Had Full Face Fraxel Restore Just Hours Ago:

I had my first Fraxel Restore treatment at 1:45...

I had my first Fraxel Restore treatment at 1:45 this afternoon. The cost was $1000 for the full face. I was confident with the laser nurse (all she does is laser treatments) doing the procedure as the Laser Center I went to is widely known to be the best in the area. What I WAS anxious about was how I would do. My main concerns were pain & the possibility of scarring. After doing the research I found most people had pretty major pain with the procedure. Even though my pain tolerance is generally high I worried (others had said their tolerance was high too but that it still hurt). It had been described to me as hot pins & needles moving across your skin. With the use of the numbing cream (which they leave on for 1.5 hours and cover the area with saran wrap) I took a 600mg. Ibuprofen and a 1mg sedative just to take the edge off.

The PROCESS:
Once the saran wrap & numbing cream were removed the nurse started the procedure. She started at my jaw and I was surprised (and thrilled) at how little it hurt. The first pass she did over my face was very, very tolerable. The pain started to become a little more intense after the first full pass, and every pass there after. She went over my face a total of about 8 passes. By the last pass it was intense heat & painful, but ultimately still tolerable. To me the procedure felt more like sandpaper and heat over the skin than pins & needles. From the beginning of the procedure the roller hand devise blew cold are onto the area which helped a lot.

The AFTERMATH:
When the procedure was done the nurse put a little sunscreen on and sent me on my way. I was just a little swollen,red, my face burned a little and felt dry - but I was able to go out and finish my day. 5 hours after the procedure I removed the sunscreen with Cetaphil face wash and put on some Cetaphil moisturizer. My face is still slightly swollen and red, and I was told it could be more so tomorrow. I plan to sleep upright to help with the swelling.

BOTTOMLINE:
I am thrilled that it was tolerable, especially after reading the reviews. My plan is to wait to see the effect it's had on my face before doing anything more. My biggest concern was my uneven skin tone - mainly brown spots (sun/pregnancy) and some fine lines.

I will follow up in a week or so to share any updates.

One last thing - I thought about canceling my appt. a few times fearing the procedure would be too painful - but then I knew I would always wonder about it. I know this is a very personal decision - everyone has different pain levels, expectations, etc. but I wanted to let you know that there is at least one person who had a good experience with Fraxel Restore and, if everything continues to go as well, I will do it again. I will also post some before and after pictures once the swelling and redness go away.

I hope this review helps you make the right decision regarding Fraxel Restore for you.

Laser & Skin Surgery Center

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Comments (16)

