Newbie Here! Sharing My Fraxel & Dermarolling Experiencesfraxel dermaroller rolling scars needling makeup
Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:18 AM
I'm new to the forums but I've been a bit of a lurker for a few months now. I am a 27 year old Aussie girl who, like many here, suffered terrible acne as a teenager and well into my twenties. In the beginning I was left with moderate to severe rolling scars and an uneven texture to my entire face. I was depressed, angry and constantly dodging any reflecting surface. In 2008 I decided I could live like that no more, so I got off my butt and did something about it.
I have had 5 sessions of the Fraxel Re:Store laser. I had my first session in 2008, I then had a further three (spaced three months apart) in 2010 and my last session in January this year. I have many things to say about Fraxel, but the first is that I rushed into it a little in that I did not do my research properly. I should have gone with Fraxel Re:Pair or a fully ablative laser instead of the Re:Store. Too late for that now, and I haven't ruled out the Re:Pair for the future yet.
Pain: I have a really high threshold for pain so the first few sessions were okay. A little tender after them making multiple passes but in all it wasn't too bad. For some reason though, the last treatment I had was horrific. I don't know if they didn't use the same numbing cream or if they dialled the settings up dramatically or what it was, but I was practically convulsing on the table. Was not nice at all.
Downtime: 2 full weeks each time. Even after the 2 weeks was up I was left with micro swelling here and there and an acne flare up to die for. Add in house-bound and sun sensitive and you've got a miserable 2 weeks.
Results: Slow, like all good things. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't take before/after pictures whilst going through Fraxel. I felt too hideous. However, I think in all I would have seen around a 30% improvement in my scarring and a bigger improvement in my pore size and general skin texture. So it wasn't a complete waste of money, but i would like to go back and do it all again knowing what I know now.
Cost: $1700 each time... so that's a whopping $8500. Eek!
Other: The doctor. Curses to the doctor that I saw! He has no bedside manner, no care factor and is clearly out for the money. I am not a sceptic when it comes to the wonders of lasers. I know they work and I know in the right hands they can result in outstanding improvements. I'm not saying my doctor was useless, but I am saying that I will not pay him a cent more. 5 days to return an urgent phone call is unacceptable in my books, especially when I have paid so much. Not only that, but the clinic is poorly designed. In order to get to the treatment rooms you have to walk past the people waiting to be seen! That means walking past gawking patients while your face is smothered in crap and then walking back past them once your face has been attacked by a laser. Talk about awkward. End rant.
So, after my last Fraxel session in January 2012 I decided to look for alternatives. I scoured the Internet looking for information on the Dermaroller. I think I found every medical paper, every website, every before/after picture. Months of research. When I finally decided that I was going to give it a shot I then went through the same process to find someone skilled enough to do the procedure.
Firstly I really want to make it clear that I would never treat myself with a skin needling device. I've read things about people purchasing cheap rollers on eBay and on other sites and I am horrified! If you want to go out and chance further scarring your skin or causing infection by doing this procedure yourself then that's your risk. I pay someone to do the procedure using the genuine Dermaoller, the one made in Germany. 192 needles, medical grade material, 1.5mm needle length.
I have had three sessions so far. The first was in July, then again in September and the third last Friday. Between each session I have waited 7 weeks to allow for proper collagen formation.
Pain: Almost none. A little tender on the bony parts of my face and on my nose but nothing compared to laser treatments.
Downtime: Around 4-5 days of redness and swelling all up, but I can go back to work on day 3 with a little bit of makeup and nobody's been scared to look at me! I do have a small acne flare up after each session but it's mild and might be more from the products I'm using (which are new and my skin is not used to them yet).
Results: Colour me impressed! In my deepest rolling scars (on my left cheek) I can honestly say I've had around 40% improvement. This is over two sessions with my gauging results six weeks after the second session so no chance of me seeing micro swelling. My scars are slowing filling in. I didn't see much change after the first session and was a bit downhearted by that but I am sticking to my treatment plan of 5-6 sessions!
