Horrible Results - Canada

I had 2 treatments, one year apart. After the...

I had 2 treatments, one year apart. After the first treatment,my face swelled beyond recognition, with weeping and crusting and oozing. After the swelling went down my face had huge pore sizes and terrible wrinkling. I also had dark circles under the eyes. I went back to see the Derm. and she said it was temporary.

A year past, my skin remained very dry and bumpy with loads of tiny wrinkles. I returned to the Derm and she said a second treatment would flatten out the skin texture. No, No, No! seven months have past since the second treatment and my skin looks 100 times worse. It is purplish in colour with deep wrinkles and huge pores. The skin looks like a rotting orange peel, all dingy and ugly.

When I returned to the Derm and complained of the results, the Doctor said she has never heard of this before and it could not be the treatments. I hate to look at myself and so many people have commented on how "tired" and worn out I look, all this just in the past few months. I am depressed. Even when I pull back my skin tightly with my fingers, the skin is still bumpy, lumpy and purplish with many many deep wrinkles. I am scaring my husband to death as at 55 I look like his mother. He suggested I get a face lift but even a Plastic Surgeon said it will NOT help my skin.

I didn't understand the laser would blast every bit of fat and collagen out of my skin. I was told the laser would "stimulate" the dermis layer of skin to plump it up and grow new collagen, this has not happened. My face looks horrible but my neck and under my chin were not treated and the skin there is in good shape with only a few brown spots from past sun damage. I keep checking the internet to see if anyone can suggest a fix that has helped them, hopefully homepathic and natural. Do you think I will have to live with this forever? Any help would be appreciated.

I have had no improvement from the orange peel...

I have had no improvement from the orange peel texture, wrinkling and collapse of the skin. The main area of damage is the central area, around the nose, lips and chin, although all the skin on my face has large pores now. It has been 15 months and if anything I feel it has gotten worse. I have used many skin care products $$$$$ and went to my Dr. Derm 6 times in the past year. No help there. I have been to several plastic surgeons and I have finally decided on a face lift and fat transfer. I know that the skin texture and pore size will not improve but it should help the sagging. I can't wait for the skin to repair itself. I do not have the luxury of youth as I am middle aged and post menopausal. I am a thin woman, never smoked and I eat very healthy, mostly organic. I am sure diet and exercise has NOT played a role in improving my skin. I believe the laser BURNT away the underlying dermis/fat. I am booked for surgery Jan24 in hospital. Never been too worried about most things but can say I am nervous, not so much about the pain but the outcome. I have read many reviews on this site (face lift) and feel I am prepared this time. My PS thinks I should try some light chemical peels after I have healed from the surgery. So I will keep you posted. Hoping I learn how to post some pictures so I can share with you all. Hey, my vacation for this year is one day at the hospital and probably a couple of months as a shut-in in my own home. But then again I haven't been out much in the past year. Oh crap!

Today is one week from my facelift surgery. I had...

Today is one week from my facelift surgery. I had a deep plane lift bottom 2/3 of face. I did not have my eyes done. My surgery was 5 hours. I was in hospital under general anethe. I awoke with no pain and was kept overnight. The PS removed the drain tubes (they had only a few drops in each) and I was fitted with a compression garment. I was orginally going to have fat transfer but I have so much damage from the cosmetic laser treatments that my Doctor felt it would be better to wait for my face to settle down to its new "natural fit" before we do that procedure. Sometimes it take 2 or 3 fat transfers before they "take". I was prescribed tylenol 3 but only took 1 pill every 5 to 6 hours for one day. I drink lots of fluids(no caffine) and pee a lot. I had no bruising on left and moderate on right side. Bruises on right are a lovely shade of yellow 1 week post-op. I do have some swelling but not bad. Yesterday, I had my stitches out and this was completely painless. My PS was very happy with my appearance and my mental state. I have the numbness on cheeks but none on neck or ears. My Doctor is very quiet, gentle and kind. He does not go overboard with too much information or procedures. I was given his cell phone number and his home number. He knows I really did my homework and have a huge stack of do's and don'ts. I was more than ready. I have a high tolerance for pain and have made it though life with a pretty upbeat attitude. The Fraxel disaster really shook me up though and the self loathing can be so devasting to your well being. I love the book "the Secret" Each day I read passages from it and my healing WILL be textbook. I will still have skin texture issues (orange peel texture, enlarged pores and fine wrinkles)and begin Retin A and Vitamin C serum in earnest today. My doctor wanted me to wait till after surgery to begin this regime. A light chemical peel may be another option. I will also use silicone sheets on the scars in front of my ears starting tomorrow. So all and all I feel great and I look forward to tomorrow and I am so thankful for today. Will update often.

