCK!!!!!!
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:49 pm

I guess I just have to hold out on hope that Alec Falkenham's tattoo removal cream will also work on dermal hyperpigmentation.

I have to admit that I don't really know how macrophages work, and I have to concentrate on researching things closer to my field. Roaming the same forums searching desperately for a solution has gotten me nowhere. This obsession is getting in the way of everything else in my life. I will run out of money soon if I keep this up. This is seriously ridiculous.

It is all my fault. Crying over it does no good. It does not fix anything.

I can cover it with makeup. Everyone else says they notice nothing.

I am the only one who cares. I am the only one bothered by this. I am the only one holding myself back by concentrating on this instead of other things in life that I can actually succeed at.

Who knows, maybe someone will find a cure one day.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:57 pm

Oh, and it's been studied that mandelic acid can actually affect dermal pigmentation.
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by ChrisAnne » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:37 am

Gretadisk it may just be the lighting but when I look at the spot your are talking about it does look just the slightest bit different. Like a little smaller in size but again it's so hard to see everything using a camera. Have you noticed any difference in your overall texture? That is the part that bothers me the most. I am a make up kind of girl so discoloration doesn't cause me the most angst, it's these dang indentations and holes and my least favorite is this triangle shaped scar on my right cheek. It's pretty big and if I could somehow get that minimized I think I could possibly deal with the rest...maybe. Do you think the micro needling has helped with your texture? I have an apt with an esthicitican (sp?) who sells the osmosis line. I am seriously considering giving this line a try based on what she suggests.

I feel like you do....I did this to myself, it's my fault and I should have just left well enough alone. And yes if tears could make it better I am sure we would all have effing fantastic skin by now. Funny the laser clinic that I went to is genuinely interested in making this better and has offered free Fraxel, ipl etc because they want me to be happy with my results but those options are definitely not the answer and I don't think they really get that part. Like you, most people don't even notice all this crap unless I point it out but that really doesn't make me feel better at all. I know it's there and it is driving me bat crap crazy. First thing I think about when I wake up and last thing I think about when I fall asleep! Certainly takes a toll on every aspect of our lives. I will let you guys know what the esthetician says not that I am expecting any miracles...
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by Kittee » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:31 am

Greta, I also notice a slight difference, it looks bit lighter to me. I am not just trying to make you feel better, and it might just be the lighting, but that's what I see, like there is less redness.

Chris, let us know if you end up trying Osmosis and how it works for you! I was looking into their products a month or two ago, more specifically Catalyst and Stem Factor because those were said to help with scarring, which like you is my biggest concern. Concealer doesn't cover indents :/ I have a couple wonky shaped scars and ice picks. I read Catalyst can also help broken caps. I never bought the stuff though because it is expensive and I couldn't find a lot of reviews, plus there is nobody locally that sells their line that was able to advise me on what products to use and how to use them. I was scared to do more damage since what I have is from a lotion.

And I have the same feelings of how I did this to myself, and if I had just left my poor face be it would still be scarless. At least if it was, say, acne scarring I wouldn't feel like it was my fault. People don't notice the crap on my face, either, and my husband said "I don't see it, so why do you care?" And while it's great that he doesn't notice, it still is so hard every time I look at myself and see scars that I know I caused myself. -I- know they are there, they mess with me mentally, I don't care if I am the only person in the world that notices them, or even knows they exist, because I do and they make me crazy. My husband even accused me of seeing something that was either already there, or that didn't even exist. That did not make me feel better. I may be blowing things out of proportion, but I don't have BDD and I'm not imagining anything. bleh, sorry for the rant!
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:17 pm

Well, I have a FEELING it has gotten slightly lighter. It is definitely less red, yeah, but the level of darkness hasn't changed much. 1 month ago my skin was more red from trying some terrible mask, anyway. So the redness was probably going to go away, anyway.

I think some lighter discolorations have faded, but the dark square near my mouth does not seem to budge.

I haven't really paid attention to texture. I know I have very deep acne scars on my cheek that the dermatologist said even laser will not completely remove. By now I'm fine with the acne scars, as long as I would get this damn discoloration off my face! I didn't need my face to look even worse than before. :P

It is actually possible to blame yourself for acne scars as well... for example, thinking I should've treated the acne before it got so bad that it caused scars. That's why I had the laser, to correct my mistake. Well I feel stupid now, don't I?

Sometimes it feels like it goes like this: regret thing -> try to correct thing -> make things worse -> regret making things worse-> try to correct making things worse-> further regret. The further you get, the more accepting you are of getting back even one step. I dunno, sometimes when I've felt like my face is better, I start worrying about some scars on my scalp that I got a while back. Sooo... the timeline goes like this: acne scars, scars on scalp, discolored spots on face. If the discolored spots get better, I start worrying about the scars on scalp. If the scars on my scalp get better, then I will start worrying about the acne scars again. Probably.

I guess my brains just fixate on correcting the newest mistakes. So how to stop obsessing about the discolored spots? Make a brand new mistake! Obsess on that. Yeah...
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Re: Ablative CO2 laser damage, trying to repair

PostPosted by gretadisk » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:17 pm

Speaking of texture, people say my skin looks smoother if I ask them if they see any difference. I haven't paid much attention to it myself. I'm just looking at the discoloration, but I guess in treating that, the acne scars themselves may have also improved a bit. Now when it comes to smaller indentations and holes, I have NEVER EVER paid attention to that. Heck, even my left cheek, which I now consider perfect (compared to the fucked up right cheek), is covered in acne scars. They are just a lot less deep and also smaller in size than the ones on the right side.

Image
This is my left cheek, and I consider this to be great-looking skin, despite the acne scars. A couple larger, rolling scars, and a lot more ice-pick scars. Those smaller ice-pick scars never bothered me. Not sure if your laser damage looks like those smaller holes, but that's how I imagine it.

But yeah, I guess what bothers people the most isn't the way it actually looks... but that they know it used to be better, and they did this to themselves. After all, people only see you now, and not the way you used to be. Someone has tried to comfort me with these words, but it has the opposite effect, really. They don't KNOW I used to look better than this... they'll think I was born like this. That, I think, is the worst part. I tell people I'm so disappointed and ashamed at ruining my face with laser. "No one will know unless you tell them!" they say. Yeah, if I don't, they'll just think I'm naturally ugly. I think that's worse than admitting I've made a mistake. Especially because it's not true. And that's the heart of it.
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