Fraxel Repair - 1 and 6 Mos. Update - Sacramento, CA

I had my fraxel laser repair done Oct. 22nd so...

I had my fraxel laser repair done Oct. 22nd so it’s been just a month. Right now my face looks great but it feels a little like sunburnt skin. You know, when you sunburn, the top layer of skin feels really smooth and is beautiful right before the whole thing peels off? That’s what my face feels like right now. I will report back again in April when 6 months have gone by since others have posted that the long term effects were not what they imagined.

When I had the procedure done, I discovered this website and perused it extensively hoping for hints of what I should be experiencing day by day, to verify is what was happening was “normal”. (There is a good U-tube video by a woman who had fraxel restore done that was very reassuring the first few days.)

This is my experience:

Day 1, more painful than getting a tattoo but I guess I have a high tolerance for pain because I just put up with it, my face was bloody on the way home and covered Aquafor.

Day 2, all the bloody spots are gone but face is really starting to swell, I used Vaseline instead of Aquafor and I really looked forward to the vinegar soaks because I kept a batch in the fridge and it was soothing.

Day 3, face looks like a red pumpkin, the Vaseline is all over my hair and pillow, I still look forward to the vinegar soaks as the highlight of my day.

Day 4 and 5, the swelling is starting to go down but I’m still very red,

Day 6, my doc says I can stop the Vaseline and vinegar soaks but the area around my mouth is still very red and swollen so even though I use a thick cream for the rest of my face, I continue with the Vaseline and vinegar soaks just around the mouth area.

Day 7 through 10, the swelling and redness continues to go down but very slowly. My doc noticed a spot she missed (the lines of demarcation are very easy to see) so she zaps me again near my eye. I had a topical numbing cream on for 20 min to ease the pain but I just put up with the pain because of time constraints.

Day 11 through 24, I go back to work self-conscious about my “bad sunburn” skin. The reduced swelling exposes more wrinkles and my large pores on the nose and cheeks are starting to come back. My face still doesn’t feel “normal”, when I wrinkle my face I can still feel some numbness and swelling in the area around my mouth. My lips have returned to normal size (they did look cute swollen and plump but they are back to their skinny selves.)

Day 25, I mentioned to my doc that I’m disappointed that my brown spots have not gone away. The reason I went to her in the first place was for the brown spots not wrinkles. She zapped me with a Q-switch red ruby laser that day, no charge.

Day 26, the scabs from this new laser form and my face looks like I have overly large freckles

Day 27, these new scabs fall off magically on their own leaving beautiful pink skin

Day 28, all the new scabs are gone leaving no brown spots and I don’t have the fine line wrinkles around my eyes and mouth. My upper lids are noticeably higher, everyone at work tells me I don’t look different and that I always looked young. This is because they can’t remember what I looked like before. That’s the thing about this procedure, it’s not as drastic as a face lift but subtle. You will know the difference (especially if you have “ before” pictures) but other people (including my husband) can’t tell the difference and will think your skin was always this good.

Because it’s only been a month and I still detect a little swelling around my mouth and right eye, I can’t tell you my final verdict. I’ll give an update in 5 months. By the way, I still managed to get fever blisters on my lips even though I was on anti-viral meds.


You mention that you had a "lift" effect in you upper eyelids. That effect did not last for me (I'm four months post-Fraxel). I'd like to hear whether it did for you.
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I am glad you were very clear of the length of time for recovery of this procedure. It is NOT just 7-10 days as I was told. And, there are complications,beyond the swelling, that can happen.
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It is now nearly 6 months since I had my fraxel...

It is now nearly 6 months since I had my fraxel repair and I have to say it was worth it.  I was concerned that I would be disappointed since I read others who had it done months ago didn't notice a difference but I have noticed a very positive difference. 

  • The bad:  the red spot on my nose came back, some of the large pores on my cheeks returned and I do have a little hyper-pigmentation on chin and nose. 
  • The good:  the precancerous cells are still gone, small wrinkles around my eyes are still gone, all the dark age spots are gone (but I also had IPL), the apples of my cheeks are really smooth and soft.  There is a real difference in my skin color and smoothness from before and now.  Right after I wash my face, it feels like baby soft skin. 

I think the cost and discomfort was well worth it.  I definitely look years younger.  No one believes I'm 50 years old.

Hi, I had my fraxel repair done 1 month ago and couldn't be happier with the results. Can you tell me how your procedure has held up through the years. Thanks
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I am three weeks post Fraxel repair. My concern was undereye wrinkles and I have to say I have deeper and actually in addition new wrinkles underneath and at the corners of my eyes that I did not have previously. I am so disappointed. Doctor said these would improve within a week but it has been more than a week and they are the same. I took a photo of myself and was horrified to see how wrinkled I look! I compared it to a photo I had taken one day prior to the procedure, smiling, in sunlight and I look 10 years younger than after Fraxel. I just want to cry!
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You have the best post fraxel description!!! I am day 10 and look so red I feel like a demon. When did your skin start to feel normal again? Are you still satisfied today?
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Sacramento Dermatologist

She is easy to work with and personable. I think she did a good job.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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