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allex

Fraxel laser for my scars?

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I had have many treatments before, some of which gave some improvement, but I am not remotely satisfied with the way my skin looks now. Today I went to see a doctor, first time in a long time. So she looked at my skin for like 1 minute and immediately proposed Fraxel laser. She said that because I am Asian Co2 will not be a good option (well I will not go for that scary one anyway). She added that my condition is pretty bad, but the scars are not really deep enough for fillers (which I asked about). It basically means I have A LOT of shallow to moderate scars. She also mentioned that unlike Co2, Fraxel laser has a downtime of 3 days, so if I do it on Friday, I will be able to go to work Tuesday. The price will be CAD 800 per session and I might need 2.

After doing some research, I can't say I am not tempted to go ahead with it but I had much reservation due to many unsuccessful experiences before (esp a painful dermabrasion which gave little result if at all). I have many scars that basically form large scarred areas (they are not separated from each other), so I guess simply treating individual scars will not solve the problem. Many are not really deep but look really bad under certain light. The worst is my temples, and then my left cheek. Right cheek is the best part thanks to 6 TCA CROSS I did two years ago. I am attaching 4 photos below.

Is it worth it to do this laser for my condition? I have seen people talking about 5-10 sessions and the doctor only mentioned 2, and I do think mine is pretty bad, and i highly doubt 2 will do the trick. After these years, I came suspicious about all these procedures. Is the down time really 3 days cuz I can't take much time off work as well. Do you guys have any better suggestions?

Thanks!

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It seems your doctor meant Fraxel Re:Store. There are three versions of Fraxel: The Fraxel Re:Fine, Re:Store, and Re:Pair. You can read more about each version on Fraxel's website.

After looking at your pics, two sessions will not be enough to obtain the results you are seeking. (I want to be clear here and write your scarring is not bad at all. There are many here who wish they had such light/moderate scarring). I have finished three such sessions, each succeeding session at a higher setting. I have three more sessions remaining. I have seen decent results on my scars but little results on any forehead wrinkles or pore size (which I realize will not happen). As for me, after the set of 6 sessions has been done, I will wait until next winter to decide if I want to do another set of six Re:Store sessions. It all depends whether the final results justify doing more sessions.

In short, you will need many sessions of Fraxel Re:Store at fairly high settings. And yes, $800/session is a fair price (although, if you buy pack of 3, you'll be able to get each session at $600). Or, if you can take more social time off, you may want to look into the Fraxel Re:Pair, the ablative version. From what I have read on this site and others, it seems 2 or 3 sessions of Re:Pair can produce stark results. After reading DudleyDoRight's thread, I am considering undergoing such a procedure, though my scarring is light.

There is no magic procedure that will instantaenously eliminate all the scars. It's a matter of being realistic and knwoing the limits of the improvement to expect.

All the best to you.

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Hello. I had similar but milder scars than yours, and 5 Fraxel Restore sessions weren't enough for me (though I am happy with the improvements). Granted, my settings weren't the highest, but I still doubt that 2 sessions, even with the highest setting, will give you the results that you are looking for.

I just made an appointment today for my 6th Fraxel Restore. This time, I've found a doctor who is extremely known for Fraxel and is willing to treat me at the highest setting.

If I were you, I wouldn't get the 2 sessions unless I am willing to get additional 3~4 more sessions at least.

Good luck!

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Hello. I had similar but milder scars than yours, and 5 Fraxel Restore sessions weren't enough for me (though I am happy with the improvements). Granted, my settings weren't the highest, but I still doubt that 2 sessions, even with the highest setting, will give you the results that you are looking for.

I just made an appointment today for my 6th Fraxel Restore. This time, I've found a doctor who is extremely known for Fraxel and is willing to treat me at the highest setting.

If I were you, I wouldn't get the 2 sessions unless I am willing to get additional 3~4 more sessions at least.

