2 Sessions of Fraxel Laser-wouldn't Recommend, Laser Marks Left on Skin - England

I've had two fraxel lasers done, four weeks...

I've had two fraxel lasers done, four weeks apart-the last one was roughly 3 months ago. I'm not sure what fraxel it was (it just said fraxel on the sheet I signed- not if it was repair or restore) but it's the one you have a few treatments of rather than just one. I'm not sure what setting the doc used either, but he did say that he'd go all out on the high setting so I'd see more improvement. I'd read some bad reviews of fraxel (on here) and asked the doc about it but he said not to worry, I was probably reading the reviews of the other fraxel treatment not the one that I was going to have. He said that no one had a bad experience at the clinic and I'd be fine, if it didn't work we wouldn't do another one, but it definitely wouldn't result in worse skin and most people got about 90% improvement after all of the sessions.

I was meant to have 3 but I've only had 2-I don't want another one, it was a complete waste of money. I was still slightly sceptical having read the bad reviews but for me it didn't matter too much as I only had it done to three scars-two little ones on my face and one on my arm from surgery. The scars on my face I have to hide anyway, so it wouldn't matter to me too much if it made them worse, I just wanted the chance to make them better so I didn't have to hide my scars anymore.

I had the treatment which took only about a minute-he didn't use any anaesthetic because it was only a small area, it hurt definitely, I wouldn't want it done all over my face! But it was over very quick so it wasn't too bad. After the first session I didn't have any problems and it looked like my scars had definitely flattened so I was pretty pleased. Roughly a month later I went and had the second session but afterwards I've had more problems. Soon after the first few days, when the peeling and scabbing was over, I noticed that I still had the laser marks on my skin-sort of like "orange peel" or a scaly rough effect. This is 100% down to fraxel, you can see exactly where the laser went. The most frustrating thing is that the worst bit is a patch of previously healthy skin that the doc lasered as well next to the scarred area. From what I've read this is permaneant and I'm not very happy- it looks anything but natural. Thank god I didn't get my whole face done (I didn't need it, I'm only 24 but I've heard of some people being convinced to).

If I had have had my whole face done I can imagine my life being pretty much over right now. I'm already depressed about the patch of orange peel skin, in some light it looks really odd. It would be awful to have my whole face like that. It's not too obvious unless close up because it's a small area and my hair covers it, but if it was my whole face it would be obvious. I guess the first time it worked but then the second time the doc put it on too high a setting and that's why this has happened. Another thing is that the skin stayed red for way longer than it was supposed to, it's almost back to normal colour now 3 months later. So if you are going to get your whole face done be very careful because you don't want to be left with red skin for months as well as the possibility of orange peel skin.

If the rough skin does go away, the fraxel was probably worth it, I think my scars have gone down. but it's not been worth it to be left with this odd skin texture. from what I read it could just get worse, I wish I'd not had it done at this point.

2 years on...

2 years on and I am glad to say the redness has gone and so has the orange-peel type skin. I haven't been on here for a long time and my skin has been back to normal for probably 6 months to a year-it's hard to say as I had only small areas done so I wasn't too bothered about it and it gradually faded over time. My skin stayed red with orange-peel texture for months and I thought I'd be stuck like that but I'm glad to report I am now back to normal. I would not recommend this treatment unless like me you are having a very small area done say to improve a scar. Because if I'd had my whole face done I would have been red for months and months and had horrible texture too. I was NOT warned that could happen.

But I hope my update gives some hope that the redness and texture may eventually go down. I didn't use any cream or have anything else done to the area, I just left it and it improved by itself.

Another update

I have been scrutinizing the skin that was treated with fraxel in the mirror under harsh lighting-something I should have done before doing the last update. The skin is now a normal colour, and no longer has the obvious orange peel texture that it had before BUT it does have a different sort of texture to the rest of my skin. As I hadn't really noticed before it is obviously not very bad, but when looked at under bright light the skin is a bit lined and indented in places. However, I had scar excision in the same place so I cannot be sure if the indents and weird texture are due to that, or due to the fraxel. A small area on my arm where I also had fraxel for a scar seems to be completely back to normal with no texture issues at all.

