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Fraxel Caused Orange Peel Texture

I had 3 re:stores done in April, May and June of...

I had 3 re:stores done in April, May and June of 2010. The last treatment was at the highest setting 70 mj at level 8. The derm's PA did the treatment. She has being doing Fraxels for 5 years. The 1st was in normal settings at 40 mj at level 8 (no problems and great results) and the second at 60 mh and level 8 (great results but some darkness under eyes). I asked the PA if the laser caused it and she said I was probably tired. I went forward on the third treatment even though I had a feeling that I should not. On the last treatment, I broke out in cystic acne (never before) hyperpigmented with more broken caps along my cheeks and under my eyes which make me look as though I am healing from two black eyes. Two weeks later (six weeks almost to the day), my face completely deflated as though I had lost 15-20 lbs. I had jowls, marionette lines and my cheeks were gone!! Also, since my collagen and tissue had been destroyed by the laser. I was left with huge open pores and wrinkles!! As others report, it is confined to the areas of Fraxel - my neck is still smooth and youthful. Sad thing about this is I did it strictly as a vain procedure. I had no real issues except a few brown spots and a few fine lines beginning around the eyes.

I now understand that my natural collagen/skin tissue was intentionally destoyed so that it could be replaced with scar tissue!!!!

Fast forward to 10 months later.....now I have this obvious cobblestone/dimpling/orange peel pattern. It is not nearly as bad as 2 months post laser; however, the skin puckers between pin prick pores. My skin is extremely smooth to the touch but looks very red and uneven. My skin has become somewhat firmer but not back to normal. My broken capillaries are just as obvious as well as my hyperpigmention. I have gone all over to try to find help. A few offer "more lasers" and a few say "let it heal" and a few offer "products". This proves that no one really has an answer. I am considering a facelift to correct the loss of tissue damage but I am not sure the texture/pattern will ever resolve. I believe the hyperpigmentation will resolve in time even though it could take a very, very long time.

Bottom line: I honestly feel I look 5-8 years older.

If you are considering Fraxel, PLEASE think long and hard about the possible consequences. I don't believe that all possible side effects are listed in an informed consent. My life has been put on hold. No one should fear the sun.

If you have already had Fraxel and find yourself in an adverse reaction. I pray you find a speedy resolution.

I will be certain to come back and update should I find a resolution. I have started Obagi's Nu Derm. I have been on it for 2 months with minimal results. I have heard it would take up to a year to correct some of the damage. I wish I had been offered it before I considered Fraxel.

My children had spring break last week. Although...

My children had spring break last week. Although I was very, very careful (lots of sunscreen, Coolibar hat, umbrella and shade) my entire face has hyperpigmented. I am certain I have laser induced melasma. I am a Fitz 1.5 or 2 with no history of melasma.

If you are considering Fraxel, please consider the...

If you are considering Fraxel, please consider the reviews that are over 6 months or longer. It takes 6 months for the collagen to remodel. I too thought my skin looked great in the beginning.

Photo Update

Name not provided

I don't know what happened. Was it the PA, the laser, settings, time of year, me....all the above?

