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fraxe11

Started Fraxel Re:store yesterday

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I have started a series of fraxel treatments as of yesterday. I took some before photos (they are in my gallery) and plan to take them after each session as well, of course it was hard to get them to look their worst when actually trying to...

I will start posting results two weeks after each session and I am suppose to get five full face treatments. The plastic surgeon I am going to took many pics and they were in some really nasty fluorescent lighting, I am suppose to pick them all up (before and afters) three months after my last treatment.

As far as laser settings, he is indian and doesn't seem to follow me too well when I ask him, but I will make sure i get them next time I go in. From what I gather though they were 50-8-8 whatever those stand for.

I am using aquaphor most of the day and night unless I step out for something and I really haven't experienced much if any at all as far as swelling or flaking. In fact unless I knew there is swelling from the procedure I wouldn't be able to personally tell.

The redness is really the most bothersome part and it isnt that bad but, the side of my face that was done second, is very noticeably more red than the side that was done first. This makes me wonder if the laser is prone to "overheating"? I have had a series of smoothbeam treatments in the past and I know for fact whether or not the doctor is aware of it, that the longer the session the laser gets more and more damaging to the skin and more painful. It seems the cooling burst needs to be wiped off every couple blasts of the laser or blistering and such is likely.

Anyhow if my whole face was only as red as the first side I would have no problem going out an about in public or to work as it looks like a mild sunburn. But the one side is much redder and he decided to dip down onto my neck on that side as well which really reacted more than my face. Eh, what ya gona do...

So I am currently waiting out the redness to see how long it takes to fade to a moderate amount, so I can plan the rest of my treatments accordingly.

I would say my scarring is moderate with a few shallow ice picks on my forehead, large scarred pores around the sides of nose, and boxcar/rolling scars along jawline? I am not really all that great at telling the difference between types, regardless there is a mix of different types and i am curious as to how each will react.

I am a 27 year old male of Polish/German heritage and I am currently a vegetarian, non-smoker, and not drinking alcohol and rarely have caffein beverages. I take a multi vitamin, b-complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, and 5-htp(mood enhancer, I feel that always plays a role in skin health).

I finished a round of accutane 6months ago and wish I had been able to afford it when I was 18...probably the hardest part of all this for me is knowing how many years and scars could have been saved by taking it sooner. The course of accutane was easy for me 80mg a day and very few side effects aside from chapped lips.

Well I don't want to make this too long but yet wanted to be thorough. As far as the smoothbeam, I had around 8 before I went on accutane and it only worked if done every month or more. Seems that after my glands recovered from the laser, I became more oily than I had ever been as well. It did help alot though with ice pick scarring, maybe 45% better, not much for the large scarred pores and maybe 15% better along jawline. Oh, and I had two Vbeam treatments along side the smoothbeam, which I really can say works wonders on color. The Vbeam is noticeable nearly immediately after as far as getting rid of red marks and very effective.

I am hoping since I had very little problems with the smoothbeam at high levels and got a good improvement, that this series of Fraxel will do very well, ideally 50% improvement, that would be dreamy.

I am bothered by how many people say they will post results and don't, I promise you all that I will, regardless of improvement or not. I really wanted to take a 24hr later one to show redness but forgot and put on aquaphor which is a huge pain to remove. I do not plan on using soap or cleansers for a few days, just water and that definitely does not remove it. I am not looking forward to shaving at this point either, even with an expensive electric model...

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It is now roughly 48hrs since my first fraxel treatment and I woke up today very dry regardless of the globs of aquaphor I had on. I have started to notice the "bronzing" or light browning of some spots which looks as though they will dry and flake off sometime tomorrow.

I do have a question for you guys though, at this point should I allow the skin to dry out a bit and encourage this bronzing effect to flake off? Or should I continue using aquaphor/heavy moisturizing to discourage the flaking? I really would like to look somewhat normal soon and this stage is nothing like a sunburn or bronzed. It looks like it is, dead cells turning brown and getting ready to flake and I imagine it will leave my skin light pink afterwards for a few days.

I have posted some pics showing the color contrasts and beginning of bronzing in my gallery.

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I take issue with that thread as it is, "too big". I mean it started in '05 and isnt even the current laser in use until around the 200th page, all around very hard to read through and I have managed to read most of it. Finding any info you are looking for is ridiculous, kinda like reading the whole bible just to find the ten commandments...but still thank you. :D

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I'm interested in how your doctor treats any scars around your upper-neck/jawline. My Dr. said that area is very sensitive and prone to scarring so he doesn't like to do too much there.

