I purchased a Groupon for a Fraxel treatment with...
I purchased a Groupon for a Fraxel treatment with the hopes that it might improve my melasma. I have had hyperpigmentation on my face since my mid-20's due to a severe sunburn. It has only gotten worse over the past 15 years due to sun exposure and age. I was a little nervous about having laser done on my face, but that soon disappeared. I was given a numbing cream to apply 2 hours ahead of time. I also took two Aleve in advance. I had a Visia skin analysis before we started. Scary! You do not want to see your face that close up. The Fraxel treatment lasted about 15 min. and felt slightly uncomfortable. I would describe it like a rubber band snapping on my skin and a hot sensation. There was a fan blowing which made it more bearable. Once it was over she applied a fantastic cream that was a mix of Obagi sunscreen and Oxygenetix foundation to protect me from the sun and lessen the redness. (On my wish list now!) Immediately after the procedure and the rest of the night my face felt like a had a bad sunburn.
24 hours later there is no more pain at all but my face feels a little tight. The texture is rough, kind of like sand paper. This morning I had some puffiness under my eyes but that seems to have disappeared by the end of the day. I have a very slight bit of scabbing in my chin area. I was able to go to work and didn't look bad at all.
I understand it can take awhile to see results so I will keep you updated.
Photos & Quick Update (3 days after)
Three days after my Fraxel treatment, my skin is very sensitive. I very lightly scratched my nose and small specks of blood appeared. I am still feeling tight, but no pain at all. I have some light scabbing over most of my face, but it is easily covered with make up. The melasma on my chin looks worse now, but I'm hoping that is only temporary (as I've read it can be). There doesn't appear to be any change yet to the rest of my melasma. I did notice that my pores already looked smaller on the apples of my cheeks. More so on one side than the other.
I don't have much change yet, but wanted to add "before" photos to my review.
One Week After
All of microscopic scabs have disappeared. I never did peel except for one tiny flake on my nose. I think there has been a subtle improvement already. My skin is slightly firmer. My pores look smaller. My skin texture is smoother. And most importantly there is a SLIGHT decrease in the color of my hyperpigmentation. My fiance said today, "Did you get some kind of new awesome makeup?" I told him I did not and he said, "Your skin looks good. You can barely see the dark spots." I was wearing my usual products! I will take "after" pictures next week. I don't think the changes will be very visible in a photo yet.
2 Weeks After
Earlier I thought there was subtle improvement to my skin but after looking at the before and after photos side by side, I see that it was probably wishful thinking. I don't see any difference in my melasma, pore size, or fine lines. I will have to say that it was not worth $200 and I'm disappointed in my results. I can't imagine there will be any improvement as time goes on, but if there is, I will update. I go to the spa tomorrow for a follow up visit.
Follow up with Visia Analysis
Today I had my follow up visit with Visia analysis. The super hi-def photo showed a little less than 10% reduction in my melasma hyperpigmentation spots. If you have never had a Visia analysis, I recommend it. It shows you precise before and after results with photographic proof and measurements you may not see with the naked eye. The provider recommended 4 more treatments. $500 each - buy 3, get 1 free for a total of $1500. I chose not to do it because that is too much money when the results are not guaranteed and the change was too subtle. I am going to start the Obagi NuDerm regimen tonight.