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FSRB, Read another of your posts about travel to find PS for eyes. And then I also read the Vitals website reviews of Dr Codner. They are very impressive! Lower eyes in particular are tricky and a surgeon with lots of experience is necessary. Asking how many he does per yr would be important. Travel, in case something goes wrong or is of a continued concern, is quite a hassle in addition to being costly both financially and emotionally. Hope you can find the perfect PS near home...grace60
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Thanks!!! Having had a negative reaction to the laser treatment, I'm very hesitant. One thing I've heard about Codner is "Codner's Corners" referring to the outside of the eye. I guess he has a signature result that is obvious to others...mostly doctors. Thanks again. I always find your posts very informing.
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Luckily I have a friend who knows more about lasers etc. than even some doctors, she thinks certain lasers are better tolerated and better suited for different people - which means it is hard to decide which one to get done unless of course you do trial/error which is costly, timely and impractical. I think I may just have lucked out finding the right provider with the right laser for my skin, but its only been 1 week so time will tell and I will certainly keep my journey updated so people can perhaps learn from my experience. I got the UltraPulse CO2, with Active FX on the full face with problem areas ran over with the Deep FX - I am light skinned with pink undertones naturally.
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I experienced the exact same thing. Premature aging, texture shift, nasolabial folds, severe hyperpigentation. I contacted Solta and the FDA. I also tried to get compensation from Solta; however, there are not really any lawyers I could find that would represent me. If I were still within my statute of limitations, I would starting looking for product liability lawyers in CA. I have an email from Solta's lawyers saying it is "perhaps from past chemical peels I had." They said it couldn't happen. So essentially I am not even an outlier. I am a coincidence and my problems have nothing to do with Fraxel. Solta is very protected. No lawyers want to represent someone against a corporation like Fraxel. There isn't enough money in it for them. One lawyer told me that straight up. They told me I have to pin it on the doctors if anyone. All we can do as the coincidental outliers is to inundate Solta with our stories. Request compensation and turn our stories into the FDA. Fraxel is the worse mistake I have ever made in my life. My doctor now is renowned. Even he cannot convince me that Fraxel doesn't cause elasticity issues.
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Same thing here Gadgett! Orange peel texture on the treated area. Good for you for contacting Solta and trying to get compensation. How long ago did you have the laser?
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Hello I wish I found this website before having fraxel and not after...I am 34 and got only one fraxel restore dual procedure to treat a small surgical scar on my nose and a couple of small and not deep acne scars on my chin and lower cheeks aera..I now have orange peel texture with tiny dots connecting into lines, fine lines on my chin, bad texture with poor elasticity...I am devastated. My doctor who is the top laser specialist in the country denied my concerns and told me that no side effects like these could occur. He told me to let it heal and that my skin would get better... I would like advise on what products to use to help my skin recover. Do some people with similar damages have seen improvement over time? Please no horror stories..I've read them all and I am stressed and upset enough.. Thanks
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Hi. I had one Fraxel procedure done which created tiny pick holes & orange peel texture on my forehead & cheeks primarily. I had been using tretinoin before & continued to use it for about 6mos afterwards, as recommended, then decided to stop. Since then my skin has been improving. It will be two years this June & no longer have the orange peel texture or pick holes. Just give it time,,alot. Sorry your going through this, it will get better but at this point I know exactly how you feel.
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Thanks a lot. In French we say time heals all wounds...hope its true. Right now I am only using moisturizer and sun block, eating healthy and trying not to think about my skin which is not easy. I am so mad at myself...my mom told me not to do it...should have listened! Glad your skin is better now :)
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I promise it will get better & hope knowing that will give you some peace of mind. As you can see by my original post headline "Fraxel Ruined My Skin!" in 2010, I was feeling the same way you are now, but one day I looked in the mirror & it was pretty much gone. Take Care :)
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I meant 2011..
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Thanks for the support. Did you have fine lines too? I have some fine lines on my chin caused my fraxel with crepey texture...I am hopping that will fade too...
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I did but not anymore. Btw, I had my thyroid removed 6mos prior & wondered if that had something to do with it, because thyroid hormone effects the skin as well. Maybe rebuilding collagen takes longer if your hypothyroid,I don't know,just a thought. Anyway, there's a product I used by Algenist that will help improve the appearance of the area's that are bothersome. I used their targeted deep wrinkle filler & still do for minor age related issue's. Its a pore minimizer/wrinkle filler & I searched high & low for one. You can find their complete biotechnology line at Sephora or Ulta.
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Thanks will try it. Thyroid affects skin and hair. The right dosage is key. Your dermatologist should have asked you about your medical history. Mine has not either....
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I filled out a form which included my medical history prior to the procedure. Even tho my thyroid levels had been in the "normal range" I've ended up adjusting the dose on my own according to how I look & feel. I also take a desicated thyroid so my body doesn't need to convert it into T3 which is active in all our receptors. Some people,I think a lot, have conversion prob's & are hypothyroid as a result & the thyroid enlarges creating goiters to compensate. The bodies not stupid. Anyway,seems like my skin improved once & had my thyroid issue resolved. But I was freaking out & quite angry with the same reaction as you've had. As for the product I recommened,I love it,but if its not for you Sephora or Ulta have so many to choose from & you can return them for a full refund if you don't like it,till you find what best suites your needs untill your skin fully heals...and untill your where I'm at, it is still healing. Some just take longer to get there than others. Btw,I'm not suggesting that there are people who haven't had irreversable damage to their skin. It happens. The skill & experiance of whomever performs it is paramount,obviously. Have you asked your doctor about this & if so, what was his/her reply?
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My Dr denied my concerns and said my skin was irritated and that fraxel could not cause damage. Woulnt have done it if I had been aware of the risks!
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I wouldn't have either.When did you have it done?
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I had it done on march, 26th. Just saw a second dermatologist today she also does fraxel. She said that my skin was irritated and very sensitive. She gave me a recovery cream and told me to do nothing: no retin a, no aha, no peels for two months and things will eventually go back to normal.... When I told her about the website and about all these women who have suffered physical and emotional damage from fraxel she did not seem to believe me at all and gave me the fraxel is great speech...I don't get why drs refuse to knowledge the obvious, fraxel is a risky procedure and can produce great results but also terrible ones....this denial is so outrageous!
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oh wait I think I know MONEY
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Yup,money, the root of all evil. As I mentioned, I was using Tretinoin before & for about 8 months after the procedure, which is a derivative of Retina A. I stopped because I read it thins the skin & figured maybe this wasn't helping my problem. In anycase, you've only recently had it done so your skin is still rebuilding/repairing. I've read In healthy, young skin, there is a constant cycle of new skin cells growing, maturing and shedding to reveal healthy, new cells & at age 20, the outer layer of your skin (the stratum corneum) turns over about every 20 days, but by the age of 40, this turnover slows to every 30 to 40 days. Also, take supplements specific to your skin to help things along. I copied/paste this for anyone interested & am going to add a few of them to my arsenal. -Vitamin C: Potent antioxidant, noted for protecting skin cells from sun damage, low risk of skin irritation at concentrations of 10% or lower, strengthens skin’s barrier and minimizes water loss, encourages collagen production, thereby thickening the skin’s dermal layer, reduces inflammation, lightens hyperpigmentation - Amino Acid Peptides: Helps with collagen and elastic producing cells (fibroblasts) becoming less abundant. They start lazy fibroblasts and encourage new ones to return to the aging dermis. - Copper Peptides: Stimulates collagen formation, diminishing fine lines and firming the skin ; stimulates elastin formation, cutting down on sagging and fine lines ; stimulates the formation of the extracellular cement between cells, thus improving skin strength, cutting down on fragility ; Stimulates the formation of GAGS (glycosaminoglycans). This helps to thicken the dermis resulting in a lessening of sagging and helps firm the skin ; Increases blood vessel formation and oxygenation within the skin ; Acts as a potent antioxidant by stimulating the enzymatic function of Superoxide Dismutase. - Vitamin A helps with collagen formation in addition to its exfoliating functions, copper peptides act both as an antioxidant to help prevent aging skin changes while helping stimulate collagen and elastin formation within the dermis.
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Thanks will try the vitamins. I have a feeling my skin is looking a little better but maybe its in my head..hard to tell!
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You have two very serious issues that likely contributed to your poor results. #1 Thyroid #2 Retin-A (DO NOT USE THIS WITHIN 6 MONTHS TO A YEAR OF RECEIVING A LASER TREATMENT)