Good luck!

thanks a lot. I myself don't think 2 sessions will be enough as well. I am glad to know that you have seen improvement you are happy with :D

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It seems your doctor meant Fraxel Re:Store. There are three versions of Fraxel: The Fraxel Re:Fine, Re:Store, and Re:Pair. You can read more about each version on Fraxel's website.

After looking at your pics, two sessions will not be enough to obtain the results you are seeking. (I want to be clear here and write your scarring is not bad at all. There are many here who wish they had such light/moderate scarring). I have finished three such sessions, each succeeding session at a higher setting. I have three more sessions remaining. I have seen decent results on my scars but little results on any forehead wrinkles or pore size (which I realize will not happen). As for me, after the set of 6 sessions has been done, I will wait until next winter to decide if I want to do another set of six Re:Store sessions. It all depends whether the final results justify doing more sessions.

In short, you will need many sessions of Fraxel Re:Store at fairly high settings. And yes, $800/session is a fair price (although, if you buy pack of 3, you'll be able to get each session at $600). Or, if you can take more social time off, you may want to look into the Fraxel Re:Pair, the ablative version. From what I have read on this site and others, it seems 2 or 3 sessions of Re:Pair can produce stark results. After reading DudleyDoRight's thread, I am considering undergoing such a procedure, though my scarring is light.

There is no magic procedure that will instantaenously eliminate all the scars. It's a matter of being realistic and knwoing the limits of the improvement to expect.

All the best to you.

thanks you for your input and suggestions. After several procedures done, I have already learned not to hold my expectation high.

I myself have forehead lines and large pores like you do, and hoped they will be gone as well. seems that's not gonna happen :doh:

I realize that i might need multiple sessions. Just wonder why the doctor say two might suffice. It is too good to be true considering the cost and downtime. Maybe she just wanted me to sign in it and then end up having to keep the ball rolling? 5-6 sessions mean $4000-5000.... my wallet is bleeding (here goes my Europe trip!). I don't mind spending the money, actually I have already spent more than 3 times of that. If it comes with decent result, I will be happy. It is just I am getting more cautious about spending hard earned money after each treatment.

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Yup I agree. You won't get results after only 2 treatments with the Restore.... are you sure he wasn't talking about he repair?

5 or 6 is a minimum I would suggest anyone with acne scars do. It takes a lot of time and patients to see results but my scars are softer.

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Yup, I too spent thousands over the years on dermabrasion, many glycolic peels, micordermabrasions, etc. After disappointments and unwanted side effects, I resigned myself to accept my skin and get on with aging. Then, during a premature moment of mid-life crisis, I thought what the fudge, I'll see what's out there for acne scarring. Fraxel Re:Store seemed plausible. So, after rsearching, I took the plunge.

I would advise that the cheapest clinic is not necessarily the best. But, consider that Re:Store has been around for some time (even in Canada), the economy is tanking, and you can reduce the cost per session by buying multiple sessions. The last set of 3 I got for $1800. For me, I consider these sessions a treat for me, like the yearly vacation. In the end, I know I'll feel better for having done so.

As for the enlarged pores, I have come to the conclusion there is nothing out there that will permanently reduce them. I do glycolic peels at home (so much cheaper than having it done at a clinic -- buy it off the net) which helps to plump up the skin and reduces pore size very well. Thing is, I have to do it weekly.

Anyway, that's my two cents worth. You're not alone in wanting to have better skin. Just know there are steps that can be taken to improve its appearance. You have to be patient and take control.

It seems your doctor meant Fraxel Re:Store. There are three versions of Fraxel: The Fraxel Re:Fine, Re:Store, and Re:Pair. You can read more about each version on Fraxel's website.

