Fraxel Restore - London

Want to share my journey through having fraxel...

Want to share my journey through having fraxel restore laser. I've suffered from acne for over 20 years on and off. Had scarring most of my adult life due to this and mostly dealt with it fine, as my skin texture has somewhat improved over the years (or maybe I have just got used to my reflection). Had a break out earlier this year and decided to try microdermabrasion to get rid off the pimples. I went to 3 different salons and had to stop the treatment program short as I came out of it with larger pores and wider and deeper scars. I also got some additional scarring, so after leaving it for a few months and using bio oil, I finally gave up and went to look for a solution. Fraxel seemed to be the best option, even though it doesn't give a full improvment. I had my first treatment yesterday at a Harley street clinic (went to see a few different doctors).

The treatment itself was quite painful and we decided that after 4 passes over my whole face, she would do the remaining 4 only on my cheeks (that's were most of my scarring is anyway). The laser was preformed by a nurse, but as I had done my research and visited several clinics, she was the one I felt most comfortable with. One doctor told me it would be pain free and I could go to work the next day - come on! The nurse gave me a serum to speed up the healing and that I will apply 3 times/day. So today I am very swollen and red, skin feels rough and due to the swelling it looks scar free - I know that the scars will re appear once swelling goes down, but it's been lovely to see a scar free face in the mirror for once. I'm staying inside for 3 days, eating healthy and keeping myself hydrated to help the healing process. I'm going to have 4 treatments and scheduled to see the nurse next week, for progress update and to set the date for the next treatment.

It's been 1 week since my treatment and my skin...

It's been 1 week since my treatment and my skin has healed very well. I was red for about 4 days and the swelling went down after 6 days. I still have some brown scab on my cheeks and I'm just letting it heal on it's own, without any scrub or peeling creams (nurses advice). At the moment my scars are a lot shallower especially the deeper and wider scars - I went to the clinic yesterday and the nurse could also see the improvement and was happy with the healing. I've mostly used the serum the clinic provided, but also Avène's cleanser and moisturizer for hypersensitive skin (or for skin after dermatology surgery). I haven't used any make up since the laser, but still felt much more confident when out and about due to the improvement in my skin texture. Next treatment is scheduled for the 1st of June, so will post before and after picture again...

Had my 2nd fraxel treatment 2 weeks ago. This time...

Had my 2nd fraxel treatment 2 weeks ago. This time around the laser itself felt a lot more painful,- the nurse upped the settings so believe this is the reason. We had a little break midway, just to cool my face and again did 4 passes all over the face and then the other 4 on my problem areas,- cheeks and chin.
Due to the higher settings I was a lot more swollen and red afterwards and it took me a good 5 days until I could go out in public. I'm still a bit pink, but the redness is slowly fading.

So how do I look...the week after the treatment my face looked really smooth, but I knew this would be changing after the swelling settled,- therefore I also decided to wait for two weeks with my update.
My scars are definitely shallower,- I can't see the deeper scars at all anymore, which is great!

Saying that - I'm not too happy with my skin texture. My pores are very large on my cheeks and even though I had enlarged pores before the treatments, I'm unsure if they have become larger after fraxel. I mentioned this to the nurse and she said it might be more noticeable now when the scars are shallower. It's so difficult to judge when you look yourself in the mirror several times a day.. I'm still going ahead with the next 2 treatments, as I feel the positives outweighs the negatives. Could also notice how blocked my pores are after the treatment,- could almost pick the "gunk" out,- so this is not helping pore size either - have been using tee trea oil and manuka honey on my blocked pores and small areas of outbreak and it seems to be controlling it.

So another 2 weeks have passed since my 2nd...

So another 2 weeks have passed since my 2nd treatment and unfortunately it's not looking great at the moment. The large pores are still very much there and visible and I also have some scratch like marks on my chin and cheeks. My skin looks very uneven, but at this point the acne scarring is my least worry. I went to the clinic a few days ago and was told that my skin hasn't healed yet and is still dry, so was given some serum to speed up the healing (that's why my face is so greasy in the pictures). So, I'm hoping that this will resolve the problem with the scratches and large pores, although I'm very aware of people seeing even more damage over time. I will not schedule any more laser treatments until I see a significant improvement in my skin.

