aren't always the most enjoyable of skin procedures—a zap here and a rubber band snap–feeling there doesn't exactly equate to a relaxing treatment. But, one look at some of the results will have most people signing up—stat—even with the discomfort factor.
As personal trainer and social media star Maeve Madden recently told the Insider, her experience with the Pixel laser was a little more painful than anticipated.
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"I could feel small pin pricks as the laser lit up across my face," Madden said. "I began to get a little agitated as smoke started to rise and I could literally smell my skin burning. Fifteen minutes after the procedure my face turned a deep purple, and began to heat up. By the time I got home, I was in total agony and my face was burning, it felt like I was on fire."
As San Francisco dermatologist William Kwan, MD, explains, this type of experience is not the norm. "The Pixel laser is a fractional CO2 laser. This type of laser is ablative, meaning that the skin tissue is vaporized (or burned), but slowly and in a controlled, safe manner. It works great, but depending how strong of a treatment is done, there can be minimal to extensive downtime. The pain that she experienced is really not too typical, however the stronger the treatment, the more discomfort and downtime afterwards. The sensation of heat that she describes is common, but is usually not painful. Other factors such as what type of products were placed on the skin after the treatment, could also contribute to additional pain related to any procedure."
However, Madden says she "can't recommend it enough" and it really did a number to clear up her hormonal acne—she even says the treatment has cleared up 70 percent of her scarring and pigmentation issues after just one session.
"I can't wait to do it again, the pain was worth it."