After looking at your pics, two sessions will not be enough to obtain the results you are seeking. (I want to be clear here and write your scarring is not bad at all. There are many here who wish they had such light/moderate scarring). I have finished three such sessions, each succeeding session at a higher setting. I have three more sessions remaining. I have seen decent results on my scars but little results on any forehead wrinkles or pore size (which I realize will not happen). As for me, after the set of 6 sessions has been done, I will wait until next winter to decide if I want to do another set of six Re:Store sessions. It all depends whether the final results justify doing more sessions.

In short, you will need many sessions of Fraxel Re:Store at fairly high settings. And yes, $800/session is a fair price (although, if you buy pack of 3, you'll be able to get each session at $600). Or, if you can take more social time off, you may want to look into the Fraxel Re:Pair, the ablative version. From what I have read on this site and others, it seems 2 or 3 sessions of Re:Pair can produce stark results. After reading DudleyDoRight's thread, I am considering undergoing such a procedure, though my scarring is light.

There is no magic procedure that will instantaenously eliminate all the scars. It's a matter of being realistic and knwoing the limits of the improvement to expect.

All the best to you.

thanks you for your input and suggestions. After several procedures done, I have already learned not to hold my expectation high.

I myself have forehead lines and large pores like you do, and hoped they will be gone as well. seems that's not gonna happen :doh:

I realize that i might need multiple sessions. Just wonder why the doctor say two might suffice. It is too good to be true considering the cost and downtime. Maybe she just wanted me to sign in it and then end up having to keep the ball rolling? 5-6 sessions mean $4000-5000.... my wallet is bleeding (here goes my Europe trip!). I don't mind spending the money, actually I have already spent more than 3 times of that. If it comes with decent result, I will be happy. It is just I am getting more cautious about spending hard earned money after each treatment.

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Yup I agree. You won't get results after only 2 treatments with the Restore.... are you sure he wasn't talking about he repair?

5 or 6 is a minimum I would suggest anyone with acne scars do. It takes a lot of time and patients to see results but my scars are softer.

I am not sure cuz I didn't know there are two types at that time and the doctor didn't mention it either. But she mentioned that downtown is only 2-3 day. I will only look somewhat red and a bit swollen afterward. and it is CAD800, what do you think it is?

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How much improvement did you get from the 3 sessions, did you think it is worth the money.

If you don't mind, could you tell me the doctors name if he/she is in Toronto? What my doctor told me made me feel somewhat unsure about her. I turns that she didn't give me enough information, not even the difference between restore vs repair. And she sort of pushed me to do it that every day saying price will go up next month.

Yup, I too spent thousands over the years on dermabrasion, many glycolic peels, micordermabrasions, etc. After disappointments and unwanted side effects, I resigned myself to accept my skin and get on with aging. Then, during a premature moment of mid-life crisis, I thought what the fudge, I'll see what's out there for acne scarring. Fraxel Re:Store seemed plausible. So, after rsearching, I took the plunge.

I would advise that the cheapest clinic is not necessarily the best. But, consider that Re:Store has been around for some time (even in Canada), the economy is tanking, and you can reduce the cost per session by buying multiple sessions. The last set of 3 I got for $1800. For me, I consider these sessions a treat for me, like the yearly vacation. In the end, I know I'll feel better for having done so.

As for the enlarged pores, I have come to the conclusion there is nothing out there that will permanently reduce them. I do glycolic peels at home (so much cheaper than having it done at a clinic -- buy it off the net) which helps to plump up the skin and reduces pore size very well. Thing is, I have to do it weekly.

Anyway, that's my two cents worth. You're not alone in wanting to have better skin. Just know there are steps that can be taken to improve its appearance. You have to be patient and take control.

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Allex, any doctor who pressures you to accept a procedure is a doctor who thinks of you as a customer, not as a patient. And, I would suspect she will use low settings to coax you into more and more sessions.

I do the Fraxel sessions at a clinic in downtown Toronto, called Bellair.Currently, they offer a set of 3 Fraxel Re:Store sessions for $1790. I find they are very conservative with their settings. You should inform them you want stronger settings.