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Seeing comments like urs give me hope but I still get discouraged. My skin has some of the orange peel texture but has mostly acne scarring after the procedure. I don't know why some ppl get acne like scarring and some get the texture? We're we burned more? I am so depressed and mad at myself. I had pretty good skin to begin with and just kept getting lasers thinking it would get even better. Now I have scarring that just keeps getting worse everyday. Fatloss. My lips are losing their pigment. It's awful.
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ive read that it is scarred tissue. collagen and fibers are heated so that they can shrink, and make way for new collagen and fibers. but because your body recognizes this as damage, it fills in with collagen 3 vs collagen 1, which is originally produced. so skin is suppossed to be firmer......thats the theory behind all lasers. collagen 3 is scar tissue, and inferior to collagen 1. dont we all wish we would have known this at the time of disclosure at our consults and consent forms. grr.
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Yes....I have heard the same, unfortunately, after the fact as well.

 
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I think it is good with all surgery, especially cosmetic that we don't just trust and assume the end result tales of 'tighter/better/younger blank!' but actually research and try to learn the process and science behind it. Like almost all things that humans do, you'll find that they don't fully understand it themselves, and that what they do understand was discovered by chance and empirically.. from there they try to understand the reasons, but I feel with cosmetics there is less concern sometimes for why and how.. They just have to prove it is safe enough for the practice to be passed, the value is the ability to sell it. With no down time for possibly tighter skin, it is an easy sell.

You'll find that no matter how well put most medical procedures are on paper that the process itself is crude, and a big gamble. Biology isn't like our ability to wield a computer, we didn't create it and we hardly understand it in the grand sense. They have only statistics to go by, they cannot predict it otherwise. On top of all that, cosmetics is about what we perceive as beautiful, which goes beyond technicalities and must also be an art. All together it is difficult and risky. Hence why after major work, even those with deep pockets as celebrities, things may not look quite right.. If you sub-divide the face and focus on bits, you can say 'sure that problem looks better now' but as a whole, does your gut say they really look better? Quite often no. Sorry to rant! The lesson is be weary.
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