My Experience w/ Profractional & Why I Keep Going Back

I’ve gone through skin issues my entire life. As soon as I hit puberty, my skin was pretty much f*cked. Luckily, I’ve gone down a path that has worked for my skin and it continues to improve. If this is your first time reading any of my skincare posts, I definitely recommend reading previous posts. Here you can read about my experience on accutane about 4 years ago. Then I also share a post about my normal skincare routine and the lasers and treatments I do regularly, including a quick breakdown about my first profractional experience.

The first time I did the Sciton profractional laser, I only did it on part of my face and I didn’t share a ton of my experience in that post. About a year later, I decided it was time to go through the process again, but this time on my entire face. And today I wanted to tell you about the full process, why it sucks, but also why I can’t wait to do it again. I strongly believe in this laser treatment and after doing it only 2 times, I’ve already seen a huge difference in my skin. But before I get into that, let’s break it all down!

What The F*ck Is Profractional?!

A profractional laser treatment is laser that resurfaces the skin to help minimize wrinkles and pigmentation and helps improve the skins tone and texture. It’s great for treating scars, wrinkles, fine lines and sun damage such as skin discoloration. The profractional laser penetrates deep into the skin, removing the top layer. This triggers the body’s natural response to heal wounds, which in turn stimulates new collagen and elastin production leaving you with smoother, softer, more even skin. And even after the skin has healed in a week or so, it continues to produce new collagen and just gets better with time, up to 6 months after the treatment!

What Is The Treatment and Recovery Like?

The day of the treatment, your esthetician will give you a topical numbing cream about an hour before. I’ve heard from others that they don’t think the profractional treatment is painful, but I DO NOT feel that way. The first time I did profractional, I was quite surprised how painful it was and it took me about a year to get the balls to go back and do it again. That being said, I contacted a friend who is a nurse and she was able to give me a nerve block in my face to help with the pain the second time around. So not only did I have numbing cream, but I also had a nerve block where I could barely feel around my mouth and cheeks which definitely helped. Let me tell you, I looked realllll cute slobbering my way through the treatment.

Depending on the areas your esthetician treats and treatment settings, it can take 15 to 30 minutes. I think my treatment took about 20 minutes for my entire face. And yes, it was painful even with the numbing and nerve block. There’s just no getting around it if your esthetician is going deep with the treatment settings.

After the treatment, the healing process is pretty rapid compared to other treatments such as chemical peels. With chemical peels, it just gets worse with time before it gets better, but with profractional, it gets better each day. Throughout the first day of treatment, the skin is swollen, red, and may bleed. This is by far the worst day because it’s uncomfortable and feels like you just have a huge open wound. You won’t want to leave the house and I recommend sleeping with a towel on your pillow because your face will be oozing a bit. Right away, my esthetician applied Venus Biocel which has a similar feel to petroleum jelly but has anti-inflammatory ingredients to help the healing process. For about 5 days, I used this Venus Biocel every few hours, as soon as my skin became dry. The whole point is to keep it moisturized so it can heal faster. By day 5, I was using Venus Post Treatment Recovery Kit which includes Renewal Cleanser, Stem Cell Therapy Serum, Stem Cell Recovery Complex, and Stem Cell Therapy Accelerator and I used that for about a week. These products are incredibly helpful when it comes to the healing process and speeding it up. I didn’t use these products the first time I did profractional and I definitely noticed a difference with the healing!

After the first day where you’re a bit uncomfortable, the next morning is a little easier after you wash your face and remove the excess blood. I was DEFINITELY still swollen on the second day but the skin doesn’t feel like an open wound by then. Below is a day by day photo collage of the healing process. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, then Day 6 with light makeup on. By Day 3, I was able to put on makeup and go out in public even though I was still brownish-red. Luckily, I don’t give AF so I don’t mind being in public, but if you get embarrassed easily, you may want to stay in until Day 4 when makeup can really cover up some of the lines from the laser and the redness.

PaleOMG - My Experience w/ Profractional & Why I Keep Going Back

What Have You Noticed The Most From Profractional?