For Asian skin with acne scars, you may want to suggest:

45mj. TL 5. Passes 8.

There is no Fraxel Re:Pair provider in Toronto.

I hope this helps.

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Thanks so much for your advice, which is really helpful.

It is really hard to deal with those doctors who use the lower setting for more money. I will keep what you said in mind for sure. I have heard about bellair, their price seems to be not bad.

Allex, any doctor who pressures you to accept a procedure is a doctor who thinks of you as a customer, not as a patient. And, I would suspect she will use low settings to coax you into more and more sessions.

I do the Fraxel sessions at a clinic in downtown Toronto, called Bellair.Currently, they offer a set of 3 Fraxel Re:Store sessions for $1790. I find they are very conservative with their settings. You should inform them you want stronger settings.

For Asian skin with acne scars, you may want to suggest:

45mj. TL 5. Passes 8.

There is no Fraxel Re:Pair provider in Toronto.

I hope this helps.

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As for the improvement, the scarring in the left temple area has improved 15-20% already. I have them do extra passes in this area. However, the pore size has not improved noticeably. The deep wrinkles on the forehead have softened considerably but I'd like some more improvement here.

The next set of three sessions I'll be requesting:

60mj. TL 6. 8 passes

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I personally went through 4 Fraxel restore sessions with 70MJ Treatment level 7 20% coverage each time and six months past since my last one - I got maybe at most 20% improvement, and as somebody said here in the forum if you fill a pit only 20%, its still a pit. Now I did much research on Fraxel before I took the plunge. I knew that people were not getting in results from it, but somehow my desperation got into my head and told me maybe it'll work on you because everybody's skin responds differently. The dermatologist who did this on me (who is very reputed here in the city in Midwest) also told me that I should see close to 70% improvement.

As for people who suggest you need more, I'd be a skeptic. If you don't see slight improvement in 4 sessions each over 1 month apart, I don't know how you can justify going for 4 more at another 3K unless you money is not an issue for you. I'll leave it up to you to decide. Hope you can make informed decision. Don't let emotions misguide your judgment.

I have lots of box and ice pick scars on my cheeks and forehead. Mine looks similar to yours but I can't really say whether you have more scars or I have more. I have posted several pics in Fraxel thread - you can search with my username I think. To me it looks like the cheek responded the best whereas the forehead the least comparatively speaking.

Right now I'm exploring Sciton Profractional that I recently found out from another laser center here in the city. However, it seems like it has the risk of hyperpigmentation and also almost 10-15 days downtime depending on the intensity of the treatment. Unlike Fraxel that imitates needle poking into the your skin, the Profractional drills holes into the skin. So it is fractionally ablative while Fraxel restore is not. I believe Fraxel repair is its equivalent version but its Co2 fractional. This time I'm not going to take any haste.

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I too had five Fraxel Re:store treatments. I'm not sure what the settings were, but they were very aggressive. Not much improvement. I don't think I even got 20%, more like 10%.

I then had two treatments of the Sciton Profractional. Again, very aggressive. The practitioner went really aggressive because I handled the pain so well. At first the results were much better than Fraxel, I would say may 30%. But it's been a few months now, and they are all back to what they were before. The only long-lasting improvement I've seen is a more even skintone.

Everyone's different. And you do hear of the odd person who has had incredible results. But not me.

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This makes it very difficult to us to make a decision whether to undergo the procedure or not. If 5 treatments ($4000?) gives 20% improvement, I don't think it is worth it at all.

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This is why we each have to do a cost-benefit analysis. For me, 6 sessions of Fraxel for about $3600 to get (hopefully) 25% is worth the discomfort and money. However, to pay $6000 for Fraxel Re:Pair to get 30% improvement is not worth it to me.

This makes it very difficult to us to make a decision whether to undergo the procedure or not. If 5 treatments ($4000?) gives 20% improvement, I don't think it is worth it at all.

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