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This is my third treatment with the Fraxel Laser and it caused Cystic Acne all over my chin. I have never had cystic acne in my life. This is one of the most awful experiences of my life. My New Year's resolution was to treat the minor scarring I had on my face so I wouldn't have to wear liquid foundation and now I've been left with much more scarring and active acne. I would definitely not recommend this to anyone in their teens or twenties or anyone who still have any active acne.
I received 4 fraxel treatments from a plastic surgeon and I've got to say that it was the biggest waste of money I've ever spent. First off, it is painful and anyone that tells you otherwise is has only had one or two treatments. They start off on a low setting and progressively work their way up each treatment. Your face is swollen for about 7-10 days..four of which you wouldn't be caught dead in public. The perk about your face being swollen is that your skin looks amazing! You have perfect glowing skin but it soon fades after about three to four days revealing that your skin looks exactly how it did before the treatment. Something they don't tell you is that the fraxel makes you break out horribly for about a week after the swelling goes down in your face. After four treatments, my skin looked worse then when I started. If you have deep indented scars please do not do this because I promise you it will only be a waste of money. After the realization the fraxel did nothing for me, I decided to get dermabrasion on one side of my face and excision on the other (both were small areas) I would recommend dermabrasion to anyone...please know I am not talking about microdermabrasion, dermabrasion is more aggressive. Dermabrasion improved my deep scars by 85% and it looks so much better. Dermabrasion was $500 for an area the size of a quarter. Excision was $250 and he took out 3 scars for that price. The only thing with excision is that you are trading acne scars for a surgical looking scar. To me it was worth it because even though I still have a scar on my face, it's less embarrassing than holes in my face from where I picked at my skin. It's been a month now and the excision scar is still very red but it will fade over the next year to my normal skin color (possibly lighter). Please know there are other cheaper options out there that work better than fraxel. I just don't want you guys to be disappointed and in debt like I was for something that never worked
The first time i did fraxel restore i was so excited because after a week it seemed like i had a 60 percent improvement but in reality it was mainly swelling. Two weeks later it was only about a 25% improvement. I went back a month later for my second fraxel restore, it did nothing. I was told i should spreed the treatments futher apart. I waited 3 months again nothing. 6 months again nothing. another 3 months NOTHING! I only saw improvement my first time and I have to admit I'm at least happy for the 25% improvement...so I geuss the bottom line is do it once and then stop. BTW I also went to a highend place. I also tried Juvederm which did nothing at all.
I'm writing quickly (and thus poorly) here, but want to leave some info to help others since I read these boards myself years ago before having my tx.
First, I'm reviewing fraxel restore (not repair). these are significantly different treatments and many of the reviews I'm seeing here don't distiguish clearly.
I'm a veteran, I guess. Had 4 treatments about 5 years ago. Saw true improvements after 3rd. My scarring is generally mild and shallow with the exception of 3-4 deeper icepick type scars. Fraxel made most shallow newer scars disappear totally, although I did not see much improvement on shape/depth of older ice pick scars beside improved pigment--but that in itself made them look much less deep because they had a purplish color prior to tx. Pores looked smaller and my skin just has a generally healthier look. I was able to go without makeup much of the time post fraxel.
I see some people reporting that they suffered fat loss and decreased elasticity a few years post treatment. I don't want to discount their experiences, but I will say that I recently was tempted to think I was experiencing the same things except that I am seeing the same changes in areas that were never treated (i.e. you skin changes as you age regardless of laser treatment). I had only apples of cheeks and a small spot on my forehead treated, so I can see that the same changes are happening on other parts of my face. I'm in my thirties so I guess I should expect some changes, but I have also seen many friends who never had fraxel but started to age in their 20s. I do wonder how many of these side effects can be attributed to the natural aging process.
Having said that, I did have spot treatments with a CO2 a long time ago (before the fraxel days), and I did see a difference in the texture of those ares vs untreated skin. Treated skin had a waxy almost "too smooth" look which was actually fixed by the fraxel. Am out of characters . . .
I had my first treatment in November of 2010; my fifth early December 2011 (exactly one month ago). The only reasons I can assume so many people are having disappointing results are: maybe their doctor (if even a doctor performed the procedure)had no idea what the heck he or she was doing; maybe they have not allowed enough time to for the collagen rebuilding to kick in. Remember this is not a quick fix. I see myself every day and tend to be critical of what my face looks like. On the other hand, my husband and family members have seen subtle improvements since I healed from the first. My friends began to comment on visible smoothing (remember, not perfection) after the third and fourth procedures. I used to photoshop my forehead scars in pictures. Although the scars are still there they less visible and do not show up in a photographs anymore. For me, this is success enough. The true test came when I went to see my dermatologist (although a medical doctor performed my procedure—with my skin, I would not have it any other way, my dermatologist did not) who I began seeing at age 15. He commented that my Fraxel results “looked really good.” I told him I was hoping for a 35-50% improvement and he responded, “Oh, you will definitely get that.” My dermatologist is not a friend, nor a family friend, he is my doctor and has seen my skin at its worst—he would not lie. I would love to answer any questions or encourage any of you who need it. People, acne scars suck. Acne is from hell. My acne scars were horrible - especially in the temple to cheek “pork chop”. The comments behind my back were, “J is very pretty but those acne scars…” I was mauled by acne. Fraxel Re:store is basically the ONLY procedure safe for my tanned skin—and I am not complaining.
