Fraxel Re:pair for Eye Bags and Fine Lines - Effective but Slow Recovery

I am a 37 years old white female. Had Fraxel...

I am a 37 years old white female. Had Fraxel Re:store and botox in the past but neither was effective for persistent under eye puffiness and fine lines, so I decided to go for Fraxel Re:pair around the eye area. I also had some hooding of the upper eyelid and was told that the procedure would result in a moderate eyelid lift (although from the pictures the doctor showed me, the amount of tightening seemed to vary a lot across patients).

My under-eye skin was also crepey and I had milia (little white dots) in the inner corner of the lower eyelid, as well as dark circles.

I had Fraxel Re:pair two weeks ago and from what I can tell the procedure is effective. The bags under my eyes and the milia are gone, and the lower eyelid skin appears considerably tighter. The fine lines below the eyes and the few crow's feet I had have also disappeared. I am also noticing some tightening of the upper eyelids, although the reduction in hooding is only minor and, interestingly, only appear to have affected one eye.

The procedure itself was quick and only moderately uncomfortable. From what I can remember (I had valium and was out of it for the whole day), it took only 10 minutes.
The downside is that the recovery has been REALLY slow and was generally a pain.

The first week I was practically out of duty. I had to do the vinegar soaks for 20 minutes every two hours. The worst part of it is the constant oozing, which not only do you have to constantly mop up, but which also inevitably gets into the eye and causes blurriness of vision and itching (I had a sort of eye infection from it and had to get special eye drops from the doctor). Add to that the severe swelling of the eyes and then entire face that lasted for about four-five days, so forget about reading or watching movies or doing anything that requires good sight. This also means driving to the doctor's office for the follow-up appointments (I went back four times in 10 days), so make sure you have someone who can drive you at least the day of the procedure and the first follow-up visit two days later.

I spent the whole first week sleeping (or trying to sleep, because the oozing was waking me up) and wandering aimlessly about the house. I was also feeling much more tired than usual.

Two weeks later, I am still hardly presentable, and the makeup does nothing to conceal the redness and bruises.

As you can see from the picture, I still have purple bruises above and under the eye. The other eye is healing faster, but I still have a visible blue bruise from the nerve block injection, as well as very red skin which makes me look like a racoon... I don't know if you can see from the picture, but I also have one bloodshot eye from a broken blood vessel caused by the eye block (a sort of contact lens) they put in, and it has not improved at all in two weeks. I was told that it may take several weeks for it to disappear.

Maybe because I wasn't able to wash the rest of my face properly and use my usual products (including nightly Retin-A) for 10 days, the skin on my forehead, cheeks and chin also looks horrible and is covered in tiny pimples. I have resumed the cleaning routing as of four days ago but still no improvement. Not sure this has anything to do with the procedure though.

I will post an update in two weeks to see if the redness and bruises have gone away...

7 week report - It's now been 7 weeks...

7 week report -

It's now been 7 weeks since the procedure and the redness is beginning to fade but the texture of the skin has not really improved. I still have two pimple-like bumps under one eye, in the same place where a scab was right after the procedure. The other eye is doing better, but I have noticed a sort of thickening of the skin (it feels like a flesh-colored bump under my fingertips) in the inner corner of the eye.
Overall, there is no way I can leave the house without makeup, but once I apply the concealer the appearance improves.

I am posting two pictures I took today, with concealer (which I put on 6 hours ago). You can still see some redness and the two pimples I was talking about. The picture where I smile shows a deep expression crease that was there before as well. I used to have many more lines, so I guess overall the procedure did eliminate most of the deep lines. The tightening of the lower lid is still there, although a bit of puffiness has returned. Hard to say if/when I'll be able to leave the house without concealer on. Will keep you posted...

San Diego Dermatologist

Even though not cheap, Dr. G and his team were very thorough and professional.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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Comments (9)

could you share some pictures please :(
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Are you happy now with your results? What did you do to cover the redness?
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Would like to see more photos.
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so far my doc says she isn't worried - I return to her next week, which will be 7 weeks post op. Yes, I do have bumps and thickening of skin, and i plan to ask about them. One eye appears to be less red, but the other has a bright red, raised "slash" mark underneath. I am hiding behind my glasses - which I prefer not to wear all the time - and am tired of this. Also worried about possible permanency of this damage. My doc did a Vbeam treatment to help with redness last visit and will do another next week. I do think that helped one eye at least. Apparently several treatments are needed for results to be significant. Keep me posted and I will do the same! PS: I also did my neck, which has healed except for a red splotch - bumpy skin peeled and went away. I think splotch is fading.
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How are you doing now? I had it done about a week after you, and now 4 1/2 weeks later I still have deeply red racoon eyes. I would never do this again, and at this point I'm getting scared about permanent redness/damage/scarring.
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Hi Jenniej, as you can see from the update, I am doing a bit better but I am also getting concerned about the damage and scarring not going away (did you also notice the bumps and thickening of the skin?). I think the redness will eventually fade (it's almost gone in the other eye), but I am not sure that the texture of the skin will improve. I'm so glad I didn't do this on the whole face!
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Well, your eye is awfully red...but wrinkle free! :) I would think from the small part of the picture shown that you would be twenty something. Please post with follow up. I am really considering having this done, but I want to have a better idea of how long the recovery will take. Good Luck!
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I had this procedure done late last year. Save yourself the money. Very painful and quite ineffective for the eye bags - if anything, it thins the skin under the eye area, and makes the problem worse (as underlying bulge of eye bags can only be corrected surgically). Better off having botox and a blepharoplasty.
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Post follow up pics and accounts of your recovery at 1 month and 6 months please! Thanks for the info...
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