I returned from my one month check up yesterday. I...

I returned from my one month check up yesterday. I have no bruising and my scars are thin pink lines healing well. I have no lumps or bumps but still numbness in front of the ears. I have a tiny bit of swelling under the chin, but nothing anyone would notice. I have had no pain and no depression. My surgeon was well pleased with my results, and me too. But here is the thing that has left me sleepless all night. When my PS lifted the skin away from my face he found no subcutaneous fat between the skin and the SMAS(muscle)..NONE.ZERO.NADA. In his 30+ years of practise he has never seen this before. He said he waited until now to tell me, immediately after surgery was not the time. I knew my face was wasting away before my very eyes this past two years. My own family pictures from the past three years prove this. I believe the laser just vaporized the fat, burnt it like bacon in the frying pan. My husband constructs bridges, he cuts through metal beams with a laser. Please don't tell me that lasers are harmless, I am living proof they can cause irreversible damage. I will need to get some fat transfers and hope that it works or my sagging will continue and my facelift will be short lived. I think in a few short years we will see TV ads....Are you a Victim of Cosmetic Laser Damage?????
Name not provided

I believe the results are potentially so bad that it can leave you scarred for life, both physically and mentally. The doctor was qualified and has a very good staff but that hasn't helped my face which after all is why I went in the first place.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 2 others found this helpful

Comments (31)

