Fraxel Dual - Daily Progress - Atlanta, GA
- updated 5 months ago
I had my first Fraxel Dual laser performed...
- 15 Sep 2012
I had my first Fraxel Dual laser performed yesterday by my dermatologist. I am 41 years old and have been plagued by acne my whole adult life. I had tried topical creams and antibiotics, but finally was prescribed spironolactin, as it appears that my acne is hormone-related. The spironolactin at 100mg per day has finally gotten my acne under control, but I have been left with slight indentation scarring in my cheeks and darker pigment from both where the acne was and from general aging. The texture of my skin is uneven and I have large pores, particularly on my cheeks. My goal is to smooth out the scars caused by the acne, reduce pore size, and improve overall texture and color. I also have fairly dep nasolabial folds, but realize that the Fraxel will not improve this and I will likely need to get a filler to see improvement in this area.
I decided to get the package of 3 treatments spaced about a month apart as recommended by my dermatologist.
Just having the first done yesterday, I am not sure what the overall results will be but wanted to post by daily progress with photos for those considering the Fraxel Dual and how the procedure went while it is still fresh in my mind.
The procedure itself was about what I expected. I arrived at the dermatologist's office approximately an hour before my procedure and was slathered up with lidocaine/benzocaine numbing cream. Sat for an hour and then it was removed with alcohol. Goggles were placed over my eyes and the procedure was done. My doctor started with the passes with the 1550 laser. She had the laser set at 50 for most of my face. The first couple of passes in each area felt like nothing more than someone rubbing a pencil eraser on my face but the 3rd was uncomfortable and the 4th was a bit painful - nothing I couldn't stand. There was an area on my nose that the numbing cream must have missed because that one spot hurt from the get-go - like someone snapping a rubber band on it. Lesson learned - make certain the numbing cream is EVERYWHERE. After the 4 passes with the 1550, the 1927 was used for pigment. This was less painful than the other, but still uncomfortable. She was a little more aggressive on my left side as I had more pigment issues there.
After the procedure I was given ice packs and told to put them on my face 10 minutes of every hour for the rest of the day, which I did faithfully. Also totake a benadryl when I got home.The swelling is not nearly as bad as what I expected after seeing pictures of others who have had it done, whether due to the ice or the benadryl.
The first day it was red in all areas except the eye area where she did not laser. Looks like I was out in the sun with sunglasses on and got a little burned. There are a couple of places where the swelling is worse than others, namely on my cheekbone and near the naolabial fold on the left side, which makes that fold look deeper. The pigment of the spots on my face has gotten much darker. The pain afterwards was not bad at all. I slept elevated last night.
Today, the red has turned to bronze, and my skin feels like sandpaper. I have done only mild washing with Cetaphil and moisturizer with Cerave. It is difficult to tell at this point what the results will be (I'm almost worried that because there's no dramatic reaction by my skin like bright red, swelling that I won't see enough improvement) but I will post photos daily.
The photo from last night shows the darkening of the pigment and the swelling in certain places, making my cheeks look sunken in.
Today's picture (day after procedure) shows the bronze-y tint my skin now has with the darker pigmentation and you can see some of the laser dots. The swelling has also gone down some so I don't have that "sunken cheeks" look anymore.
Anyway, I will try to be faithful about posting pictures and updates regularly, as I thought it might be helpful to see daily progress following Fraxel Dual.
I am now on Day 4 of my first procedure and most...
- 17 Sep 2012
Today is Day #6 and I finally almost looked normal...
- 19 Sep 2012
Well, it has been one week since my first Fraxel....
- 20 Sep 2012
Overall, my face looks brighter and slightly smoother - though I also think I will ask her to run it over the scars on my cheeks at a little higher intensity next time. Still hard to say it was worth $2,500 for 3 treatments - I believe I will leave my rating as "not sure" until I see what I feel is $2,500 worth of improvement. Still considering a Radiesse filler for my nasolabial folds, as I lost over 20 pounds in the last year and a half and I'm just not getting that face fat back :)
OK, so I am about a month past my first Fraxel...
- 17 Oct 2012
The first Fraxel got rid of some of the age spots, though not all. I am hoping that I will see a bigger difference after Fraxel #2 and Fraxel #3, which is scheduled to be my last. I am going to ask her to up the intensity a bit at this next one on Friday as I would like to see more of a difference. She is also going to be doing my neck for free (not sure what Fraxel will do for it) at this next treatment.
So, here are my one month post-Fraxel #1 before and after pictures (before is top row, as I said the lighting is different so you may not be able to tell which is which!). Will post pics after I get Fraxel #2 done on Friday.
Well, I had my second Fraxel treatment done today....
- 19 Oct 2012
I did ask her to prescribe some Doxycycline to help stave off some of the breakouts I had after Fraxel #1, and she also prescribed arithromycin gel which she said will not irritate my face. She said additionally that I can do a white vinegar soak once a day prior to applying moisturizer.
New pics show face approximately 1 hour after Fraxel #2.
Finally rating the procedure as "worth it". ...
- 23 Oct 2012
Well, have to update my opinion to "not sure"...
- 1 Nov 2012
Yesterday I had my 3rd (and likely last) Fraxel....
- 17 Nov 2012
This morning I woke up more swollen than the other 2 times - I could actually see my cheeks if I looked down! A few hours into the day and the swelling went down. New pictures are of the day before my 3rd treatment and the day after. From the last 2 times, my expectations are that my skin will be ok to wear makeup in about 5 days. Wish my skin would just stay swollen- it looks so much better :)
My skin is looking pretty good today, with the...
- 21 Nov 2012
Ok, so I am now 1 month past my 3rd and final...
- 28 Dec 2012
The texture of my skin is better, pores - particularly on my chin and forehead - are smaller, and I seem to be experiencing fewer breakouts.
So, has my skin improved overall? YES. Was it worth $2500? I would say for me, NO. For those with money to burn, maybe YES.
I just posted pictures of my final results. I have no makeup or even tinted moisturizer on in these pictures. You can see for yourself in comparing the pictures from my before that the overall appearance is brighter and more even toned, but there is not significant acne scar improvement.
It is now 2 months post Fraxel #3. WAS IT WORTH...
- 28 Jan 2013
Latest pic shows arrows pointing to examples of the hypopigmentation, and the reappearing age spot is circled. Not the best quality picture, but you can see the imperfections.
So for $2500, not worth it to me. A lot of money spent, and though my skin is a bit different now, not noticeably better overall.
6 Months After 3rd Fraxel Treatment - Not Happy With Results
- 1 Jul 2013
To make it short and sweet, I now have awful pigmentation issues that I did not have prior to Fraxel. I am religious about wearing SPF 25+ sunscreen daily, so this is not an effect of being careless with sun exposure. I know that hyperpigmentation issues can be more easily fixed, but the hypopigmentation is harder to treat (can remove color but difficult to add color).
The updated pictures are WITH foundation on...so you can imagine that it is worse without. See for yourself and decide if you want to chance this happening to your skin.