Fraxel Re:Pair Procedure 3 Days Ago and Results

I am a 39 y/o female who had the Fraxel Re:Pair...

I am a 39 y/o female who had the Fraxel Re:Pair procedure 3 days ago, and while I would not recommend it for those with low pain tolerance (like myself!), it already appears the results are worth the intense pain. When I first arrived for my appointment, I was given one 10mg Valium and one Lortab. My nurse applied a numbing gel (with an infuser), which stayed on for just over an hour, then my dermatologist applied approx. 20 shots of a local nerve block. He began the laser treatment on my upper eyelids (where no nerve block could be applied, of course), and the pain was incredibly intense. The lower eye area (also no nerve block here) was worse, but I was assured the areas which had received nerve block shots would be less painful.

While they were indeed, the pain was still considerable, and I had to request a moment to 'catch my breath & grit my teeth' on several occasions. The doc made 4 passes (two horizontal and two vertical) over each facial area, and the pain seemed to intensify with each successive pass. By the time my face was finished, I told him I had changed my mind about the neck area, but he convinced me to at least let him make two passes over each neck area. He lowered the laser intensity setting for my neck (from 40 to 30; my eyes were at 20, I believe he said), and it was still barely tolerable, IMO.

I was a bit shocked when they had me look in the mirror after they dried my face & applied the Aquaphor, but at least after seeing the immediate result (redness, swelling, oozing, bleeding, eyes swollen nearly shut), I felt I had justification for all my in-procedure whining. *g*

For the first three days, I have applied the vinegar soaks every 2-3 hours (setting my alarm clock to do those during the night), followed by a thick coating of Aquaphor. I am also taking Arnica tablets to lessen swelling, and applying bags of frozen peas to my entire face a few times per day. I have, of course, experienced much discomfort, but no real "pain" to speak of. The vinegar soaks do sting like mad, but the stinging subsides quickly.

I had numerous facial acne scars, a high-forehead (touching my hairline) scar from a forehead lift (5 years ago), an under-chin scar from a chin implant (6 years ago), the beginnings of crows feet at my outer eye corners, and crepey (not 'creepy'! *lol*) undereye skin from an overzealous lower bleph about 8 years ago. The forehead/hairline scar has already disappeared (though I did lose some hair in the front where he made contact with the laser), the chin implant scar is 100% gone, and all but 3 of my acne scars (the 3 deepes/largest ones) have filled in nicely. My upper and lower eyes are still considerably swollen, so it's difficult to say how those will turn out; based on the early results to my other areas of concern, though, I'm cautiously optimistic.

Besides the eye-area swelling, my face is still a deep purplish-red, but given the ablation level of this procedure, I suppose that's to be expected. I was told I could expect things to 'tone down' to the equivalent of a 'bad sunburn' within 5-7 days. *fingers crossed*

Reddy, If you remember I had hugh pigment issues. I'm about 5 months out and my issues have for the most part corrected themselves. One would have to really look now to see any discoloration. I would have never guessed that the stripes caused by the laser that was once so visable, would correct on it's own, but it did. I started using Pigment Corrective by PerriconeMD and it helped with the reddness. I don't think it was a miracle product, but it was something my skin could tolerate and it feels nice. My derm wanted me to wait it out and as hard as that was to do, I think for me it was the right choice. Good luck and I hope you continue to improve.
Hi reddy, Sorry to hear that you are still having the pigment problems. Rarely it can take more time for the pigment issues to fade. Sometimes just waiting and patience will be all you need. A second opinion with a qualified doc is always a good idea. Let us know how it goes. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Dr. P
Hi Dr Persky, I am now 10 weeks post re:pair. My face is still brown and the pigment spots formed post re:pair are still visible.I am due to see my doctor in two weeks and he has booked me in for a re:store procedure to remove the pigment spots at my expense (I will be debating this issue on my arrival .)Dr P am I doimg the right thing? My concern is that the re:store may darken my pigment spots further or cause even more hyperpigmentation (as I must be at risk for hyperpigmentation considering it occurred with the re:pair). Or should I seek a second opinion with a dermatologist? The re:pair has done nothing for my eye wrinkles. Furthermore why is it taking so long for my face to heal?

It has been more than six months since I had...

It has been more than six months since I had Fraxel Re:Pair, and my skin has now reverted - almost entirely - to its pre-FR state.  The single exception is the improvement to the hairline scar I had from a previous brow lift; it has remained less noticeable than it was pre-FR.  I followed the recommended post-procedural protocols, but after about 14 weeks, I began to notice my previously-improved areas looking more like  they did before I had FR.  I at first thought it may have been just because I had become accustomed to the "new & improved" version of my skin, but after taking photos and comparing them to both my pre-FR face and my 6 weeks post-FR face, it was glaringly obvious the favorable results were indeed diminishing.  Unfortunately, they have continued to do so.  While I'm not implying my skin is now worse than it was before I had FR, I am implying that $5,000 is a LOT to pay for less than 3 months worth of improvement. 

Even the doctor who performed my FR agreed there is very little visible difference at this point.  Of course, he followed that by stating I should let him do another treatment (at a whopping $400 discount - LOL!) using higher settings.  I am willing to bear my share of the responsibility for spending the money on the initial treatment without having known more about it; I am not, however, willing to do so again.  Fool me once, shame on you... fool me twice, shame on me.

Hi AliGrace, It's been 5 years since your Fraxel treatment. I was wondering how you're doing and if you've noticed any long term negative effects from the Fraxel. Do you believe the Fraxel treatment was neutral or do you think it actually caused damage and pre-mature aging? I am three years out from Fraxel repair and it totally destroyed my skin and caused accelerated aging.
Hi Dr P Sorry to keep bothering you, but could you please explain to me the different types of pigmentation eg superficial pigmentation etc and judging from my photos is my pigmentation superficial or deeper? Further more what is the risk of aggravating the hyperpigmentation Thanking you R
HI christine, My email address is {edited} if you wish to correspond privately. It is now 7 days since my restore session and my face colour is nearly back to normal (?) Unfortunately I have not really seen any real improvement as far as my pigmentation is concerned. I too am being treated at very low energy levels and really didnt experience any peeling as I expected I would. My skin did feel slightly rough and is now smooth so i expect I did have a bit of flaking. At this rate I think I am going to need 10 sessions! Take care R
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