Sort by

i live in Vancouver and have had the same bad results. i'm hoping to start some sort of group to have the fraxel removed from the market. How have you recovered since your face lift. i'm sad for you.. me and the others.
  • Reply
There is a company over here in the UK, Intercytex that does Dermal fibroblasts, they are also over in the US. Expensive but a little could cover your whole face, quite healing for skin, then fat grafting by a competent, board certified ps could restore volume and is permanent, don't give up hope!
  • Reply
Vanity, It's been a while since your last update. How are you doing? Have you had the fat transfer? I hope that you are seeing continuing improvement. My story is similar in many ways to yours. It is 2 1/2 years out since my Fraxel Repair for a mild, mild case of Rosacea. Once the swelling had subsided, I noticed a couple of pinprick holes on the top of my cheek. These were glaringly obvious to me since I never ever had a visible hole, scar or wrinkle on my face even though I was 57 years old. The doctor denied seeing the holes that I pointed out to him. I even got up out of the chair and walked to the window to show him in the direct sunlight. He still said that he didn't see anything. I had a very full face and my skin was still firm and taught so the damage at the time looked really minor. Within in year, the holes that looked like enlarged pores covered my entire face. My condition continues to deteriorate, the pores are joining together and forming wrinkles. Especially around the mouth area. No amount of makeup will hide it. Infact, it only makes it look worse. My once fat face is now deflated. The skin looks dull and dead. It is a weird color, wrinkled and sagging. The few broken capillaires that the laser was supposed to eradicate remain. The only thing eradicated was the collagen, elastin and fat. What is really scarry is that I continue to see damage after 2 1/2 years and I have no idea where or how this will end. I still have a small amount of fat left on my face. Will I lose that as well? That's where I feel this is headed. That is why I am wondering if you had the fat transfers and how they worked out. You seemed to have found a really wonderful, caring and knowledgeable doctor. I hope he was able to help you further. I read on another site that one burn doctor told a laser victim that the layers of skin and scar tissue had been fused together and the fat transfer might not be possible or that it might cause more damage. It would be like trying to stuff a pillow that had been stitched together like a quilt. I'm hoping that's not true and you have good news to report. Thank you for the information you have shared with us.
  • Reply
I keep posting how bad my face continues to get but there deleted, don't know why.
  • Reply
Vanity
Again, I am so sorry for your experience. I am consulting right now. I am really going to do my homework this go round. I will never fall for marketing hype again!! Have your eyes improved or did you just decide to not do them at this time? I like that the doctor did not do the fat grafting at this time. You have been through so much; he is right, you should heal....mentally and physically. I am praying for your healing. As you know, sleep well and eat as best as you can afford. Please keep us updated! Best wishes!!
  • Reply
Hi, It has been 11 months since fraxel, and my face continues to get worst, and I get more depressed by the day. I don't have the money for a face lift, or I would. I can;t believe this is happening, it;s like a never ending nightmare. I have nightmares almost every night. I am losing hope that anything will be able to repair the damage. How can the doctors allow this to happen to all of us. My heart breaks for everyone who is going through the same situation as I am, and some of you are so young. These laser and doctors are destroying us and are lives. This has to stop. My life is over.
  • Reply
Hi Julie, I'm sorry for what has happened to you and for the heartbreak this has caused. I know your pain well. I too am a Fraxel victim. My skin, my face and my life have been destroyed. 2.5 years ago I looked amazing for my age. I was 57 and looked 35. I never had a pore, line or wrinkle on my face but Fraxel changed all that. My skin is now covered with micro-dots that look like enlarged pores which have now begun to connect together and turn into hideous lines and wrinkles especially around the mouth area. My skin has lost all the collagen and elastin and is becoming like tissue paper. At 2.5 years, the damage continues unabated. My face changes daily. The most recent change is that I have lost a significant about of volume. All the fat has melted off my face. I used to have very full, chubby cheeks. They are totally gone! It is difficult to see if you look at me straight on because I have a wide face. But when I turn profile it is alarming. Absolutely no cheeks. They are absolutely flat. It is horrifying. It is even more horrifying that this damage continues even after 2.5 years. Where will it all end? I am devastated. My life is over! I just had a followup visit with the doctor the destroyed my face. He denies everything! Says it's normal aging, fraxel doesn't do that and I had those line before. I had him e-mail me my before and afters. It took his office a week to send them. I believe they have been shopped. I am only now coming to the realization that this damage cannot be undone. My face has been destroyed. It will never be the same. I am aging rapidly. I fully expect to look about 80 years old within the next five years if indeed I live that long. You can check out the pictures that I have posted in my profile. The ones where I try to show the skin damage doesn't really show up well because of the computer camera that I am using. The last picture with the purple hat really shows how deflated my cheeks have become compared to what they once were. You said you had Fraxel. What type was it? Mine was Fraxel repair. What damage have you noticed? What kinds of things have you tried to repair the damage?
  • Reply
where did you have it done
  • Reply
I am 51 now, I had fraxel 11 months earlier and my skin is just like yours. I can't handle this anymore. My life is over and I don't want to live and watch the damage anymore. I have tried everything, but like you nothing seems to work. I am thinking more everday about ending my life and think I will soon. All I keep asking myself is why. Why did I do this, why do they have these laser, and why are they doing this to all of us, and why do they treat us so bad after. My life is over, I can't take it any more