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Hi Wendy, I am now 16 months post Fraxel and having the same problems, only my skin is scarring as well. This has changed the texture of my skin and my oil glands are not working. My skin is also very sensitive and continues to get worse.
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Hi! I'm from your area and am very interested in pictures of each stage of your procedure and whether you are satisfied with the final results. Also, I wanted to know which Laser Center you went to and which nurse performed your Fraxel Restore procedure. Any candid information you could share with me would be greatly appreciated and would help me in my own decision making regarding this. Thanks so much!
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I went through 10 sessions. My last one was right before Christmas 2009. About a month ago I started to notice a change. I look like I am aging. ALL my marks are still there. Same as it was before the fraxel, but now I have lines under my eyes and my face isn't smooth at all. It's like bumpy. I do not put my face in the sun at all - ever. I will start my own page on fraxel to help people.
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Thank you so much.
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Hi Wendy, I am having the same problem. Please post a link to refer us to your page. I would post pictures of myself on here, but am just to upset at this point.
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You (Myfavoritedoc) have only experimented one fraxel. At the first few we were all very pleased. It's after you experiment several and wait a little after the last, you will then see a difference. And it usually isn't a good. I am not wishing anything bad on anyone. Do hope that you don't end up like the rest of us. But you really shouldn't put your (first) experience in unless you have REALLY experienced it all the way.
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I live in Texas and the procedure here is $1,700. I visit CA each year and fly into Sacramento. Can you please give me the contact info to the facility/doctor you used? I'd like to save a few hundred dollars and have it done there on my next trip to CA. Thank you. Please give me before and after photos and any other info regarding this that you have not already shared.
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Please read the negative posts. Your best bet would be to try something tried and true that has minimal side effect.
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Sure - I got the procedure done at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Northern California. At this facility Restore is done by laser nurses. There are 3 of them and that is all they do. I don't remember the name of my nurse but she was very knowledgeable and of course read from my doctors file notes in terms of what I was looking for from the procedure. Good Luck!
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Please girls this laser has been known to cause terrible side effects.....not always right away......it may even take a few years. Who wants crepey looking dry thin skin. I sure don't want mine. Aging 15 yrs in 3 months is not how we are supposed to grow old. These procedures that are so called safe have not been around long enough to see what the long term effect will be. WE ARE GUINEE PIGS! Keep your money and get a peel.
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Hi, So sorry to hear you had such a bad experience and thanks for sharing your story. It's so important people get educated before deciding to do Fraxel, or any other treatment for that matter. Did you have Fraxel Restore? How long after the treatment and what were the first negative side effects you saw? Thanks!
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I had the Affirm Laser done and it is not as invasive as Fraxel. I had only 3 treatments and not all at once. I spaced them a year apart. 1 1/2 yrs after my last treatment I started to notice how my cheeks looked crepey and the skin was thin and just an odd texture. It is so dry and uncomfortable and I have to moisturize consantly. Where the protective goggles were on I could see my skin sinking in under my eyes. Then I noticed how my cheeks started losing fat/collagen. I immediately went and has Sculptra treatments which have helped but I am still waiting for the full effect. My skin hurts all the time and I believe that these procedures compromise the skin and damage tissue and blood vessels.....how could it not?? It is radiation.....doctors don't tell you this nor do the brochures. Big bucks are at stake in this industry and the bad patient results are ignored and denied by doctors....it is swept under the rug.Many women and men have been injured and sometimes results are immediate.......sometimes it takes awhile to show. Sometimes people do not put two and two together and just think they are aging at a rapid rate.There are no long term studies so for them to tell you it is safe cannot stand behind that statement. But people will try anything out of HOPE for a repair and not listen to people like me. They think it will not happen to them or perhaps they have a friend who has good results. But 5 years from now that friend may have mottled dehydrated skin and fat loss and not know why. These procedures have been known to cause rosacea as well. Run for your life if a doctor recommends a laser treatment and save yourself the despair it can cause.
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I am very interested in hearing about your results. I have had a consultation at the same provider and have hesitated for the same reasons you expressed. In the end, I would love to know what improvement you see and how many treatments you receive. Thanks for sharing.
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Hi, Sure; I'd be happy to share. The very next day after my appointment my face was a little puffy - especially around my eyes. It stayed puffy for about 4 days, gradually returning to normal. It was red as well and after about the second day I got that bronze look that everyone talks about. My face did not hurt at any point after the procedure, just felt dry and had a rough (sandpaper) feel to it. The redness/bronze color took about a week to die down. Right away I noticed my crows feet were gone (I just had a few fine lines) - at first I thought it was just from the swelling but today they are still gone so the procedure tightened up that area. Additionally I had some small brown spots (from sun) on my jaw line that have completely disappeared. One thing I did notice: about a week after the procedure there were TINY little bumps all over my face (you almost couldn't see them looking at me directly, but if the light was above me you could see the bumpy texture). Before the procedure my skin was smooth so I knew the texture had changed. The tiny bumps were not red, nor did they have a head on them, but because of them the texture of my skin felt rough. I called the office and they said the bumps happen to some people and said to use some over the counter acne medicine. The nurse asked me what I put on my face after the procedure and I told her I used Aquafore ointment, which looking back was too greasy for my skin and I think was partly the reason for the bumps. I never did use the acne medication because I'm very conservative with my skin and wanted to give it a chance to work itself out. It's been a few days since I spoke to the office and the bumps are going away, so I am relieved. I am always pretty gentle with my skin, especially now as I am still in the healing process and will be for a number of weeks. Since a few days after the procedure I've been lightly exfoliating with a dry washcloth and since the Aquafore using a medium weight moisturizer. As the bumps continue to go away I feel confident my skin will look better and better. I do not have another Fraxel procedure scheduled and really only plan to have this done once per year. For me it is really a preventative measure as I don't have a lot of lines yet. I had a low expectation and just wanted to see a little improvement, which I have. I mainly did it to even out my skin tone (I had some sun damage). I know I won't see the full results of the procedure for about six months. If at that point I don't see enough of a change in my upper cheek area (it's a little brown from sun damage) I may just have that area redone, but again, I'll just have to wait until June. Lastly, just wanted to reiterate about the pain - for me it was definitely manageable. The numbing cream and the cool air that the machine blows really helps. Also, if it got too painful the nurse can turn the settings down or stop. The pain comes when the nurse begins to pass over the same spots more than once. I know deciding to do this is such a personal decision (and expensive!). Like you, I took it very seriously, especially because it seems like a fair amount of people have not had good results! Ultimately for me it was a good decision and I'm excited to see the results as they appear. Good Luck!
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Hi, What type or brand of moisturizer did your doctor's office suggest to use? The office i went to they wanted to sell me a kit that they didn't mention whne I first signed up for the Fraxel restore. I didn't want - and couldn't - spend more money so I passed. It would help to know if I have to use anything besides the sunblock. Sincerely.
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Hi, My doctors office didn't suggest any one type of moisturizer - just something of medium weight that would keep my face from feeling dry. I used Cetaphil moisturizing lotion. I wanted to use something that was free of color/fragrance (i.e. anything that might be harsh on my skin). Did you have your Fraxel treatment yet? Any side effects? What were your results? Thanks!
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