I had Fraxel done on my entire face, although, I originally only saw the need on my cheeks. As a 40+ year old man, I'm starting to see the effects of sun tanning in my teens and burns when I was a kid. The process started by the technician applying goop that is meant to reduce pain. Turns out that I'm sensitive to the numbing cream and I got very red even before the laser session.
My derm ended up doing the actual procedure. She started with my forehead, running the applicator over my skin (kinda like a vacuum cleaner extension). The first thing I noticed was that it burned more than expected. Once she hit areas that had hair folicles, I went into a "oh my god" that hurts mode. When I got zapped on the upper lip, I began to involuntarily cry. Afterwards my face felt like it was torn off. 3 advils helped reduce the pain to a tolerable hot burn.
For about a week afterwards everyone asked me if I had gone on vacation (my face looked tanned). Then it peeled off in about a 2 day process that wasn't so obvious or embarrassing. For about 6 months I thought I could see improvements. Now its about 11 months post-procedure and honestly, I really can't tell any difference. I'm told that I need to get more than 1 procedure to get the results, but at the cost and pain I'm simply not interested in that route. I'll probably go with a chemical peel for my next shot at improving skin tone.