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.