Fraxel Dual to Treat Acne Scars.

I just had my 1st Fraxel:dual done to treat my...

I just had my 1st Fraxel:dual done to treat my acne scars, and I would like to share my experience here.

BEFORE FRAXEL
I did lots of research about Fraxel before I place my deposit. I read many negative feedbacks on realself, saw lots of sales pitch from spa and surgeon's offices and I also did a literature search (on pubmed.org) and read all the scientific papers about fraxel. My conclusion was that in the short-term, fraxel is quite safe. I couldn't find any long-term study on the effect of using laser, so some member's complaint about fat loss may be valid. Anyhow, I decided to proceed with the procedure despite the risks because: 1) I feel indestructable, 2) My acne scar bothers me so much that I think the risk is well worth it.

THE TREATMENT
1) Nurse put numbing cream on. The numbing cream feel made my face felt tinglely and my face turned pink after 10 mins or so. (See photo). After about an hour or so, dr. came in and performed the procedure. I read on realself that most dr usually do 4 passes, so I was counting the passes, because fraxel hurts so badly that I really want the procedure to be over as quickly as possible. I was really disappointed when my dr did more than 4 passes on me. He did extra passes for me bc he thinks it would give better result, so I sucked it up and not be brave about it.

Seriously, if you have low pain threshold, ask your dr for plenty of pain medicine before Fraxel. I should asked for pain killers or at least drink a glass of wine before my procedure. The sensation was so strange and PAINFUL. It felt like a gazillion needles shooting electric shock on your face. At some point, I smelled something was burning but I wasn't nervous because I know my dr was under control.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER
When the procedure was done, I really expected my face to be fire engine red, because it felt very hot and tight. But I looked super normal, there were no redness and my face wasn't swollen. Other than the layer of protective grease on my face, I looked normal. I even went to whole food to grab yogurt, and a steak for dinner before I went home. :P

2HR POST-TREATMENT
My face burns and it feels very tight. I tried to be super meticulous and not touch my face at all. My face is starting to turn red. My scars are still there but it does look a tad bit better. :shrug: I guess I need to wait longer before I see real results. I will post pictures tomorrow.

I am posting my pre-treatment photo here, and I will post more tomorrow, the day after and etc etc. :P

12 hours POST-TREATMENT (see photo #3 and #4) -...

12 hours POST-TREATMENT (see photo #3 and #4)
- My face feels a lot beter. It doesn't hurt anymore, it only feels very tight. My skin looks great, too! But I am not getting my hopes up just yet, because from reading on realself, at this time, my face still has lots of swelling so it may appear better than the reality.

24 HRS POST TREATMENT OMG - MY FACE LOOKS LIKE A...

24 HRS POST TREATMENT
OMG - MY FACE LOOKS LIKE A SOUR DOUGH BREAD! My left cheek inflated in size by at least 200% and my right cheek inflated by at least 150%. I look like I got beaten up pretty badly or that I just walked out of getting my wisdom teeth done. My skin feels tight, but it doesn't hurt. The texture feels sandy (rough like a sour dough bread) and little brown spots start appearing. I really, really hope this is just a temporary, healing stage and the swelling will go away and the sand paper skin will become smooth (like the past) soon, preferably ASAP. Oh a side note, I really like the lotion my Dr gives me. It's greasy but not oily and it smells good and it goes on really smoothly. I'm using it instead of Aquaphor, and maybe that's why I don't have break-outs like other people reported.

46 HOURS POST-TREATMENT My face is still swollen,...

46 HOURS POST-TREATMENT
My face is still swollen, but the redness is gone. I now look really tan for an asian person. My scars look way better today than ever, but I also have lots of brown spots on my face (see 46hr post right side photo). I am a little sick of the grease I have to re-apply, it makes me feel gross. ahh no matter, I will be good about it and keep up the routine (vinegar wash 3x a day and reapply grease).

70HRS POST-TREATMENT Oh, I craved Starbucks,...

70HRS POST-TREATMENT
Oh, I craved Starbucks, badly! I have not been out of my apartment since Thursday, and it doesn't look like I will go out today either. My face is still swollen. I know it is swollen because my left cheek is bigger than my right cheek, and I look more puffy than usual. My tan is flaking off - literally. Every time I wash my face with 1% vinegar, there is little brown flakes coming off. My poor dead skin cells, they probably got burned pretty badly. It is kinda cool to shed the top layer of the skin and see the new skin inside. I really have nothing interesting to report, except that my face looks like a geologic map with patches of different colors (black, olive, brown, red) I probably shouldn't be taking my face like a science project but if you are trapped insider your apartment for days with no caffeine, you'd get cabin fever, too.

82HRS POST TREATMENT WOW - half of my face has...