When you get to about day 3, you feel like your skin may never heal…even though it’s only been 3 days. I definitely recommend doing day by day photos because this was a great reminder that my skin was healing much faster than I thought. After the first week, I instantly noticed the fine lines around my mouth and some of the icepick scars on my cheeks had reduced or almost disappeared. And many of the dark spots on my forehead that pop up as soon as I hit the sunlight had completely disappeared. After your treatment, your skin looks and feels like you’ve slept on sandpaper. And even after your skin has healed and looks normal again, you can still see some of the sandpaper look if you see the skin close up. It’s been a couple months since I did my last treatment and the skin still looks a bit texturized which means it’s still producing new collagen and rebuilding. Like I said above, the skin continue to heal and rebuild new collagen for up to 6 months so it’s continually improving!

I’m doing profractional treatments for 3 reasons:

  1. To keep my skin looking younger and smoother with time (because genetics aren’t doing it for me)
  2. To improve my acne scarring from the cystic acne I went through before accutane
  3. To improve fine lines and wrinkles

And even though I think this treatment is painful and it’s a bit of a pain in the ass to have your life at a standstill for a couple days, I THINK IT IS ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT. I plan on doing it every 6 months which means I’ll be doing it again in the spring and I’m so excited to see what my third experience looks like! These photos below are about 4 or 5 years apart. The first one is before I started accutane and the second one was taken just a few weeks ago and I couldn’t be happier with the difference. My skin is smoother, softer and the scars are continually getting better with time!

PaleOMG - My Experience w/ Profractional & Why I Keep Going Back

How Much Does Profractional Cost?

Depending on the size of the treatment area, profractional can cost anywhere $500-$1800 and I’m sure it can be more expensive depending on the area you are in.


At the end of the day, you have to find an esthetician you trust and who knows what they are doing. I’ve gone to Shawn Haviland (Cherry Hills Facial Aesthetics 720-459-7960) for a few years now and I could not be more thankful to have found her. If you are not in the Denver area and you are trying to find an esthetician near you, she recommends finding a technician that has state required laser training in addition to training from Sciton along with at least 3 years experience. I found my esthetician by simply asking a friend who had beautiful skin who she went to. Word of mouth can be the most helpful sometimes. But if you are in the Denver area, CALL SHAWN and prepare to have your skin and life changed! She even offers 50% off your first profractional laser if you mention that I sent you!!

Because of this laser, my skin has become more even, smoother and many of the pigmentation issues I deal with have completely gone away! I remember years ago when I was dealing with cystic acne just wishing and praying that I could walk outside without makeup on and feel confident and I am finally to that point! But it took hard f*cking work. I couldn’t just go the hippy, paleo, organic way. Yes, I had to work on my diet and I had to drink more water than I knew possible, but I also had to turn to modern medicine and treatments to truly see a difference. And I’m so glad I went that route.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below!! I really hope this post helps you with your own skin care journey in some way!

PaleOMG - My Experience w/ Profractional & Why I Keep Going Back

Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


97 thoughts on “My Experience w/ Profractional & Why I Keep Going Back”

  1. Thank you for this post!! I moved to Denver last September and have been wondering who to ask / where to find / what to do when it comes to my dark spots. I will definitely be calling to make an appt with Shawn…this was so very helpful and I thank you for sharing this!!

      1. An esthetician should never ever be performing a treatment like this. Laser resurfacing is no joke- why would you go to someone who could never treat any potential complications? First of all, i premedicate my laser resurfacing patients to prevent bacterial and viral infections as well as prescribe prednisone to make healing more comfortable. Because i am a physician, i can also give controlled substances to relax my patients and make the whole procedure more bearable. It’s insane that am esthetician would even be allowed to use this device. Please seek out a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

        1. there is a medical director on site! and i’ve been to both a plastic surgeon and a dermatologist in the past with really terrible experiences and results.

        2. An Aesthetician would be working under a physician and legally would have to be certified through extensive training. I am now an RN but I used to be a licensed medical Aesthetician and certified laser technician who performed c02 laser resurfacing. I worked under a physician who prescribed pre and post medication, and would be able to treat potential complications. I assume it depends on state laws but in NC an Aesthetician must be certified to work with these lasers, and must be working under a physician. In CA I believe only physicians and RNs can performed laser treatments, although the laws vary each year.

        3. No offense but it seems to me you overmedicate your laser resurfacing patients. Antibiotics AND antivirals just in case? Powerful systemic corticosteroids to treat what should be minor, temporary localized swelling? I totally believe in only letting a board certified plastic surgeon touch my face or neck but I steer clear of any who throw powerful drugs around like it’s nothing.