I still do not recommend fraxel to anyone, and I am absolutely relieved that I didn't have more of my skin treated-I have scars on my lip and (other) cheek from a dog bite and I am sooo relieved I wasn't talked into getting that area treated too.

I am of course happy the redness has gone down, and so has most of the orange peel texture. I still feel that at best it was a waste of money, and at worst it has made my skin worse. I am somewhat scared my skin will get worse from all the bad reviews I have read but since it has now been two years I hope that won't happen.
Name not provided

Be very careful of having fraxel!

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (10)

Thank you. I was lucky to only have a small area treated- I believe if my whole face had been treated I'd be in the same boat as others who have been damaged by the laser right now. The fact that the small area I had done stayed red and bumpy for months and months was bad enough, if that had been my whole face it would have been awful-and make-up although it covers the redness it makes the texture look worse so even make-up doesn't help. I so feel for the people who have had their skin damaged by these lasers.
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Thank you for this review. I appreciate that even though your damage is gone for the most part you put your experience out there to warn others of the dangers that lasers pose.
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Just seen in comments that I used retin-a, I had forgotten about that. I only used it a couple times so possibly I might have seen quicker healing if I had used that regularly.
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Its very easy to get excited about a procedure and if you feel like you are in good hands it makes sense to move forward. Before I knew better I had some stuff done at a Med-Spa, so definitely don't feel bad for not doing enough research, it happens to a lot of us. We're here to support you, so please keep us updated on how you are doing!

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Thanks Megan. I have had laser before-pixel I think it was, and although it was a complete waste of money as it didn't improve my scars at all, it didn't do any harm either. So yeah, it was easy to just put my faith in fraxel.
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Hang in there. I have corresponded with many and it does fade for most Healing rates are different so it is hard to predict a time. Worry and stress prohibits healing so be positive!!
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Thanks that gives me some hope. I am going to start applying retin-A, I have bought some but only applied it a couple of times because it does dry my skin out and it's already very dry but I intend to use it more regularly. I will update on my progress with it. You have probably read more reviews than me, have you seen much success from using Retin-A?
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Hi Megan and FSRB, Megan I'm unsure what sort of doctor he was-should've done more research! It's a small clinic and he's the main guy who does the procedures, he's very good at explaining everything so I felt I was in safe hands.

FSRB-yes I have checked out Jaylyn's photos and my skin texture is very similar. Make-up makes it worse but in the beginning I had to put make-up on to hide the redness. Now the redness has mostly gone I will sometimes not wear make-up to the area because of how it highlights it. My arm has the same texture as well. If the doc had stopped where the scars stopped I wouldn't have a problem but he's made square areas with the laser that are much bigger than the scars and all of the area has the same bad texture. I still feel I got off pretty lightly though given some of the reviews and my heart goes out to anyone who's skin has been ruined by this! I am hoping for improvement and praying it doesn't get worse!

I only spoke to his secretary and said I wouldn't be booking a third treatment because I'd been left with this odd texture which was rather worrying and she said it definitely wouldn't stay like that just maybe it needed time to heal more if he'd used a higher setting. I don't believe her though. If the doc gets in contact to ask me why I haven't booked a third treatment I'll tell him why and let you know what he says.
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Thank you for such a great review. Jaylyn has the best pictures for showing this orange peel look because she had the procedure in a specific area....around her eyes. The demarcation is very clear. Since healing rates differ, you could still see improvement. Have you discussed your concerns with the doctor? Did your arm heal more smoothly?
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Thank you so much for sharing what has gone on for you. Given what has gone on I'm really glad you didn't have your entire face done too!

Do you mind me asking what kind of doctor you went to? Do you know if he was a dermatologist or any other sort of specialist?

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