Cost: $800 a session. Compared to Fraxel that's nothing, but till expensive I know. I pay for it because I know I'm getting the best treatment money can buy. Plus the person who is treating me with the Dermaroller is fantastic. She cares deeply about what she's doing for me. It's her passion and that makes me excited!
Other: Just wanted to add a further blab on Dermarolling. I chose to go with the original Dermaroller as it is the only one listed on the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) here in Australia. Every single copy of the original dermaroller is not listed and never will be unless they apply for it and are thoroughly tested. I didn't take the brochure's word for it, looked it up myself. It's there, all other rollers are not. Copies that claim that they are "TGA approved" etc mean absolutely nothing! There is no such thing as TGA approved. You're either listed, or you're not. Simple.
Needles shorter than 1.5mm do nothing for scarring. They don't reach deep enough into the problem layers of your skin. Shorter needles are for product penetration only and are safe to use at home (although I'd still only ever touch the original Dermaroller brand). Needles longer than 1.5mm are a very unwise choice as they are too long and may cause damage to the deeper layers of skin. 2mm needles and longer are reserved for burn scar victims as their scarring goes deeper and into the layer of fat; unless this is your problem don't use them!
When your skin is treated using the 1.5mm needles you want to see blood, and lots of it. Your blood contains fibroblasts and collagen fibres. More blood in each session means that your circulation is getting better, which is a really good thing. In my first session I hardly bled at all, but last Friday my face was an awesome mess!
More is not better! Rollers with more than 192 needles are extremely dangerous. With more needles more pressure is required to puncture your skin and there is a huge risk of tearing your skin to shreds (think of is as a bed of nails, the more nails, the easier it is for you to lie on it without being impaled).
I also have a blab I could get into regarding skin care lotions and vitamins but I'll save that for a rainy day, hehe.
Sorry for the damn story... I just wanted to share my experiences and hopefully give a little, learn a little from others here! I have taken a few half-arsed before/after pictures on my phone but I'm still deciding on whether to put them up. All of this stuff I have posted is from my personal research and experiences. I tend to ask a million questions these days and am glad I do; I am not taking any chances on my skin. I may come across as a Dermaroller infiltrator who is out to brainwash you to go do the procedure. I'm not. I am just so freaking excited about find a treatment that has worked for me that I wanted to share.
Not seeking perfection, just happiness.
Posted 06 November 2012 - 06:11 AM
Edited by michi31, 06 November 2012 - 06:11 AM.
Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:12 AM
Research is key and I think it's great you're still in that process. You're right about the Dermarolling. There is no heat generated and therefore no risk of thermal damage. The yuckiest part of my Fraxel Re:Store treatments (apart from the pain) was having to sit with ice packs on my face for 30mins afterwards. I'm not sure if everyone who has the treatment is required to do that though but I imagine it's common to draw some of the heat out and to minimise swelling. Also, there is no risk of unwanted pigmentation changes with the Dermaroller.
My last Re:Store treatment was in March this year. Downtime was around 2 weeks and I had a really bad acne flare up during that time. I haven't seen any delayed negative effects from my laser treatments apart from persistent redness. I have really fair skin and if I look closely I can still see where the laser has been as it has a slight red tint to it (around my mouth is most noticible). It's nothing to scream about but it's a bit annoying. I'm hoping the Dermaroller can help with that, in time. I did develop one brown patch of skin on my temple, from the laser, however that is getting lighter as time goes on. So in all I don't regret having the Re:Store but I do think it would have been better to have had the Re:Pair.
My results speak for themselves though. After only two treatments with the Dermaroller I can honestly say I've noticed results within 6 weeks of each treatment. With Fraxel I didn't notice my skin improving and I personally think that it's because it took longer to see the results, but it did help. Could also be that some skin types react better to different modalities? Don't know until you try I guess.
Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:23 AM
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