  2. I’m on accutane now! I read your previous post about it and my experience has been very similar and positive. I had bad cystic acne in high school and went on it for the first time. I’ve been on it every 4-5 years since then and I’m hoping this is the last time now that I’m 28. My cystic acne never returned as severe as it was when I was younger, but I know accutane will clear my skin (cystic and regular acne/blackheads) when no topical treatments will do the job!

    I live in Denver and will definitely try to get in with Shawn when I finish this cycle. I would love to address the scarring from years of skin issues. Only thing I would disagree with from your accutane post is the dry hair is AMAZING! You rarely have to wash it and barely need dry shampoo 😉

      1. Thank you so much for this post. Just completed a pro fractional treatment I keep turning to this article for reassurance that I’m healing as I should. Many thanks!

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m 33 and have pretty bad hyperpigmentation and sun spots. I was thinking my only option would be an old fashioned chemical peel. I hadn’t heard of Profractional. Do you think this could be an option?

    1. Hi Juli. Thank you for sharing. I found your post very helpful and your video was hilarious. I have purchased a couple profractional treatments and after watching some youtube videos of people who had a bad experience, I am now a little frightened to be honest. The first time you had the laser treatment, you said you only did part of your face and that it hurt a little less. Were you able to see many results after the first treatment?

      1. Thank you for this article when there are so few on these procedures. I just finished my 3rd profractional treatment and while I’ve noted some differences I’m trying really hard to not be discouraged. My scars are still very noticeable and I keep coming back here to remind myself it can take up to 6 months to see full results. Im breaking out again with various types of acne and blackheads. I’m post 4 weeks Monday 1.11.21. Please tell me this will stop soon! This was also one of the only articles that discussed how much the shit hurt. And it hurts like hell.

        1. Hey guys .. I just got this laser done today . I chose the CO2 fractional laser and decided to let him go as deep as possible so I could stick with the shorter downtime as opposed to the 2-4 week down with the erbium full ablasive laser . This way I only need one treatment and can last 5-10 years . BUT obviously due to going deeper and more intensive I chose to have IV sedation ( form of anesthesia ) for a additional $500 but in the end is cheaper because only one session needed and no risk of flinching or jerking from pain . So will keep you guys posted on results but point being of you have an option of getting the IV sedation , it is worth every penny !! I had under eyes lasered years ago with only topical numbing and even just that small area for two passes over each area was almost unbearable and why I never went back for another treatment . Not only was I knocked out today but was also sent home with scripts for pain meds and sleeping medicine to have if needed ❤️ Tara

  4. Sounds like you have a handle on your skin issues, but even so I would highly recommend you read “The Plant Paradox” book by Dr. Steven R. Gundry. I’ve eaten paleo for quite some time and experimented with the ketogenic diet, but this book was life changing. I learned there are acceptable paleo foods that I needed to eliminate from my diet such as nightshade plants, all seeds, almonds, all grain-like foods (quinoa, amaranth, rice, millet, etc.),and legumes, in addition to dairy and gluten. The results: my freckles (sun spots) are lighter and not because it is winter, my hormones have settled down significantly and I have stopped taking estrogen, which I thought would never happen, my skin isn’t as dry, and my adrenals are feeling less stressed. I have had a very difficult time with hormone fluctuations and have been in perimenopause for 16 years. I think I had my last period in December at 57 years of age and I am experiencing fewer hormone fluctuations at significantly reduced intensity and this is ginormous for me! I don’t know if getting rid of these lectin-containing foods triggered my last period, but I am extremely sensitive and I know that there is a connection between these foods and my improved hormone situation. Thanks for sharing all of your recipes and life experiences.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing about your experience with this treatment. I am 24 years old and have been extremely fortunate to have “good” skin (never have had acne/breakouts). Over the last year or so I have noticed fine lines on my forehead and I am so self-conscious about having them at what I feel like is a young age? I know it sounds silly but I can’t stop noticing them every time I look at myself in the mirror and I even feel like I make the conscious effort when I am chatting with friends to relax my face (I probably look like such a weirdo doing this). I am thankful to have dry, smooth skin but you know how it is when there is just one thing about yourself that really bothers you, and for me this is it! I read in your previous skin post about botox treatment and I guess I just wanted to know your opinion–should I try to work on finding better products and establishing a skin routine before turning to something like botox or the profractional laser treatment? I know you emphasize a healthy diet and adequate water intake, which I feel I do, but just wanted to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