It's been 2 months since my 2nd treatment and...

It's been 2 months since my 2nd treatment and unfortunately I am now treating laser damage rather than acne scarring. THe fraxel has caused my skin even more scarring, lines and also holes or pitted scars. I am now using psoria gold ultra to help my skin heal. Not expecting to see much improvment in the next few months, but my skin seem to tolerate psoria gold quite well and even reduced some acne I had on my chin.

This is my update 6 months post fraxel. I'm still...

This is my update 6 months post fraxel. I'm still suffering from the same issues as my last update. Uneven skin tone, large pores, pitted scars and lines (micro scarring) and then of course my acne scars! So apart from my acne scars all other issues were caused by fraxel. I've been to two other consultations since regarding re cell, and both doctors told me that they have stopped doing fraxel - they did not want to go into the reasons too much, but the first doctor said it was because of the pin hole texture that some people can't get rid off afterwards. The second doctor did not think I should have re cell but endymed instead, which I looked into, but think it would do much for my skin after all.
I've added some pictures and my skin looks the same as my previous pictures, so same level of damage!

A quick update to say that I am now trying a new...

A quick update to say that I am now trying a new treatment to get rid of my fraxel damage. Very hestitant to put any heat on my skin, but finally decided to try endymed fractional skin resurfacing. It's a new radio frequency resurfacing and skin tightening treatment that a reliable doctor recommended. I have been to many, many consultations after my fraxel damage and this seemed to be the best option.
I had my first treatment 3 weeks ago and my skin healed well after the treatment. I can't see a dramatic improvement to my scarring, but will have at least 2 more treatments and will post pictures after these.
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Hi I'm going through the same worries as am the OP. I was just wondering how the progress has gone so far. Thanks.
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Bacella how is your skin now after the endymed fractional laser? I am in despair I dont know why my skin has all of a sudden gone so bad?? I have used Psoria Gold for nearly two months and all i can think of it made swelling go away and revealed the true damage? My holes are very deep looking and I feel skin overall is lot more in worse state what it was six months ago, and where my acne scars were the skin looks weird like there is scartissue underneath I am not sure,but things are getting worse and worse. I fear this is what I am stuck with and I can't mentally cope with that. Did you try MSM or CPs or anything while recovering and did you use anything after endymed laser you had? I have given up on living life, I know I will not be here if this goes any worse and never get any better.
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I'm really sorry to hear about your damage and how you struggle. I felt endymed fsr (its more of a radiofrequency) did help even my skin out. It took away some of the streaky skins and evened out some "bumps". I stopped after 2 treatments cause my acne flared up and my skin was really red. My skin has now recovered and I feel content at the moment with how my skin is. Saying that it's far from good or perfect, but I guess I have learned to live with my appearance. I have used psoria on and off, it really helped my skin when it was red and patchy, but now I have stopped as I felt it did dry my skin after a while and made it streaky. I took a lot of vitamin and collagen supplements when recovering, but don't think they really helped. I had monthly holistic facials (lots of oils and facial massages, led light..) and I felt they helped a little. Please don't give up, I'm sure this is just a bump in the road for you and you will get better!
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Hi glad to hear you had some improvement! Did you feel the holes in the skin possibly got better as well?I find that the Psoria can dry my skin but I use MSM cream as well which helps to hydrate my skin. I am just so bummed about the texture and these holes. I heard massaging can help the scarring underneath so I start doing that as well. Thanks for the support and keep us posted of how you go((:
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I haven't had the fraxel although was thinking of it. Although my skin was never perfect, I had lived with it many many years, having one dermabrasion when I was in my late 20s. My scars are pitted for the most part but are what they call superficial rolling scars. When I was younger my skin always bothered me although dermatologists said I didn't need anything. My skin really started to get bad after using juvederm and restylane over last few years. My scars are superficial but show up a lot under those elevator and some restaurant overhead lights, etc which really depresses me. So I had juvederm and then restylane, and I don't know if I had an allergic reaction or what, but my skin became completely bumpy. I then had a cyst removed, even though the doc said it wouldn't cause scar, it left me with a large depression on my cheek. I went in to have it filled with restylane, and I don't know what he did, but not only is the depression still there, but I have something that looks like scar tissue underneath, there is a large area lighter than my normal skin, and lumpy. I feel so completely depressed, I even got to wearing a bandaid on my cheek. I am so self conscious about my skin now. I really don't know what to do because I am afraid of the lasar. I saw a doctor who said it's like who is driving a car, a cautious experienced driver won't have problems but an inexperienced one will and the lasar will work well but if I am depressed now, and the lasar goes bad, I will be suicidal. I am going to look into the endymed fsr though.
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Hey before you do any more damage to your face, google systematic enzymes and see if you could possibly try something like that first. Lasers peels fillers, all are making more damage in long run , maybe they are designed like that I don't know. Be carefull of doing any invasive treatments they all seem to leave their mark.
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Which do you recommend?
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Have you thought about derma rolling? It will take time but it does work for a lot of people...and it's a lot less risky than lasers. Good luck!!
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Enzyme is called serrapeptase, mainly a supplement for overall health, chronic pain etc but also some people reported scars getting smaller ( c section scars old injuries) Google more about it but I thought I'll give it a go
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which dermaroller do you recommend? which make?
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I get professional dermaroller treatments. They use the Genuine Dermaroller. I know people get results from home rolling though. The brands/websites referenced a lot are Dr. Roller and owndoc. You need 1.0-1.5mm to stimulate collagen production. Good luck!
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Did you get the 'antidote' that dissolves the HA fillers overnight? Maybe that would help the lumpy skin you feel underneath?
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I'd be really interested to hear how things are going for you now. I have very similar skin to yours. Too scared for lasers so I'm trying dermarolling.
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Hello... to the ladies that are talking about the dermaroller. I have used both the dermaroller and dermastamp with success. Mind you I have fairly mild/shallow scarring and I actually performed the treatments myself after many months of research. I like the dermastamp a little better than the roller and I did around 5 treatments one month apart. Like other scar removal treatments, the micro swelling will fool you at first but after 3 to 4 treatments you should begin to see improvements. The only drawback for me is the hyperpigmentation I got from the needling (I'm African American). Even though the discoloration bothers me the indented scarring depressed me even more. Recently, I quit dermarolling/dermastamping so I can address the hyperpigmentation (prescription strength hydroquinone and tretinoin 0.025). So I'm really hoping that I'll get even more smoothing of my skin and the discoloration will fade with these products. It's been nearly two months since my last needling session and the improvements that I achieved are still there. In my opinion, with research (or a good dr), the right protocol, and proper aftercare, needling can be a great alternative to laser with less risks. Hope this helps :)
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i don't understand what discoloration can result from dermarolling/stamping, does it become red, is the discoloration permanent?
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Hi how are you now, is your skin any better? My skin has exactly the same texture as yours and I am 13months post fraxel, I hate what they did to us)= One derm said nothing will get rid of the texture apart maybe another laser or dermabrasion but I am way too scared, specially after this.
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Hello! My skin is a bit better - the endymed fractional skin resurfacing helped quit a bit to remove lines and get rid of the holes. Unfortunately I ended up with couperose (which I beleive was initally caused by the laser anyway) so I only had 2 treatments. I'm going to leave my skin for now, it's still far to fragile and thin to have anymore treatments. It is scary to think about having any more laser after going through what we've been through. Good Luck!
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good luck let us know how your healing is going! Glad to hear something is helping all the best