82HRS POST TREATMENT
WOW - half of my face has finished shedding and the new skin is baby soft! Lots of my scars are still there but I've never seen my skin so fresh and pretty. I'm so happy! The pore size is obviously smaller, oh wait - what pores? This is truly a miracle for me, bc I'm used to years and years of bad skin despite expensive skin care products. If the outcome stay like this, or is 60% how it is now, I think I am a believer. :P

92 HRS POST-Treatment My new raw skin looks...

92 HRS POST-Treatment
My new raw skin looks great! It has a very refined, natural pinkish look. I had to go to work today even though my dead skin has not fully peeled off yet. (look at the picture, it's kinda gross). I am being super meticulous with applying sunscreen and avoiding the sun. When I left my apartment this morning, I wore a headscarf and wide-beam sun hat, and I carried an umbrella. I know my attire looked ridiculous but I'd rather look like an idiot for few days than to not follow my Dr's instructions. Being outside hurts my skin. My skin already feels tight, and the wind and cold air doesn't give my tight skin any mercy. I just keep re-applying the grease whenever my skin feels dry. I can't wait to go home and wash my face with vinegar. Next time, I will be sure to plan better and take more days off. 4 days of downtime is definitely not enough for my skin to heal.
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Hi there I'm glad I bumbed in your post as I was getting sceptical about what laser I really had, but your experience is the same as me down to a tee. Keep up protecting yourself and good luck!
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Hello, Thank you for your review...very informative. Your results look great! Could you tell me who you Doctor is? Im saving to have this done and I'm from the Boston area.
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From your pictures, it seems like you've got really good improvements..not just slightly.. So.. You only got one fraxel restore so far
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Hello Sadboy - yes, I'm very happy with my result but my skin is not perfect yet. That's why I'm going for my 2nd Fraxel next week. Fraxel works, but there are tons of negative reviews about this technology. I think these bad reviews are bc ppl. set an unrealistic expectation on the result. Fraxel has not completely erase my scar yet, it helped (for sure!), but there are still lots of areas I want better improvements. Anyhow, I had to clarify in my earlier post bc I don't want you to blame me if you seek perfection but you only get improvement after a Fraxel treatment. :)
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Also - if you do decide to try Fraxel, make sure you find a doctor you trust. Don't cheap out on inexperience cosmetician. Your face = first thing ppl. see and what ppl. judge you on.
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I am very happy from your results, how many sessions did you get, and what laser did you do? Please help I'm Asian with skin type similar to yours.
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Hi Sadboy - don't be sad! :P Anyway, I think before anyone do Fraxel, they need to have a realistic expectation. It's not a miracle and my scars are still here. I do see very slight improvement after 1 Fraxel:Restore treatment, but sometimes when I'm in a bad mood, I don't think there's any improvements at all. You can't make a decision based on only good reviews from ppl. like me, you need to read all the bad reviews as well and decide for yourself what's best for you. :) Good luck, and happy new year!
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Excellent article. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I have my 1st fraxel scheduled in December. A nurse will be doing the procedure. White vinegar wash was not recommended, but I have heard of others using it. What was the ratio of white vinegar to water that you used? THANKS AGAIN!
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Thank you! :) I am traveling a lot this year, so I can't do the recommended 1 month rest time between procedures. I am taking ~ 2+ months breaks between each treatment, my Dr. ok'ed my plan, so I think it's ok to take longer breaks in between. You should consult with your dr to see what's best for you. Everyone's life and skin type is different, and I'm sure your dr could help you come up with the best plan for you. :)
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Thanks! I used 1% vinegar. I found an article online that said 1% acetic acid (aka: household vinegar) helps exfoliate dead cells. So it was ~0.5 tbs in 750mL of filtered, distilled water. I buy the most expensive water I can get at the grocery store for this purpose.
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when are you schedule for your next session? Is 3-4 weeks too fast?
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Hi Lily - I posted my reply to your question in another thread. My nurse suggested me to do a 3-4 weeks session, and she said it'll get better result. However, I'm not following her recommended treatment plan bc I have a busy travel schedule and I can't be in town a lot this yr. I'm taking a 2+ months break between each treatment.
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can I ask who was your doctor? I'm in Boston too and I see Dr. Sandy Tsao at the MGH Dermatology Center and was wondering if thats who you saw too.
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If you search my other post, you will know who my Dr is. I don't know the outcome yet but I do recommend his clinic 100% for his bedside manner and professionalism. I just feel so comfortable at his clinic and I trust that I'm in good hands.
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Be patient - I just had my 3rd Fraxel done yesterday, and it doesn't seem like my skin starts to look good until right before I go in for the next one! If your skin takes as long as mine, it will be 3 weeks after your treatment until your skin looks "normal"/better than normal again.
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Oh no, 3 weeks?! I had a pretty dress planned out for a party in 2 weeks. >:( Do you think the scabbing/peeling will go away by day 5 or so? If so, then I can easily do some magic with my make-up skills.
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I think it varies depending on the person, but mine was done peeling in about 7 days. 2 weeks after, you will be fine with makeup on! At 3-4 weeks was the best my skin looked with or without light makeup on but if you have a party you will look great with good coverage makeup application :)
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Hi this is very helpful, I am planning to get fraxel for my face too and you boost my confidence. Thank you please post up your final result
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okay~ I will! :) I wanted to share because when I was researching about fraxel, I wished there were more information about the experience on realself so I could be better prepare. :) A word of advice, get as much pain med as possible. Don't be a fool like me and think you can handle the pain, it hurts terribly!
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Okay just hope everything will turn out to be how you wanted. I was told it usually takes 3 days for it to heal. But yes continue on the updates thank you
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I hope it will get better, too. :) If it doesn't get better, it's ok, too - at least I have tried. :D I have lived with acne scars for soooo long that I'm fine if they decided to stay with me.
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Yay congrats : )
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