Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Fractional C02 Laser experience

Hello Dahlings! Its been a while.

Short recap: Working since June this year, never stopped working, never really hauled because I am saving for the future. Saving for the Laser Resurfacing and went home in the PH to do it and have my holiday vacation as well. So, here it goes.

Read my first Laser Resurfacing (Fraxel Re:fine) here:
One month preparation before the Laser resurfacing, 2 Blue Light peels in Neuglow, Singapore. Two weeks interval each. (SGD 175 each)

Since I didnt go to the derm for almost 6 months, I have to do a one month preparation to remove the comedones in my face (blackheads, whiteheads) Some are still there though and were not completely removed but its generally ok for laser.

Now I had to choose between getting the Laser in SG or in PH. In SG, I can get the package in installment basis using credit card. Cost would be 1K++ with GST for 3 sessions. Thats already discounted accdg to the Pinay assistant there. Btw, they use Fractional C02 Laser. Still a bit pricey, yeah? So I moved on...In the PH, I can choose between Fraxel Re:Store by Dr Yu in Glorietta or Fractional C02 Laser by Dr. Rhesa Martinez. Both costs PHP 15K.

I scheduled the Fraxel with Dr Yu but for some personal reasons, I backed out on the last min. Something tells me I am not comfortable to do the laser in his small clinic in Glorietta. Also, his landline number is not responding last Dec 26 and I took that as a sign already. When I called Dr Rhesa's line, it was also busy but after an hour or so, her assistant immediately answered my phone call. I felt relieved also while discussing my concerns with her. So I scheduled the procedure on Dec 27. Price is 15K but includes the maintenance kit. Plus, she is open to a package in the future. So, I definitely like this clinic!

Day of the procedure
I had to leave our province by 10am to do the laser by 2:30pm. Travel time takes about 2 hrs or 4 hrs if the jam is bad. I met my longtime friend during my free time and went to the Beverly Hills Medical Clinic in Paseo de Roxas at 2:30pm. (where the procedure will take place)

It was my first meeting with Dra Rhesa and seriously she is such a pleasure to talk to. She reminds me of my derm here in the province. Dra Rhesa really assured me of the procedure and she is very accommodating and really knows her craft.

Here are the things that happened after:

1. 2:30 acne extraction (some bumps and blackheads)
2. 2:45 start putting numb cream
3. 4:45 Drank a pain killer
4. 5:00 start the fractional C02 Laser.

Waiting period is long because the numb cream has to be set for 45 mins and Dra had another patient doing Thermage so had to wait for that to finish. I dont really mind waiting because my Mom and I (yes I brought her lol) we were inside the private room with sofa and ate our Jollibee meal that was delivered to us. You can ask the clinic assistants to call any nearby fastfood or restos if you are hungry.

First hand experience: Difference between Fraxel Re:Fine and Fractional C02 Laser.
Aside from the fact that the former is non ablative and the latter is ablative, there are quite obvious differences between the two laser resurfacing. As far as I remembered, when I did Re:fine, I really didnt feel any sensation. The pain is very tolerable. While in C02, I really had to talk to Dra and tell her that there is a slight pain, stinging sensation especially during the "second pass" Dra did two passes of laser in my face and three until four passes of laser for the really pitied ones. The second pass is where the stinging began. The third and the fourth is more stinging.

Im quite sensitive to sound and smell so the first thing I noticed with C02 is the burnt smell. I asked Dra what is it and she said, it might be my facial hair. To my horror I didnt even know that I had a facial hair in my chin. Yikes (I am a she man lol) We discussed of probability of PCOS (a hormonal imbalance disorder) but I told her my history of oral contraceptives and how it messed up my period and after going to a gyne, my period became regular and well regulated. Plus I dont have cystic acne as often as possible now, its only the blackheads that becomes pustules or papules---on  which I am still concerned with. So she said, if I dont have cystic acne quite often then it might not be a PCOS and if we do the hormonal testing, it will be very costly like PHP 13K+ or about SGD 400+. I am not very keen with that at the moment sorry :(

So in reality, even though I took isotretinoin last 2008-2009, the acne never completely went away 100%.

Btw, the sound of the C02 is like a sound of electricity ground. That really made me irk most of the time. Dra Rhesa thinks I am hurting but honestly I am only sensitive to the noise. The pain is quite tolerable for me.

The procedure is quite fast compared to Fraxel Re:fine. It took about 15-30 mins or so. And yeah its true, the face became swollen and reddish like how you feel when you have sun burn but its not really bad compared to what I have experienced during the time I had tretinoin cream in my face (this one is really burning and painful!)

After procedure photos:

The face is reddish. This is under dim lights. Looks bad but since I experienced much worst in my life, I dont think this is really bad lol. And again sorry for the mustache. I had to put that to break the seriousness of the face lol.

After the procedure, I had a small chitchat with Dra Rhesa about life, career and other stuffs lol. I even asked her to follow me on twitter which I really find it so cool hahah. :)

Some more photos:

I was prescribed with Tetralysal for 7 days only so that my blackheads will not erupt during my recovery period.

Day 2:
The lasered part of the face is quite dark now not red. About to heal. I put the copper peptide serum and the growth serum for fast recovery. No sunblock yet and I just stayed at home to rest.

I'll update you next time. :)



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