  • Reply
I had is done at Prevea Plastic Surgeons in Green Bay, Wi. They treated worst then a piece of garbage after they did this to me, which was even worst. First they lie to you about the procedure, and tell you nothing could go wrong,it's a safe procedure with little down time, then after the days when you were told you were to be completely normal and no one would even no you had it done, you look like a truck hit you. Then they tell you at first there going to be there for you, but tell you just think if you were in a car accident how bad you would look. Then they call you on the phone to tell you, you will be better in 6 - 8 months and when you want to ask questions, they say they have to go. So I called afterwards but no answer to any of my questions and told they don't want to treat me anymore. Then they send me a nasty letter on my Birthday stating I'm not welcome at there clinic anymore, because months before that they wanted me to have $550.00 cell stem which I was to afraid to do, because I didn't trust them and they would not return my call on questions before the procedure, so that was there excuse why I was not longer welcome at the clinic, because I wouldn't give them more money to deform my face more. I hate them for doing this wot me.
  • Reply
I understand!!! I'm so sorry that this has happened to you!!! Keep speaking out, Julie. Hopefully, our stories will prevent others from having their beautiful faces destroyed. The FDA should be sued for allowing these devastating and destructive devices on the market.
  • Reply
I agree. I saw on the internet mixing 3 Tbl of organic apple cider vinegar and warm water and honey could help. I have been using Heinz unfiltered all natural apple cider vinegar. I have been doing this for about 3 week now, and don't see much difference, but I am going to continue. Check the web site earthclinic, they talk about it. I also just order Psoria-Gold face Ultra, that's suppose to help also, so check that web site also. I just started using it last night because I just got it in the mail, so it to soon to see if that will work. I am also going to talk with a plastic surgeon in December to see what he has to say not the one I went to that did the procedure, but a really good one that was rated the 1 of the 10 best surgeons in Wisconsin. So will let you know what he says. I also take a lot of vitamins, which really hasn't helped at all. I eat really healthy which I always did , but that hasn't done much else. These are just a few things I'm trying, so far no luck yet. Will keep you informed. We all need to help each other. If you find something that works, please let me know. I feel your pain, because I have the same pain. Your Friend, Julie You can e-mail me anytime at JulieHermann01@live.com or call me at 920-983-0439. I will be here for you.
  • Reply
Hi Julie, I know about the psoria-gold. I just recommended it to someone who is 1.5 months out from Fraxel damage. It could still work for you. They say up to 8-9 months but it's definitely worth a shot. At 2.5 years it is too late for me. Truthtfully, I believe the damage to my face is permanent. Stem cells, fat transfer and a mini facelift seem the only viable options at this point. I'm to emotionally worn down and to financially distressed to even consider those options at this point. I have taken vitamins since I was 20 years old. I eat organic food and drink good, pure clean water. I know enough about nutrition to know that it will not help the damage that has been inflicted upon me. Considering the trauma and the thermal radiation damage that has been done to my 58 year old skin it is amazing that it is holding up as well as it is. But the damage is severe and rapidly progressing. I can see where all the new lines will be forming. My eyes! I don't know what happened to my eyes. It looks like I have two black eyes. For the first time in my life I look haggard. I used to have a baby face. The damage just keeps getting worse and worse. The holes in my skin seem the least of my worries as all the fat is disappearing off of my face. I don't know who it is staring back at me in the mirror. I hate myself and I hate the people that did this to me. I hate how they make me feel when I confront them with the damage. They try to make feel like I'm crazy and it's all in my head and they have photoshopped by before and after pictures. I hate them! I hope that the surgeon you are seeing can help you. I will pray for you. If you find anything that helps, please let me know. I will do the same. I am currently using ethocyn or nu skin essence to try to restore the elastin. It's only been 15 days. Will keep you posted. I'll tell you one thing, if my face continues on this downward spiral I will kill myself and the good doctor and his sidekick nurse will be the stars of my suicide note. My name is Kathy and my e-mail address is: kathic9407@yahoo.com. Good luck, Julie! Love & Hugs ♥ Kathy aka Fraxel Victim
  • Reply
Julie, I was just reading about Biafine cream. It has been used in France for burns, radiation burns and scaring for 20 years with positive results. It could help a little. Have you tried it? If you have, please let me know your thoughts. If you haven't, research it. It requires a prescription but you can get a large tube directly from France on Ebay for under $30. You are in a better position for the possibility of healing since you are only 11 months out. I still think there is hope for you. Don't give up!
  • Reply
Julie, check this out. This girl healed her scar with castor oil packs. Edgar Cayce used to recommend it a lot. I'm going to try it. It sounds like it has the potential to actually get down deep into the dermis and heal it. http://skinverse.com/how-castor-oil-healed-my-scar-with-before-and-after-photos.html
  • Reply
Vanity
I am so sorry for your experience. I have corresponded with 5 others from here and other sites that have had facelifts since their Fraxel experience. One poor girl was only 29 years old. It is happening to a handful of us for some unknown reason. I wish I could understand why. I certainly understand not wanting to wait any longer. Best wishes!!
  • Reply
Gosh I feel terrible for you Vanity! :( I had Laser Genesis and had horrible results - and yet this type of laser is meant to be one of the most gentle and rejuvenating.

