I am having fraxel done for mild to moderate acne scarring on my cheeks. I am 47 and have a medium complexion. I do not scar severely. I had a birth mark the was the size of a dime removed from my stomach 2 years ago and there is just a faint hyperpigmented line where that birth mark was removed. I also do not have sensitive skin - I can use different types of soaps and lotions and I do not get rashes. But, I do have very oily skin.
I went to the best dermatologist to have this procedure done - even though it cost more- and I strongly recommend you pick someone who is meticulous because this your face! I am not sure why people on this site seem to be having such different experiences but I think picking an experienced clinic will help. I also think people who scar easily or have sensitive skin might have more problems. You should probably talk over those concerns with your provider.
I found the procedure uncomfortable but not intolerable. It felt like little needle pricks but every so often one was more like a jab! I think my pain tolerance is about middle of the road.
The first three days, I really was not presentable. My face was quite swollen. I had the procedure on a Monday. On Wed., when I woke up my eyes where almost swollen shut! I looked like a shar-pei puppy! My face was very red and my chin had a big dark brown abrasion on it. Today, Fri I felt ok about getting into the car and going through a drive-thru. Tomorrow, Sat. I have to go to work.
The mid section of my face looks the most "normal" only slightly pink and all the swelling now gone. My upper forehead has red dots - esp. by my temples and the brown blotch on my chin partly flaked off. The mild-mod crows feet I had are almost gone and the fine lines under my eyes are completely gone. The mild pitting acne scars on my cheeks are 30% diminished. They say the full results can not be seen for three months so I am anticipating further improvements. I was told by the dermatologist not to come back for a month.
I really think I will need 5 days of down time for the next session but with the holidays coming up, I will not be able to get that much down time until Jan. 09. I will come back on to this site and will use the same title to give you an update in about a week. Also, I will answer questions -clb
Updated: October 9, 2008
This is an update from my first reveiw. It as been 10 days since my treatment. The redness has mostly subsided. I am a little red on my forehead and nose. On day 5 I started noticing breakouts. The nurse warned me I might break out and I knew I would with my very oily skin. I broke out around my lips mostly and along my hairline by my temples. I also had a few on the bridge of my nose. By now, they have mostly cleared up.
I have to say my face does look better, my skin tone is more even. The hyperpigmentation on my forehead is All Gone. The fine wrinles around my eyes turned out to be 50% better. The mild-mod acne scars are about 30% less noticable. I have some prominent laugh lines at my nasolabial folds and forehead. I was told I would have to do botox to get rid of those.
The procedure, itself wasn't so bad for me. It was the down time that was hardest for me. I think I had more swelling and redness and severe blotching then most. I do not know when I can have that much down time again. But, it is amazing you can get these results and 10 days later, be largely healed. I will find out more details about the type of laser and settings.