Fraxel Long Term Permanent Damage -- Left Me Looking Like an Orange Peel! - New York, NY

I had a few pock marks on my face, and when I...

I had a few pock marks on my face, and when I asked my dermatologist about what could be done, he happily told me about Fraxel and how it could give me completely smooth skin. I could get rid of the few pock marks, and even improve the rest of my face too, I was told. Of course, all of the marketing material showed that too.

So about three years ago I decided I would try it out, and signed up for his recommended three treatments.

Worst -- decision -- ever. I would pay twice the amount I paid for Fraxel to make it never have happened in the first place.

Oh, dont get me wrong, things were looking better after six months, the pock marks I had seemed to have smoothed out a bit - and according to my doctor, I was going to see amazing improvement as time went on.

Then, about a year after my third treatment, I started noticing in pictures -- the texture of my skin had changed. I now had this orange peel-like surface to my skin... big pores, and bumpiness.

I didnt even notice at first, I think because I see myself every day, or maybe it's the lighting in my bathroom. But one day, someone posted pictures of me on a social networking site and my stomach literally sank -- my face was a complete MESS! How did this happen?

I did tons of research, looking at old pictures, even taking new ones in the same places with the same lighting. The results make me want to cry. Two-three years ago, my skin looked GOOD. Yes, I had a few pock marks, but overall I was smooth, and pores were definitely not a problem. Now my face resembles an unpaved road - filled with pit marks and bumpiness. The difference is SO remarkable, and the only thing that's happened in that time is my Fraxel treatments.

Seeing a picture of myself now almost always leads to hours of immense depression -- and when I see a picture of how I looked just three years ago, I want to cry. It's so weird to be jealous of your former self.

I should also mention, while my rosacea was basically under control before, the redness had come back in full force after my Fraxel treatment. It doesnt seem to be full-on flushing, though - I'm red, but my face doesn't necessarily feel hot.

About a year ago I went to a doctor to perhaps get some IPL for the redness, and the assistant said to me "would you want to do something about your scarring first?" So, post Fraxel my skin is THAT bad.

I am now undergoing SmoothBeam treatments to perhaps fix the issue. I have done two treatments and I feel like I'm seeing a bit of an improvement - I'm reserving judgment until all six sessions are done though.


First, as a physician, I am not a fan of Fraxel. In general if one is treating pigmentation it is a poor long term choice. If one is treating dermal scars, this is quackery. The superficial acne scars that look like small caves may have some results especially initially as any swelling of that area would improve. HOwever, ice pick or deep scars are dermal in origin and No laser not even CO2 resurfacing will address these. I am so sorry but this is the medical fact and the rest is just marketing. Smoke and mirrors. such a shame for the profession.
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Thank you I'm glad there is a physician, that is saying this fraxel laser is no good, Thank you, Julie
Please update!! Best wishes!! I am now 14 months out and I too think my skin is getting worse from my 3 treatments. It is very depressing!!

Were you told why/how this happened? Have you tried retin a or peels?

Thank you for posting your story!!
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Dermatology group at a major NYC hospital

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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