Anyways, I've had a lot of improvement using Osmosis Skincare - it is specifically designed to build new collagen and remodel the skin - look it up and try to find a clinic that can recommend and sell the right products for you. I just worry that Obagi may be too strong for you skin - just a thought, but I'm not an expert.

For a start make sure you are taking the appropriate supplements, especially Vitamin C at around 1000mg a day as long as you're not sensitive to it - but build up slowly to 1000mg a day - for me I take 2 500mg tablets a day - 1 in the morning and 1 after dinner - Vitamin C is essential for healing and repair and collagen production. See a specialist like a naturopath who can recommend the appropriate supplements for you that wont clash with any medications you're taking - and dont take anything that I tell you to take if you're taking any medications without the ok of your doctor - there are some supplements that can clash with meds.

Make sure you have good overall nutrition and that you are getting Omega 3 and other Essential Fatty Acids. Vitamin E is really important as the skin has a high content of Vitamin E and if you're low on it then your skin will be too. Use a good quality Whey Protein supplement to make sure that you are getting good protein for repair. Eat organic chicken and wild caught fish, basically really good quality protein.

When something goes wrong with laser procedures, the doctor or nurse who did it doesn't want to know a thing about the adverse outcome! Sad but true!
  • Reply
Hi kitty, have you had permanent improvement at all?
  • Reply
Where did you have the laser done
  • Reply
I have seen improvement over time. I am 14 months from my last treatment. At 6 months, I started using Vitamin C. I added Retin A about 2 months laster then Exfoderm once my skin settled from the Retin A (about 3 months later). Sunscreen always!! At 8 months, my sagging from the laser improved greatly. I still have some lines around my mouth. My undereyes have slightly improved. I have the most damage here. My overall texture is improving SLOWLY but it is improving. So, I have been on Retin A for about 6-7 months. I do believe it will help!! Go slow and steady!! FYI: I think I looked slightly worse when I started the Retin A but it pushed through it. Stay away from hydrocortizone....it will think the skin!!
  • Reply
I am unfamiliar with how to use Vitamin C. Did you have a specific product? I have tried to research it but find it confusing. Did you use it at night or more than once per day? I have been applying Vitamin E oil at night with coconut oil. Not any improvement but I feel it is at least natural. Hoping each day for a better image of myself in the mirror. Didn't realize I was so shallow till this happened, the worst is my mouth and chin area.
  • Reply
Have you not seen even the slightest improvement? I hope so!! I like Obagi's Vitamin C but I use that line. Google Obagi. Skinceuticals makes a good one with Vitamin E. Use it after you wash but before your sunscreen. I feel I have become more shallow as well. :( Hang in there and have happy, healing thoughts!!
  • Reply
Please give it 18 months before considering anything. At that time look into fat graphs or surgery. Hopefully you willfind things resolved.
  • Reply
Bowman9 Have you used any products that have helped to smooth your skin texture? I recently returned to my Derm. I was prescribed hydrocortizone cream but that has only caused more problems. The only thing my Derm will admit regarding my Fraxel treatments is that it has NOT improved my skin. The photos show otherwise. I did not have large pores or bumpy texture prior. It has been nearly 1 year and my face is getting worse. My skin is not dry or oily. It is very shiny and has a purplish glow. It is very crepey. Did you try retinol A cream? I know it is very drying but wondered if it might smooth things out? Thought I could try it this winter but haven't seen any postings of good results. How is your skin condition now?
  • Reply

Hi Vanity,

I'm so sorry this happened. As you can see there are others who are dealing with the same problems as you, so you have come to the right place. You also might want to check out any one of our Fraxel Forums everyone there is very supportive and provides helpful info. Please keep us updated.

Thanks so much for the review,

-Britt

  • Reply