I had Fraxel Repair at age 51 in April of 2010. I had IV sedation for the procedure so I did not have any pain. I remember being in some pain when I woke up but that subsided. The recovery was difficult for me. I followed my doctor's instructions and set an alarm clock to go off every hour to do the vinegar soak the first coupe of days.
She did a very aggressive treatment on me. She informed me before the procedure that she would be lasering off a small portion of my hair line so there would not be a visible demarcation line. After reviewing other Fraxel patients on this website I did not see anyone else with this experience. I wish she had not done this as there was no demarcation line and you could see my hair line stubble grow out. Hard to cover this up and style your hair.
The recovery process is slow. Anyone that tells you you can go back to work in a week to 10 days is not telling you the truth or they had a very different experience then I had. I would say take off at least 2 weeks, really 3 weeks. It was 3 months until I looked normal again. My face was numb for a few weeks as well. I looked like I had a really, really, really bad sunburn. I don't know if you ever saw the Sex and The City episode when Samantha had the laser peel. Well that is what I looked like for about a month. It is not painful but it is uncomfortable. If you have to go out and wear makeup, by the end of the day you can't wait to get home to wash it off your face.
When I began to heal I loved how tight my upper eyelids looked, but that did not last. I feel my eye lids went back to the way they were before fraxel. I had a lot of sun damage and I was hoping that fraxel would take care of my brown spots. My husband says I look much better. I still have to get other laser treatments to get rid of the brown spots and the red.(GentleLase & Vbeam) Sometimes I think I would have been better off just doing this as the Fraxel did not take care of this as I had expected.
My husband said it made a big difference. He said it got rid of a lot of my sun damage and tightened my skin and made my skin very smooth. I hope this is helpful to anyone considering doing this. I can not say my experience was bad but from what I read about this procedure I thought it would have take care of my sun damage issues. I would say it was worth it as It did make a difference but I was expecting a bigger difference and I was not expecting the recovery process to take so long.