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-What made you like microdermabrasion over glycolic acid?

other way around, but i think that's what you meant. i had 9 treatments of microdermabrasion, and it helped little with redness and only somewhat with scarring (mild to moderate). they were also $100 a treatment, which is fairly cheap for it, but only because i got a discount after i bought a package of 6 for about $750 (so, the first six were actually $125, and thereafter it drops down).

i've only had one glycolic acid peel so far. it was 40% (they go up to 70%), and seemed to do more in one treatment than at least two aggressive treatments of microdermabrasion (and i had pretty aggressive treatments. the most aggressive they'd ever done at least). it hurt less (neither really hurt any, but in comparison glycolic acid is much less), it was faster, as i said, better results, and it's cheaper. i paid $395 for six treatments, and that even came with facial products. thereafter, the price for a peel (after you buy the package of course) is only $49. can't beat that by much.

by the way, i have it done at a plastic surgeon's office. an esthetician (who makes it easier for me to go there, believe me) performs both on me. it's good you try and start out with one person and stick with them as i've done. they'll be more familiar with your skin that way. the machine they used was the power peel ( that's another thing you have to watch for. different machines and systems have varying strengths, and some might not be as powerful as you'll need. usually there are no worries of getting such a "weak" machine going to, say, a plastic surgeon's office.

-How much do you think I could expect spend in total for either treatment?

i went over this a little already but i'll reiterate. glycolic acid peels are relatively cheap wherever you go. packages of 6 for about $400 are usually the norm. if you're paying at or over $100, you're probably getting a bad deal.

microdermabrasion is usually about twice as costly. packages are commonly sold for $750, and treatments should cost you no more than about $150 at most. some places charge $200, and that's way too high. watch out for low prices as well, say, those in the $80-90 range you can get without first having bought a package. they usually indicate weaker machines and maybe poorer quality of crystals.

-Do you happen to have any before and after pictures that show results?

not with me. i try to stay away from the camera. my plastic surgeon has some on file at his office though. i have noticed a good deal of change, especially by being out of the sun (red marks tend to get darker in sunlight, and that just makes everything look much worse than it really is).

with either treatment, you won't likely notice much change afterwards. they work by exfoliating the outer layers of the skin to gradually stimulate collagen growth, so, you'll notice better results as you go along.

-The first one was the one that gave me accutane, however he wanted to put me on another course of accutane before and during surgery to make sure that my skin wouldn't break right after surgery.

i can't believe you had such an irresponsible doctor. you have to be off accutane at least a year (and even this isn't exactly safe) before having laser surgery. my plastic surgeon is telling me two years, though i think he's ering more on the side of caution than may be necessary (a year and a half is usually acceptable). that's another thing; he told me straight up what i needed to know instead of what i wanted to hear, which is what happens sometimes with many surgeons. if you had had laser surgery on your skin while on accutane, you'd have made an infirno out of a small brush fire. things would've been much worse.

you can get laser though if you like, but you may not need it. the second doctor may have been right, but usually they'll perform any treatment you seek as long it won't likely have an adverse effect on your health and you're clear on everything.

i'd recommend seeing a plastic surgeon, for consultation and treatment. dermatologists perform many of the same treatments, but i've found plastic surgeons to be more reliable, if not more skilled and knowledgeable. you might run into some poor excuses for plastic surgeons, but, if you do your homework it's far less likely. i bet you can find someone good in roanoke, or, if you're into driving a little, even richmond or charlotte. i might see if i can help you with that. the 'net is a great source for info, but it can also be misleading. i found my ps on the web though, and i believe i was extremely fortunate.

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