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If This Helps Someone on the Fence - Boston, MA

I want to start off by saying that I wasn't...

I want to start off by saying that I wasn't planning on writing a review. This morning I was looking at my skin and remembering back to prior the procedure. I remember how nervous I was with this decision because I had read a lot of bad reviews. I want to write a positive review based on my experience thus far in hopes that it may help someone who is nervous and looking for information to help them decide.

First, I've had two sessions done and I've spaced both sessions 6 weeks apart. I've decided to wait a little longer between the sessions because I want to give my skin a chance to heal and I also want to make sure I'm not experiencing any of the bad reactions people have written about. So far, so good and I am pleased with what I see happening to my skin.

Unfortunately, I have not taken pictures of my progress (my doctor's office has though and I may request to see them) so my description of what I've experienced will have to do for now.

I had been plagued with acne for most of my life. Emotionally it was a very devastating experience as it drained most of my confidence and positivity from my life. I remember hiding away from friends, family, work because I literally couldn't muster the strength to go in public. I tried everything under the sun to control my acne and I even tried Accutane (which wasn't a cure for me but may have helped). Some things helped to an extent and some things looking back exasperated my acne. It wasn't until a very progressive dermatologist put me on Spironolactone, that my acne really improved.

After the acne subsided, I thought I would the happiest person on the planet. And I was but my skin still looked scarred. I would put on layers of makeup to hide the scarred skin underneath. Then someone I worked with mentioned Fraxel. I researched the procedure and decided to bring it up to my dermatologist. The first dermatologist I saw suggested that I go for the more invasive repair procedure but I wasn't so sure. I'm only 27 and I felt like if something went wrong I would have a lifelong disappointment to face in the mirror. Then, I went to go see a dermatologist affiliated with the hospital. During my consultation she was very informative and did not try to push me into anything. She was honest and she even suggested some drugstore skincare finds to incorporate into my skincare routine.

When I finally booked an appointment, I was actually more upset with the redness of my scars. Upon seeing me, she suggested I try a vbeam laser treatment. She explained that fraxel would not help the red pigment that I was covering up. So literally last minute, I went from expecting a fraxel treatment to getting a vbeam.

I waited around 4 months until I went ahead with the fraxel. I have to say that the fraxel was much more painful. It feels like a searing iron is zipping across your face. I didn't take any pain medication because I didn't want to chance it interfering with my recovery but the pain certainly called for something! I have always thought I had a high threshold for pain but apparently not after this as I was squirming and almost in tears after each pass. But I think the thing that helps the most is to expect it to hurt like hell. Then at least you won't be surprised by the unpleasant sensations. The procedure took all of 20 min. since I was only getting my cheeks lasered. They put ice packs on my face afterwards and sent me on my way. I walked around the city for a little bit on my way back. I felt fine. My face was very red and swollen but I didn't look unfit to be out so I did a couple of errands on my way home. That night I slept with two pillows under my head and I think it helped with the swelling. The swelling lasted a little around a week. Also, my skin was very very rough. Little bumps formed where she lasered. It felt weird to the touch and it looked like sandpaper. My first fraxel, I eventually ended up using a wash cloth to help exfoliate towards the fifth day. This second fraxel, I've decided to just let the skin exfoliate as it normally would. It takes around two weeks for the exfoliating to completely subside on its own. I think I would suggest to let it exfoliate normally as your skin is raw from the procedure and it certainly does not need any additional rubbing or irritations.

Both fraxel sessions have been more or less the same with the recovery. The second time may have been a little easier.

Results thus far have been really good (knock on wood). Once the skin exfoliates. I have new skin underneath. And the scarring doesn't look as pronounced. My skin texture and tone just look a lot better than before. Some people claim that it's the swelling that causes the scars to look better and I agree that the first couple of weeks that's probably the case but there's definitely been a point where I can see my face and skin and know that there isn't any swelling and my skin still looks better than it did before. This procedure hasn't performed miracles- I can still see the scarring in my skin. But it's to the point that it looks more blended if that makes sense. I can look at myself in the mirror and not point to the exact depressions as it's evened out a lot more.
Boston Dermatologist

MGH Cosmetic/Laser Dermatology Center is a wonderful and professional office. I feel like I'm in the expert's hands and I really trust their care. I think Dr. Sandy Tsao has a great knowledge of dermatology and lasers. She's comforting and friendly which is good when you're nervous and in need of reassuring. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for reputable dermatology care.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (4)

Glad your feeling better about your skin. I know how it can affect you with your everyday life. I wanted to know what kind of Fraxel you had, Restore?? I had Restore done 7 times for my scars. It improved them but I still need more work to do. This June I'm trying needling since I had so many Restores, I think I hit my limit on them. The reason I had to go for so many is becasue I had the Resurfacing done. I'm so glad you said you didn't go for that. It left me with tons of scars, a dent & red for months along with broken blood vessels. That's why I need all this work. It's been 6 yrs dealing with this. I had Fraxel Dual where they hit you up every month for 4 months. They say if you have them done closer together it works better. So I tried it. I didn't have anything to lose with the condition I was in. Then I waited a few months & had it done a few more times only I spaced them out a few months. I also found an exfoliant that is gentle on your skin. It's called "Aqua Cure". It's on youtube if you want to check it out. I wish you the best of luck. Sounds like you have a good doctor. Fill us in how your next treatment goes & I'll let everyone know how the needling goes. I've done it on my own a couple times & it seems to do as good as Fraxel with less down time. This time I'm letting the doctor do it with a tattoo gun. Ahhh. Wish me luck.
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Thanks for sharing your story.  Keep us posted on whether or not the scars reappear over time or if you think they seem faded.  Do you plan on doing any more Fraxel treatments down the road or are you done?

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Hi Jill- Thanks for reading! My derm and I agreed that I should go through with one more session which would be my 3rd and then wait it out until after summer to see what happens. I think after the third though I'm done. I'm 27 and I don't want to overdo anything at this point and I don't want any negative side effects later down the line to sneak up on me. With that said, I've only seen improvements thus far!
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Yeah, I know what you mean about not wanting to overdo it when you're young.  So glad you have had good results :)

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