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I'm confused...to me your skin looks basically the same at the end only dry instead of oily. I believe this might've accounted for the texture damage you suddenly began to see rather than laser damage... Honestly, I really only see the same damage and texture issues that were there before--though i think some of the depressed acne scars actually got a little better...I mean it wasn't anywhere near $4000 worth of improvment thats for damn sure, but it definitely doesn't appear as if your skin was damaged by anything but acne and years of acne treatments--please don't take that as an insult btw! I think i only notice this because I have the same sort of texture issues on my cheeks and other areas despite the fact that I've never even had laser and like only one 20% glycolic peel in my entire life. I've just used retin a gel and before that differin gel for too long and was later on put on both accutane and spiro (i didnt have acne as a teen btw so this was all over the course if a decade). The later of the two meds caused my face to become far less oily and dry fir the first time in my life and after a lifetime of being super oily I freaked out because my skin just did NOT look the same! I suddenly began to notice all this horrible orange peel texture or maybe that's just what I developed using retin a gel on drier skin (I don't know but I do know that I didn't overuse it). Anyways long story short my skin looked a bit like yours when I used to spend all my time obsessing about it. A lot of times, I think it's the obsessing and depression that causes the "fat loss" and wrinkles etc that the people damaged by fraxel seem to complain about rather than the fraxel itself because I've dealt with some of the same issues and all I can say is the skin is a reflection of our health both mentally and physically and most can't be healthy and heal when they're so full of dread. I'm glad you've found a better place mentally and a better treatment that eventually worked for you! I'm also really glad you keep up updating cause I'm interested to see if this radio frequency thing helps with texture issues like this.
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Thanks for your comment. I can assure you that my skin has been damaged by laser. It is difficult to capture the changes with a photo, but my face looks like it's been burnt. You are probably right that it is also because it's less oily than before. But the texture is far bumpier and streaky than before. Unfortunately I'm not the only one with this problem - "iplandlaserdamagesupport" is full with stories similar to mine. Retin A tends to have side effects like yours - I was also in accutane before and did not have any side effects apart from drier skin, which is expected. My 2nd RF treatment is tomorrow, so fingers crossed!
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Hi, I know exactly what you're talking about. I'm on my fourth Fraxel treatment, and swear that my face look worse then before but.. i believe that my damage was done at my first Dr's appt when they insisted that I first start with a sicton micro mini peel then proceed with the Fraxel treatments. i have one left and intend to see it through, but.... I was informed my my Derm that the treatment that this Park Ave Surgeon has chosen for for me is wrong for my skin type. I am a thin person with thin skin (fair) I don't have much fat on me and my Dermatologist said that Fraxel works best on meaty, greasy skin and radio waves and light waves on thinner skin. Don't know if this helps any but I wish you the best. I'm 53, and I know for myself, my skin has and always will be my achilles heal. I know there's worse thing in life but this is my demon.
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I have the EXACT same textural issue as you resulting from Fraxel. I don't know if the procedure was botched or I just didn't heal correctly, but what I do know is that I truly regret having it done. Four+ months have passed and mine's not getting any better either, unfortunately. Are you using Retin-A or considering any chemical peels? I hope there's a light at the end of the tunnel for us. Btw, texture issue aside, you have a very pretty face.
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Sorry to hear about your skin. A doctor I met said that it just looks like my skin has been burned, so believe that is the issue. I don't think my skin will get better from any topical treatments anymore (tried retinol, but skin could not handle it). I've booked in for a fractional resurfacing treatment called endymed 3 deep on saturday and I'm very nervous about having any heat applied to my skin. This is a new radio frequency treatment that a doctor (who also does recell) thought would be my best option.. So hoping for the best!
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Thank you for your comments. This really helped me decide. I had one treatment done, and the doctors recommended 3 more. I didn't see the results after the first one. I was red and swollen for only about 3 days. Then all was the same. Im on the obagi and Retine cream. I think im spelling retine wrong. The tube is up stairs. To lazy to go fetch.. Thanks again for your honesty. Hope you will recover to what you are expecting.
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