From Pockmarks to Smooth Skin
I have had bad episodes of cystic acne. I finally...
- 4 Nov 2008
I have had bad episodes of cystic acne. I finally got the acne under control, but was left with pockmarks on my checks that made me extremely self-conscious. Additionally, I have a large raised scar on my forehead. My dermatologist recommended Fraxel, which would treat both. After researching and checking references, I went to see a top NY dermatologist who specializes in laser surgery. It’s expensive, but this is my face we’re talking about, so I was going to make sure I did it right. Each treatment was $1500 and I would need 5 treatments total, spaced out every month.
I had the full face done and have had 3 treatments to date since I started in May 2008. First, the nurse applies numbing cream and a shot of a painkiller. Total waiting time was about an hour for the drugs to kick in. They used a fan during the procedure to also help with the pain. I have a medium tolerance for pain, and after the cream and painkiller, I really didn’t think there was that much pain, except for the forehead, which I would say was uncomfortable. Overall though, totally tolerable. On my third treatment I just had the numbing cream, and I still didn’t think it was that painful.
I iced all day after treatments and was given a prescription Valtrex because there is a chance you could activate a cold sore virus from laser surgery. My first treatment I was a little swollen and red but went to work the next day with makeup and no one noticed. My second treatment I was really swollen. I looked like a chipmunk for 2 days. Third treatment was the same. I began to peel a little a few days after each treatment, but nothing major. I wasn’t even that red, nothing that couldn’t be covered up with mineral makeup. I was using Retin-A Micro a week before and after treatment, and I think that also helps with the results. You must use sunscreen everyday or you will get hyperpigmentation.
It has been 2 months since my third treatment and I cannot tell you how happy I am with my skin. Everyone tells me that my skin looks so smooth, and while I didn’t have much wrinkles before (I‘m 29) now everyone who meets me thinks I’m 24, maybe because the Fraxel laser rebuilds collagen. The scar on my forehead is still there, but has flattened and faded significantly. The scars on my checks are about 60% better. The pores on my skin have shrunk and the overall tone and texture is a huge improvement. It has even helped with my acne, I hardly breakout at all now.
The advice I would give to people is that you need to go doctor who specializes in laser surgery. Check references and reviews from other patients of that doctor. Do not be lazy in your research. Do not be cheap because this is not a cheap procedure. I would be wary of any package deals where you pay for all treatments up front. Go to a plastic surgeon/dermatologist and NOT a chain laser center.
The doctor who did my treatment has excellent credentials and has been featured in numerous publications regarding laser surgery. He is one of the top doctors practicing Fraxel laser surgery.