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philly #1

Questions that I have regarding Fraxel...

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After reviewing the many scar treatment options, I feel Fraxel is my best option. I have some minor/moderate rolling scars and I hear Fraxel can be quite effective for this type of scarring.

I did go to an consultation back in August but upon examening further issues, I have a few worries that weren't present when I went to the consulation.. I am thinking about calling to make an appointment but I wanted to gain some feedback from the quality members of this board.

I have a few questions to the people who have had Fraxel before:

1) I do remember the Dr. saying there are risks associated with Fraxel as their is with any medical procedure. He mentioned some rare problems are patchiness of the hair growth on the face, discoloring parts of the face (pigmentation) What are the other risks with Fraxel and how rare are they?? Has anyone had any problems after getting Fraxel done and if so, how severe?

2) My face is pretty clear right now. I would say its been a good 5 years since I have had moderate active acne. THe last few years has been more or less some minor pimples here and there. ALthough, the moderate/severe acne that I had back when I was 14/15 has left the scarring I am looking to improve right now. WHat are the chances that Fraxel could cause me to breakout in active acne after the procedure, is this common? This would really bother me as it would most likely cancel any benefit I obtain from the procedure I feel. Is it common to suffer acne that you wouldn't have experienced if you didnt proceed with Fraxel?

3) I have an extremely oily face. The dr. said that not only does Fraxel improve scarring, it will reduce the activity of my sebacious glands and as a result, wont have as much oil on my face. If this infact true, it would be a huge positive for me to proceed with Fraxel as the oily complexion does bother me. Although, I dont know if the Doc was saying this to appease me. Anyone have any info to share regarding this issue?

4) What the regime/routine after getting a Fraxel done? I can definitly follow the Dr's instructions immediately after the procedure (3-4days) but my life is going to be extremely busy and dont want to be going through a routine (applications of creams) weeks after the procedure.

If I do have any questions, I will make sure to list them in this thread. I appreciate anyone who take the time to answer a anxious young man's worries.


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Less oily skin has been reported in the fraxel thread. However exacerbation of acne has also been reported. It's usually temporary and goes away. People have noticed a disappearance of blackheads as well.

Pigmentation issues can usually be avoided if you wear high spf EVERY day and a hat and avoid sun exposure. As for pigmentation problems you already have it usually improves them (this is the biggest effect in fact).

Patchy hair is interesting. Caesar2 posted that she thought fraxel may have reduced the hair on her face somewhat. and its obvious from others pictures that theres at least a temporary patchiness going on.

anything permanent would be the result of the MTZs damaging the follicle, retarding/preventing future hair growth. the MTZs target the water in the skin, not the melanin in the hair shafts (as does laser hair removal).

However if you have a lot of treatments at high levels then the MTZ's will be hitting the "bulge" area of the hair follicle. this is where stem cells for hair production and wound repair come from. the "dermal papilla" or hair "root" is usually around 2-3 mm below the skin surface so its unlikely fraxel will affect this area of the follicle.

this is why laser hair removal is not permanent. laser hair removal only drives hair into a prolonged telogen phase for several months to years, by damaging the bulge area. however its been shown that given time follicles regenerate themselves when as little as 1/3 of the lower follicular lining is left intact.

its a similar process to one of the procedures for a hair transplant actually. doctors will splice hair follicles in thirds or halfs. leaving part of the follicle in the donor site and replanting the other parts in the graft area. over time both donor and graft areas form complete follicles.

(they only do this when your donor site is also balding or exceptionally small. its way too time consuming. usually they just cut out an entire swath of skin from the back of your head to use for grafting.)

the process isn't perfect though and there is always some collateral loss. the inside of damaged follicles can become fibrous or otherwise unable to repair (usually from damage to the vascular network feeding the follicle). so it is possible that many deep fraxels will give you prolonged or "permanent" hair loss.

but i'd imagine this wouldn't be too weird looking since the fraxel uses a scanning technology. unlike most laser hair removal systems which use a stamping laser head, the fraxel is rolling/scanning. so the delivery is more uniform. therefore any hair loss would tend to not be patchy like what you sometimes see with laser hair removal systems.

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Fraxel made me break out and I used Tazorac prior to each tx. Its very common to have this happen and the docs. will tell you this. As far as the oil situation is concerned Fraxel did NOT reduce my oil production. Reliant doesnt make the claim and your doc. is trying to be a great salesperson. And the healing process took me 4 complete days to return to society. I was too red and swollen to venture out. I just used some moisturizer and kicked back.

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