    1. i don’t think that’s early to notice changes. that’s when i started seeing the difference of fine lines and when i started getting botox. and i honestly can’t tell you what’s best for you and your skin. my esthetician has never done botox, she just does pro fractional instead to help with those fine lines and wrinkles and she looks INSANELY amazing. she’s 40 and looks 25. i’m pro botox and i’m so glad i started doing it to stop those wrinkles before they sank in more. but that’s MY experience. definitely chat with an certified esthetician and hopefully they can lead you in the right direction

  6. This is such an impressive transformation! Having your esthetician on the podcast would be amazing. She sounds like she knows her shit and I’d love to hear what she has to say on how to shop for the right esthetician in my area on the east coast. It’s definitely time I start seeing one regularly, but I don’t want to end up seeing one that’s overpriced and under experienced. Thanks for all of your amazing content!

  7. I realize my post is a bit off topic but my question is in regards to your experience with spironolactone. From the sounds of it, I am having a similar experience with acne and feel as though I am quickly running out of options (acutane being the absolute last resort due to the possibility of having kids in the next few years). As I’m sure many would agree, acne is not only physically painful but also emotionally damaging and feeling that there may not be a long term solution is really starting to get me down.

    Would you mind sharing a bit about your experience with spironolactone? Like, how long have you been taking it? Have you had any side effects? How long did it take to see results? Would you recommend it to others experiencing similar skin issues as yourself? Is it a long term “solution” or will acne come back if you quit taking it?

    1. i’ve LOVED spironolactone!! i know you have to be off of it for 3 months or so before getting pregnant so keep that in mind! i’ve been taking it for 2 years now and the side effects including peeing all the time, being thirsty constantly, and sometimes feeling dizzy. i get a bit dizzy when i’m moving quickly like fast power cleans. but that’s it! i stopped taking both birth control and spiro at the same time and my skin went crazy again with cystic zits so i’m back on both. i’m not sure what will be a longterm solution but i’m happy to be on it as long as i need to be! my dermatologist is probably in her 50s and is on it because her skin still flares up at times. i’ve loved it and recommend it to anyone who has dealt with skin issues

    2. I’m on 200mg nightly and my breast’s have grown at least a full cup size. I broke out worse at first for the first 2 months. I am on month 6 now face is fully clear. Way better than accutane. But it did mess up my period and I bled for weeks at first :.. I get my first cO2 on 12/16/21…. I’ll be under general anesthesia since I’m getting a breast lift/revision and possibly body tite at the same time.

  8. Julie! You look great. Can you advise if you were able to wear makeup before day 5? I am wondering if this would be possible to do on a thursday and return to work on Monday without looking scary!

    1. yes!! i wore makeup by day 4. you don’t look totally like yourself because your face is slightly dark, red and little scabby but it’s not bad if you’re not embarrassed easily!

  9. Hi Juli! Thanks for sharing. I was wondering how close the laser gets to the eye area? I’m 31, and I have been noticing lines under my eye that my expensive eye cream isn’t doing anything for. Would profractional get close enough to help with this?

    1. it gets pretty damn close to your eye. you can see where it’s not red in the bloody photo, but it’s still pretty close! profractional definitely helps with fine lines but talk to your esthetician first to see if it would be helpful for your specific needs!

  10. You’re so cute, even on day one after this treatment! Thanks for sharing your life with us. I found you because of Paleo recipes and we enjoy recipes from your site at least twice a week. But along the way you have made me laugh and feel more comfortable in my own skin. I really think this is what you are meant to be doing in this phase of life! Thanks again.

  11. Thanks for sharing, brave girl! I saw you a year ago in Kansas City, for a book signing and promoting your cookbooks at Half-Price bookstore. You looked amazing a year ago.! At the time, I knew you had been getting treatments. Nobody would ever know by looking at you what you have gone through. I would love to get some treatments done, but knowing who to trust. All my friends have gorgeous smooth skin. My husband always tells me, I am beautiful. I look in the mirror and I have lines around my lips, never smoked, and my skin isn’t smooth. I guess, I need to do some research. Thanks for sharing your journey! ;0)

    1. it’s definitely hard to find the perfect person and i went through quite a handful of estheticians before i found the one, so keep looking! you’ll find someone you love! thanks for the love, candy!

  12. i love following your skincare posts! I am on spironolactone and love it as well. But i am considering botox. Just curious, where all do you get your botox and how often? is it botox, dysport, etc?

