I am 31 yrs. old. Did my h.w. and did research online and scheduled more than one consultation to compare physicians' advise. I have combination skin with hyper pigmentation due to previous acne; no scarring. I have olive skin so the marks appear darker than the rest of my face. All three physicians stated Fraxel would be a good option for me to create an even tone and diminish the hyper pigmentation.
My PCP recommended I choose a MD who peforms at least 20 Fraxel treatments per month. The provider I selected performs 10 Fraxel treatments per day.
They played a video for me to help me understand the process and they spoke with me one-on-one. The provider I chose recommended 3-4 Treatments at $500/ea. with bleaching cream and follow up with Obagi products.
In comparision to another provider who proposed 6 treatments at $750/ea.
They all provided me a list of products I could not use prior to the treatment.
The provider I chose told me to hold off on Retin A for 3 days prior and 3 days after if I chose to have treatments 3 weeks apart. If I chose to have treatment 2 weeks apart then to hold on the Retin A during the course of the treatment.
After they cleansed me they gave me 4 Ibuprofen 1 hr. prior to treatment. Then they placed an analgesic cream on my face. I waited for 1 hour (restless).
Then they laid me on a table which slanted back a bit cleansed the cream off my face and placed another gel on my face. They covered my eyes with a 2 plastic covers. And then a flashing red light was apparent with a pinching sensation across my face. The doctor said it was a treatment prior to Fraxel to break apart/ disperse the pigmentation.
Then they cleansed my face again, and covered my eyes with a 2 metal coverings. The Fraxel was very very very painful. Did I tell you it was painful? It was painful. My skin was very sensitive. They gave me stress balls to squeeze. I teared up, and had difficulty breathing because I was so tense. The doctor was very kind and talked to me thru the whole process with encouragement and stopped to ensure I took deep breaths to relax. The whole Fraxelprocess took 20 minutes. She started with my forehead, then my cheeks, then my chin,under my eyes, and lastly my nose. The most painful area for me was my cheeks. During the process I had a fan blowing cool air on my face and there was a slight smell of burning. The kind of smell when you burn hair, but not overwhelming.
My face was extremely swollen after the process. They placed aloe gel immediately after the Fraxel.
Then they took me to another room where my face was placed in the center of a semi-circular reflective machine which strobed light across my face for 35 seconds. She said it would help with the redness, which it did. My face was not very red the first day.
I was given two small ice packs for my face, more aloe gel, chapstick, Sun lotion SPF 30, a hat and my bleaching cream.
Appt. lasted 2 hrs.
I went to work the next day. People thought I didn't get good sleep the night before, my face looked sun burnt or it looked like I was crying last night. Different comments.
My next appt is in two weeks. I figure the faster I get this pain over with the better.
Swelling was greater the following morning, esp. around the eyes, but diminished thru the day.
Redness more apparent the 2nd day, and peeling towards the end of 2nd day. Already the marks look faded, but my MD said changes would be most evident in 1 week. Will keep you posted.