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As far as my neck I have pretty much no scarring to speak of but my jaw line does. He was the most aggressive on the jaw line scarring and used the same settings for the whole face. He dipped onto my neck because he saw some active acne, but I feel the laser was set too high for the neck as it reacted the most severely to it.

My settings as I gathered were 50, 8, 8... I will get the exacts next time I see him.

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Five days after receiving my first fraxel (counting the treatment day as one), the bronzing was loose enough to where it would flake off if lightly brushed. Whether or not it is in my best interest I decided to go ahead and exfoliate my entire face, having dealt with acne for so many years you know when something is ready to flake off.

I am sure people heal at different rates and that it depends on the individual and their treatment level, but for me it was 120hrs later.

My skin looks much better as far as discoloration resulting from the actual treatment, I am a very light pink (not raw) and any kind of demarcation line is harder to notice if at all, actually looks like I got a bit of sun. Until this point the treatment definitely in my opinion does not pass as anything but a facial treatment of some kind when people look at you.

It is now about 2hrs since I did this and in the evening so I will get a good night's rest which I believe will fade the color further before morning.

I am supposed to return to work tomorrow and am not that worried about people staring at me. That is not to say I wont be a little pink but nothing that distracting. Five days of down time is going to be harder for me to schedule around than I planned so I may have to suck it up and go into work next time before I have peeled/exfoliated, whatever.

As far as post treatment, I used icepacks for about an hour and a half at which point I got lazy and just turned a fan on pointed at my face with my bedroom window open as it is quite chilly out this time of year at night.

I applied globs of aquaphor immediately upon getting home (also why I didn't ice longer, as that is just a mess) and kept applying it the first three nights. I would wipe it off in the morning and didn't wash my face for the first two days. I would let my skin breathe a bit during the day before putting the aquaphor back on in the evening. The second night I started breaking out around my chin, very small surface breakouts but progressively worse and worse into the third day. So, I stopped using the aquaphor as I don't think anyone, even people with great skin can keep globs of vaseline on their face and not start to break out.

I washed my face using a gentle cleanser and started using a light moisturizer. I have stopped breaking out since switching to the lighter moisturizer but think the aquaphor was probably good in the beginning stages. Though, I think I am going to use an aloe vera gel of some sort next treatment instead.

I do not know if it is because my skin is irritated, dehydrated, exfoliated, beaten and abused or what, but the pores around the sides of my nose appear bigger and more noticeable. The scarring also appears more noticeable as well at this point, so hopefully this subsides and improves a bit after my skin has fully settled down.

I am wondering if when the scars become more shallow, do they expand in size as far as diameter? That seems like a pretty upsetting thing if that is the case. But having only been five days I don't think any kind of healing to that extent would be occurring.

I will take pics again and post, two weeks after this first treatment.

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I had my smoothbeam treatments and Vbeam treatments at incredibly low cost, $50 per session full face. A nurse did something involving paperwork that got her fired and in the mix I received a deal on the treatments.

I am glad the treatments didn't cost much more though because they did very little for my active acne which is what I was going for. I do not suggest it as a good treatment for active acne as it only slowed it a bit and after stopping sessions my oil production became more than ever. It did however help scarring a decent amount.

So to answer you on cost, I would say roughly $500 between the smoothbeam/Vbeam and the Fraxel is $800 per treatment or $700 if I pay for five up front. At the end of five fraxels I will have spent around $4,500 for all lasers.

If you can get smoothbeam treatments at a good price and have few scars, as in not the entire face, I suggest it if done at high power(probably need four treatments). The Vbeam I definitely suggest if you can get a good price as it gets rid of redness making things a lot less noticeable(probably need two treatments). I am starting to think that a month of discoloration with fraxel re:pair may have been less hassle than signing on for five re:store treatments a month apart with a week down time. But there isn't even a doctor who offers it locally within 200 miles anyhow.

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As of this morning (sixth day counting treatment day as one) my skin is very much back to normal in appearance. Granted it is not done healing but at this point do not think anyone will notice or mention my appearance. I am on my way to work and I work under heavy fluorescent lighting, so we will see.

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If you have $4500 to spend, wait for your acne to clear up, take 2 weeks vacation and get Co2 laser treatment. Most dermatologists will tell you it's the most effective procedure for moderate to severe acne scars.

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