  13. I think you’re beautiful Juli, in every photo, because you’re willingness to be authentic and real is what radiates like sunshine – thank you for sharing. You’re the total package, inside and out woman!????????Love you.

  14. Thank you for being so candid. I’m in my 40’s now but had “fraxel” in my 30’s and it was the best thing I ever did. It’s totally worth the investment and after 6 years has passed since the procedure, I still see the benefits but want to have it again. A few days of downtime is completely worth it. Love your blog!

  15. So I know you published this awhile ago, but I’ve been wondering about what you do for excercise after skin treatments. I also had really bad hormonal cystic acne in my mid-20s and I’m finally doing something about the huperpigmentation and scarring my doing chemical peels, microneedling, and dermaplaning every month. However, I’ve heard that you should limit exercise and sweating for 2-3 days post micro-needling and for as long as you’re peeling post-chemical peel. But the last time I had a chemical peel, I was peeling for seven days! Which is a lot of days not to exercise, especially if you’re getting them monthly. How long do you normally take off of exercise after a deep facial treatment? And have you noticed any negative side effects if you do exercise a day or two post-treatment?

    1. with a treatment like this, I take 2 days off. i’ll work out in the morning before my treatment, get the treatment done then not work out the next two days as it heals over into a scab. then i go in once i feel heeled enough. for other skin treatments, i sometimes work out that same day or just try to workout beforehand. but i’ve never had any bad experience from doing that

  16. I know the info above is focused on the benefits of your esthetician treatments, but do you have a recommendation for a Denver area dermatologist? I’m not completely satisfied with mine so looking for personal recs.

  17. Hi, thank you so much for sharing your experience!I want to get this done, but I’m a bit concerned about whether this procedure is safe.

  18. Hi Juli,
    It is great to be able to see your results, the recovery and what to expect. I thank you for posting this. I am undergoing a full mouth makeover, and after that is complete, I want to look into IPL or profractional. I am leaning profractional because I don’t want to treat every month for months on end.
    Do you know if and how well profractional gets rid of capillaries in the facial skin? I have looked online, but instead of information, you get treatment centers instead of real advice.
    I am 42, and so excited to get a new, pretty, bright and functional smile, so I want my face to match it! thanks in advance for any info you have on the subject.

  19. I just did the profractional and found your post so extremely helpful. I’m on day 2 and it feels like its never going to end =) haha. I have a good friend who does them all them time and she has been guiding me through it. So far my day 1 and day 2 are very similar to yours. I hope the redness lightness up tomorrow. Little background, I also went on accutane in my late 20’s now I’m in my late 30’s. Looking to help my scars, sun damage and droopy skin around my mouth. Thank you for sharing.

    1. omggggg day 2 and 3 are the worst because you’re getting cabin fever and feel like you’re going to look like shit forever lol. but it will turn around and you’ll be so happy by day 7. profractional is truly the best. i hope you love it as much as i do!

  20. Thank you for this. you are very brave to post your experience which is a huge help. Thank god for people who don’t have an F to give!

  21. Do some people not have as bad of a recovery if their skin didn’t have as much healing to do? In other words, does the laser not have to go as deep on less damaged skin?

    1. if the esthetician goes lighter with the profractional (which i have done) because the patient doesn’t need it as much, the recovery is much easier!

  22. Rebecca J Lucanski

    Hi, thank you for all the helpful information. I just had my first profractional treatment Wednesday and today is Friday. You hit the nail on the head when you said it feels like it’s never going to heal. I had it done on my neck. You mentioned they put Venus Biocel on your skin right after treatment. Which specific kind was it? I’m very interested in trying it next time, as I have 3 more treatments to go. I found the recovery kit, but was unsure which product was the one you used directly after treatment. Thank you again for posting this! It is nice to hear someone else’s experience and encouraging to know it will heal soon. 🙂

  23. Juli, all posts are from very young ladies. Congrats! to each of you for sharing. I very old, suffered stigmatizing cystic acne as a teen. My first job after college (1970 lol) enabled me to “pay” for infra-red treatments to my scarred face. Yep! You guessed it! Infra red destroyed my thyroid, and I got a very ugly scar on my neck after removing the dead thyroid. Obaji, Cutera laser, skin peels, skin pen, and “fat transfer followed. Accutane wasn’t available when I was suffering. Now, I’m almost 70, have had a facelift, but scars remain unchanged. Collagen production probably doesn’t exist in my body. I am wondering about the result the procedure that you ladies have experienced? I’ve truly learned all procedures are available if lots of $$ is involved–but I still care, and I’m tempted to try hoping a granny could benefit.