I received Fraxel Re:store. Unfortunately, as stated, the doctor didn't tell me there are different types or forms of Fraxel. I wanted (and still WANT and NEED) Fraxel Re:pair because my scars are deep. I had so many Re:stores I lost count. The doctor was fleecing me while I put my trust in him. Although I was under the influence of Valium, hydrocodone, Xanax, and nerve blockers injected in my cheeks by the doctor, I do remember the instance his tech burned me...she burned my cheek/jaw and chin. I still bear the raised scar right under my jaw. The chin burn either didn't scar or you just can't really tell. The burn on my cheek near my hairline lost pigment but returned over the years...probably due to other treatments I've had done.
I didn't realize the burn was as bad as it was, so when I saw him maybe two weeks later at my mother's urging, he was upset and knew it scarred, yet only offered me MORE Re:stores for free. And I, trusting, naive, and emotionally worn, took him up on it. I should have sued.
I do NOT recommend Fraxel Re:store, but I AM seeking out a Fraxel Re:pair and I sincerely hope to see SERIOUS results with it.
I had it done and I can't see any improvement. Those close to me can't see any improvement. Well, that is all fine, but in fact we can all see it has made things WORSE! There is a new gash on my face, which is not pigmentation, it is a horizontal scar. And some small scars are now larger. What can I do??? This is so stupid and regrettable.
I don't care about the money I jsut want results. But how can they screw up so bad.
Don't want to bring out the lawyers just want things back the way they were. I wanted just a little improvement to begin with but now it's a case of trying to figure out how to minimise the damage. More fraxel needed...?? OMG what are my options.
This is my first Fraxel treatment and today is my fourth day. So far, so good.
The procedure was definitely not painless, so make sure you apply the numbing cream ALL over your face all the way to the hairline and above your lips. My esthetician recommended that I apply another layer 30 minutes after I apply the first one, so I will follow her advice next time for sure! The pain is tolerable, like a bunch of rubber bands slapping your face, but hopefully the results will be worth it.
Right after my procedure, my face looked like I got a sunburn. Nothing too bad, but I felt weird walking back to my car like that. I felt like everyone was staring at me, hehe. After the first day, my skin was no longer red and it just became a bit swollen and had a healthy glow. My friend who knows nothing about skin even commented on its glow.
I have had acne for about 12 years, from age 12 to 24 (I'm 26 now). Toward the later years, I began having cystic acne that left scars all over my face. The only part that escaped scarring was my forehead. The worst parts of my face are my temples, which have all types of ice pick and rolling scars. I feel like I've been battling acne for all my life, so I really wanted to do something about it.
About 5 years ago, I had 4 treatments of photodynamic therapy. I think THINK it helped my skin, but it also left my face a few shades darker than the rest of my body. The PDT helped my acne a little, but nothing drastic and I don't know if it was worth the $1000+. I'm hoping Fraxel will be worth the money though. I'll post pictures and I'll also post updates as the days go on and when I get my next treatment.
So far I see some grooves on my skin I did not have before, my face is still bit swollen and red. Sun spot did not fade, and few acne spots appeared. I am not impressed and upset that cold sores might leave scars? Very expensive, and pressure on more purchases made me feel used for money with empty promises and no improvements.
I've done 3 fraxel treatements at the highest setting for my skin tone at a very good cosmetic derm office. I saw an immediate improvement on my skin after the first one, but that's because your face becomes swollen the week after so it appears that the scars are gone, but within a few weeks most of the scars came back. After the first time I saw a 20% improvement. I was excited and made an appoinment 6 weeks later. the second treatment did nothing. I made a third appointment, the third treatment also did nothing. Then I was told i should spreed 3 months between appointments. I was pissed about spending sooo much money and only seeing 20% improvement when i was told it would be more like 40-70 at the end so I tried juvedrem filler injections which did nothing, it was like throwing money away. i was very sad and expressed my feelings od dissatisfaction, it had been 6 months from the last time i did my third fraxel and 1 month since the juvederm. The spa offered me a fourth fraxel restore for free and i thought why not? If I see at least a another 20% improvement from this last one I'll spreed the fraxel restore treatments 6 months to year apart...I'll write back in 3 months letting you guys know what happens. If i see almost no improvement I will never do fraxel restore again cause its expensive as heck and it crushes your hopes. All that being said I'm still very happy that I got about a 20% to 25% improvement.