Fraxel: Restore - Painful


WHY I DID IT: fine lines, smile wrinkles,...

WHY I DID IT: fine lines, smile wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, acne scars around chin area

WHERE I DID IT: i went to a {edited - provider info is shown above the review for registered users}, San Diego, CA because it had the best deal for one treatment. One treatment is all i can afford for now, so that is why i did not get a package, otherwise I would have.

THE PROCESS: i didn't have a consultation, i just bought the treatment and scheduled the appointment. I got there a half hour before I was supposed to be there and filled out a couple pages of paperwork about my skin and health. Then she put numbing gel on my face, i accidentally licked it and it wasn't too bad tasting but it numbed my tongue for a few minutes then went away, probably because of the wetness. I also had a cold so i had to blow my nose a few times which may or may not have wiped off some of the gel.

I took one vicodin an hour before the treatment because i had heard about how painful the procedure is. I am glad I took it, i felt a little out of it during the procedure, like in another world. The technician didn't really talk to me too much or ask me any questions so it was up to me to get the information. I asked her if i could pluck hair after treatment and she said that shouldn't be a problem, but didn't sound too confident about her answer. I told her that i wanted an aggressive treatment.

She started on my right jaw area and the pain was very tolerable, i still felt comfortable and actually kind of felt good. Then after a few passes she said my skin was reacting very well and wasn't even red, then asked if it was okay if she turned it up. I said yes. she ended up doing 8 passes with 18 energy, 8 density.... she said 20 was the highest it would go. She also had a wand that blew out cold air which felt delightful on my skin.

Now, it was hurting. At times i felt like I wouldn't be able to take it any more! But i kept telling myself how good i will look afterwards, afterall, "No pain, no gain."
The pain was uncomfortable at times and severe at times... but for me it is totally worth it, even if i end up not getting the results i am looking for out of one treatment.... because i am glad i tried it to see what it's like.

AFTER TREATMENT: It took me a few moments to open my eyes, they were swollen and watery. My face was pink. She gave me two small, round ice packs to take home with me. She applied what i think was petroleum jelly on my face and I asked her if it was sunscreen and she said no then gave me a dab of sunscreen to apply myself. I brought a scarf and a wide-brimmed hat with me to where while i walked to the car.

I could still feel the heat in my face when i got home and for maybe two hours after the treatment, but it wasn't too uncomfortable.... i just watched TV and forgot about it. I didn't use the ice packs the rest of the day. Before bed I washed my face with Cetaphil and luke warm water.... warm water was too hot to my face. I slept with my head raised on two pillows to help with the swelling on my face.

THE DAY AFTER: My face is still very swollen and pink. My skin feels dry, especially around the mouth area. I feel really good about the procedure and the healing process. I will keep posting as i keep healing. Please ask any questions or post any comments.

It has now been 7 days since i had the procedure...

It has now been 7 days since i had the procedure and overall my skin is look fantastic.  My only complaint now is around my nose area i have a rash... i took a picture of it but it didn't show well in the photograph.  I put some hydrocortisone on it this morning. I am not worried because i am confident that it will go away.  Thus far, i am very pleased with Fraxel Restore.  My husband even commented on my skin, he said it looks more even (not as hyperpigmented).  I have been staying completely out of the sun this entire week and plan to next week too to ensure the best healing for my skin.  I've also been drinking lots of water and taking fish oil and vitamin c (when i remember to).

11/11/09- it now been about 13 days since my first...

11/11/09- it now been about 13 days since my first procedure and my skin looks absoultely fabulous, i am glowing and my naturally puffy eyes aren't as puffy anymore.  i feel so pretty.  The only thing i am concerned about now are my pitted acne scars on my chin and jawline.  It isn't as noticable in pictures as it is in the mirror but i am planning on having my second procedure next week and will be assertive in telling the nurse to crank up the energy to at least 70 joules in those areas because that is the only way the laser can help my scars' appearances.  I'll post more after the second procedure.

Thursday, November 19, 2009.  I just had my...

Thursday, November 19, 2009.  I just had my second treatment of Fraxel Restore with Nurse Shannon.  I am very pleased with the treatment process.  It was very different from the treatment i received from Doctor Kristen 3 weeks prior.  With Shannon I felt like i was at a spa and felt like a million bucks, whereas, with the doctor I felt like she was more robotic and not as easy to talk to. 

I told Shannon about the scars on my chin and jaw area and told her that i wanted an aggressive treatment.  She talked to me throughout the procedure to tell me what she was doing and afterwards i asked her to write down the settings that she had the machine on because she used different settings for different areas.  This is what she did:

10/8/6 around my eyes; 35/8/6 on my forehead and nose; 40/8/6 on the side of my face and my chin area; and 15/6/6 around my mouth.  She did a few extra passes on my scars and even did a few passes on my neck because i had a scar there.

this is what the numbers mean: x/y/z; x= mjoules; y= treatment level; z= density/pass

The pain was not as bad in some areas, the eyes were the worst!  I took 800 ibuprofen 90 minutes beforehand.  Shannon did a really good job keeping the cool air on the areas that needed it.

it is 45 minutes after my treatment and my face is still burning and is more red than after my first treatment, but i like it because i know that my skin is going to look so fabulous in a few months.  Nurse Shannon recommended that i use hydrocortisone about 5 times a day for the first few days and sleep with my head raised on a couple pillows.  I will write more about my progress at a later date.

I did a lot of reading about Fraxel:restore and...

I did a lot of reading about Fraxel:restore and decided to do one treatment (that's all I could afford) at a medi spa because they had the best deal. I have fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and acne scars that i wanted treated.

On 10/30/09 I had my appointment. They put numbing cream on my face for an hour and then wiped it off and lasered me. I told the technician that I wanted an aggressive treatment. After a series of passes, she asked me if she could turn the energy up because my skin was reacting very well and wasn't even red. I of course said yes because i want more bang for my buck. She also had a wand that blew out cold air that felt really good on my skin. She put it on 18 energy, 10 density and did 8 passes.

It is very painful, felt untolerable at times, but i told myself "no pain, no gain" and tried to focus on how great I would look afterwards. I took a vicodin an hour before treatment because I had read about how painful the treatment is. I am glad I did. Right now, (30 minutes after the treatment ended) my face still feels hot under my skin, but is very tolerable. My skin is slightly pink and my face is swollen. Right after the treatment it took me a few tries to open my eyes.... they were a little watery and obviously, swollen.

So far I am very pleased with the way my skin reacted and a little disappointed that the technician didn't put it on the highest settings.... but then, she said she didn't want to risk me getting hyperpigmentation... so .... i can live with that. I will post more in the future about how my skin is recovering. please ask me any questions.

It is now June 2010, about 6 months since i had 2...

it is now June 2010, about 6 months since i had 2 fraxel restore treatments. i dont see any results. i won't be doing anymore treatments.

Dr. Kristen, Nurse Shannon - All About Me Medi Spa

My first treatment with Doctor K, she wasn't extraordinary and although she did an okay job on my face.... I feel like I could have been better cared for because she missed a few spots on my face. She didn't spend a lot of time answering questions and telling me about the procedure... i didn't even have a consultation. For my second treatment I asked for Nurse Shannon because I had spoken to her on the phone and I liked her; I am so glad I did because my second treatment was fabulous. During the procedure Shannon told me what she was doing and was very personable. She treated me really well and was really nice and informative.

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