    1. i’ve had great results from profractional! it’s definitely worth looking into and talking to a professional about what they think your own experience, based on your history, would be. and i would also look into microneedling. i’ve had 2 treatments done and i’ve had fantastic results!

  24. Thank you for posting pictures. I had the laser done on Friday and I still look like I had a face transplant. I am still very swollen with my checks mostly covered In a brownish crust. . Not sure make up
    Would go on over the orange pill texture. I would like to go eat for Labor Day and but I feel like me I need a burka

    My eyes ate particularly swollen it’s going to be interesting putting make up on Wednesday to bo back to wor

  25. Hey does the esthetician have a website I can visit? This is so awesome I’ve been looking for places to get the sciton laser resurfacing done in Denver and just said to my mom I wish I knew someone we could ask and then I stubbles across the blog you wrote!

  26. Your face gives me so much hope. My acne scarring is very similar to yours and i just had the co2 laser done yesterday. I can’t wait to see my results! I’ll probably end up doing 2-3 treatments total but I’m so excited to see what happens after this one. Cheers!

  27. I’m thinking about doing this. I did eMatrix about 10 years ago in my twenties for mild acne scars and it worked. Now I’m facing mild aging and could use a resurfaced, clean slate in terms of clogged pores and tiny veins and a little discoloration. I’m just wondering what you paid for your treatment? I know it varies but I’d like to set up a budget to do this in the fall. I do live in Denver and will be contacting Shawn once I’m ready.

  28. Thanks for sharing, I’m on day three of my second procedure and found this helpful. Do you know how deep they went with yours? They did 750 on mine and I feel like you healed so much faster than I am. I’ve been doing day by day pics and I didn’t realize how much it is healing until I compared them.

  29. Hi there! Your guidance on this process is exactly what happens. I had my my 2nd laser treatment yesterday. I was very red like you on the day of treatment with little swelling but overnight my face swelled up like a balloon despite sleeping elevated and icing throughout the night. So today is day 2 and my entire face is as swollen and tight as I think it can get. I am documenting each day like you did knowing each day will different as the healing occurs. I know the results outweigh the short time period it takes to heal. Thank you for posting your journey. It definitely will help others who are trying to decide whether to have Profractional done. I say “Go for it” ! You won’t regret it!

  30. How long after were you able to shower? What about washing your face as normal and with your normal products…how long did you wait for to do those things?

    1. i think i showered after 3 days. and i washed my face with the wash my esthetician gave me and didn’t go back to normal products until probably 2 weeks after the treatment!

  31. What a great post, and what a fabulous before and after photo! I’m so happy for you. I also did accutane, and I’ll be doing profractional this week for light acne scarring and anti-aging. I’m so glad the acne is gone forever!

  32. You are funny. I had a slight chuckle about the pain and the nerve block making you cute and slobbery 🙂 Kind of like visiting the dentist, right?
    The only concern I’d have about a treatment like this is that a doctor should be on board with it. The Profractional laser is a name brand version of an Er:yag (Ebium Yag). While it is fractional, which is better than ablative, it can still be quite intense. Your face turned out BEAUTIFUL (reminds of Kate Middleton!). But in some types of skin, going too strong would cause hyperpigmentation and other issues. So if that happens, you’d want a doctor to have led the treatment, even if a laser technician is the one who does the lasering. Just my two cents. And yes, my husband is a doctor and we run a laser clinic (thought I should disclose that).
    I’m glad your aesthetician was knowledgeable and is recommending high standards of training, regardless!
    If people are looking for a less-intense treatment, know that Er:Yag can be done as a ‘laser peel’ (like a mild exfoliant, similar to microdermabrasion). They can also opt for hot microneedling. Comparative to the treatment you had would be Fraxel (another brand name, but uses a different type of laser), and CO2 skin resurfacing (stronger than Er:Yag, which you had).
    Hope this helps!

  33. Such a good post. I get this every 2 years (NYC is super expensive $2500-$5000 depending on the laser), and it’s great. The downtime stinks (but it’s only about 5 days) and the treatment is painful for sure. One of the three times, the doctor put me under it was so MUCH better. But I would recommend it 100%. It absolutely takes years off.

  34. Hi – I have been taking spironolactone for 4 years and have had absolutely no side effects! The only thing I can think of is dryer skin. I have had acne my entire life, starting in 1st grade. My mom had terrible acne and has large scars all over her face from it. In my 50’s I even got cystic acne too. My dermatologist put me on spironlactone and seriously I barely get a pimple. Complete game changer. So inexpensive and no side effects for me. I will continue to use for as long as I can. Covered by my insurance as well.

    1. i was on spironolactone for 3-4 years, as well. i finally decided that i wanted to figure out the root cause of my acne instead of being an a prescription medication the rest of my life. we often use medication as a bandaid instead of treating the source. i’ve finally gotten to the bottom of why i have acne and no longer have to be on a daily medication! it’s really freeing, especially knowing i’m not on anything!

  35. Is day 1 the day of the laser or the first day after the laser? Is the pain bad enough to keep one from working or it’s just the cosmetic appearance? How does the pain compare to microneedling?

    1. day 1 is the day of the laser. if your work is at home, you should be fine. i just wouldn’t go into an office or anywhere in public since it’s an open wound that could easily get infected. and the pain (in my opinion) is FAR worse than microneedling. i find microneedling annoying, but profractional is just straight painful

  36. Can you tell me about the nerve block that you received for your treatment? I only received a topical for mine, and I was in so much pain that I repeatedly jumped and ended up with the laser in my hairline. I kept thinking “how do people go back multiple times for this?” It felt like my face was being burned off with a hot iron. It was unbearable. They never offered a nerve block or any other pain remedy, only a topical. I’m guessing this isn’t normal?

    1. it is not a normal offering. i have a friend who is a nurse so she did it to me. and i can tell you, it definitely didn’t help as much as i would like. that shit is so insanely painful, in my opinion! it’s pretty brutal. but it only gets better with time!

  37. Did you experience post laser grid marks after treatment ? How long until they went away? I’ve read that is a big complication with this laser.

  38. Thanks for sharing your experience. You’ve provided a great timeline of your recovery and resource for people wanting to undergo this treatment.
    I have used the Profractional in my practice for 10 yrs and find it’s a great tool but convincing people the downtime is worth it can be hard. The first two days of recovery are brutal. I’ve tried the lower down time lasers but I still think this one is far superior in results for those few extra days. The skin improvements as you said continue for 3-6 months. Skin redness and irritation can be a problem for weeks afterwards but eventually settles. For those worried about grid marks combining it with Microlaser peel can help avoid these to some extent and also enhance results.

  39. Thank you so much for posting your experience. I recently moved to a new state and lacked referrals for a Medspa or aesthetician. After my own search, I set up a consult with the intent of getting rejuvenated before an upcoming wedding. I met with a consultant first and felt overwhelmed by the different laser treatments. Then I met with the NP and she was very clear on what she thought would do the job – MLP combined with Profractional Laser. I had no idea what I had signed myself up for and after the treatment, I looked like a puffy purple monster (my 12 year old compared me to “A scary Umpaloompa”. It was sooo incredibly painful, I am almost 60 and my skin is pretty thin. Last night, was brutal and today (Day 2), I was determined to figure out what the heck to expect. Your post was exactly what I needed and was looking for! Your insight and photos were so honest and incredibly encouraging. Your skin is lovely too!

    1. Ann, I am on day 5 and still looking very red. My skin feels like sandpaper. (Only did around my mouth). I’m a bit surprised how red I still am at this point. When did you get back to normal?

  40. You look absolutely beautiful and fabulous! Thank you for sharing, I really appreciate your openness regarding the experience. I have an upcoming appointment and I was having lots of doubts and fears. After reading your post and seeing how great the results are I feel super excited about my upcoming procedure. I suffer from cystic acne; I’ve been on 3-rounds of Accutane in the past and a host of other medications to battle my acne. I will be 50 in a few months and I would love to put this stubborn acne behind me. Maybe this is something that will finally put it in check. I have changed my diet and began exercising to help aid in the healing process. Thank you so much, your story is truly inspiring!

  41. I just had co2re yesterday, it honestly wasn’t as bad as Morpheus 8. That was unbearable! I had my whole face and neck along with eyes. I am taking a couple of medications to help swelling and to prevent infection. Vinegar soaks etc… Pretty sore today, but the boring sensation is finally gone! Hope this helps my fine lines and sun spots. My under eyes hopefully will look more refreshed!

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