Fraxel Dual- So Far So Good! - San Diego, CA

First Fraxel Dual 1927 done 2 days ago for age...

First Fraxel Dual 1927 done 2 days ago for age spots, freckles, and fine lines and while it is too early to tell, I wanted to share my experiences before I forget, step by step.

I am 32, fair skinned and noticed crows feet,freckles, and hyperpigmentation from years of sun damage and really wanted a fresh face. I have had microdermabrasion, chemical peels, Dysport for the wrinkles and none of that of course is more long term, so I wanted something more aggressive. For the price of the Dysport and just one microderm and one chemical peel, I could have one Fraxel session and supposedly have better results. So, I went for it!

I went to my dermatologist's office and signed up for the Fraxel. My session was two days ago. I had a numbing creame applied for one hour before the procedure and then the laser began. It was definitely NOT painless! The first pass over my face felt like tiny little needle pricks, which weren't so bad, but then as the procedure continued, it became very uncomfortable, like a blowtorch was being passed over my skin. There were a total of 8 passes and by the 5th one, I was really happy that it was almost over! I cannot imagine doing this without some kind of numbing cream. They blasted some cool air on my skin for about 10 minutes post procedure, which was great, but as soon as I stepped outside into the heat of the day and a hot car, WOW...I couldn't wait to get home to put some ice on my skin. Luckily, the pain went away over the next hour. I was definitely pink, but not swollen or anything and I slept comfortbaly. I was instructed to moisturize consistently, so I used the cream, Biafine, given to me by my dermatologist. It is an emollient, so it moisturizes, while providing beneficial healing ingredients and is commonly used for skin grafts, minor skin conditions, and inflammation caused by radiation. I have read elsewhere that Aquaphor is used and I used that at night to allow it to really soak in.

The next day, my cheeks were definitely red and almost dark like I had more freckles. My face felt very rough, like fine sandpaper. Looking up close, it looked as though my freckles were not solid. It looked as though they had been broken up into very tiny pieces, like small grains of pepper, as opposed to a solid brown freckle. It also looked like they were stuck on the surface of my skin, not deeper any more. It seems as though I could just scratch some of the freckle off, but of course I didn't do that.

I was able to apply liquid make-up on day 2 with a damp sponge, but I had to sponge it and lightly press it, rather than gently rub it on like I normally do. It did make a big difference and I was able to go out of the house without looking freakish, but I had to wear much more than usual for coverage and it just didn't feel comfortable.
I have off from work the whole week, so laying low is better I think. I would strongly suggest downtime rather than having to go into work after the procedure. My skin personally just looks a little weird and I can imagine people would stare.

I have not seen too much peeling yet, but it has only been 3 days and I was told day 3 and day 4 is when I should see peeling the most. Of course, everyone is different, but this is my experience so far. I am really looking forward to the next few days to see what there is to come. Stay tuned!!

UPDATE- Day 4 All I can say is "WOW!" It has...

UPDATE- Day 4

All I can say is "WOW!" It has been 4 days now since my Fraxel Dual session and I have noticed a HUGE difference in my skin in such an amazing way. It seems like my skin changed literally every hour. Yesterday was Day 3 and it was the worst in that I just looked pretty terrible- my skin looked super dry despite lots of hydration and was still a little red. But, as I washed my face that night with Cetaphil, the dead skin sloughed off, revealing fresh, new skin WITH NO FRECKLES. I was amazed! I will admit, seeing that made me get a little aggressive with the washing and I noticed small, pinpoint areas of bleeding from too much rubbing, so don't do that. Just be patient. But, as I looked at my hands, I saw brown pieces of skin which were my freckles. I know, it sounds gross, but it made me realize that this truly does work.

So here is my regimen...rub a quarter sized amount of Cetaphil cleanser onto dry skin and gently massage with fingertips then wash with cool water (warm is ok too, but it might be a tad uncomfortable for new skin). I use Cetaphil anyway and usually use it on dry skin at night to take my makeup off and then rinse, so I know it is a good product. I then apply a thick layer of the Biafine cream given to me by my dermatologist, but Aquaphor will work well too. I don't care for the Aquaphor in the daytime because the feeling of the petrolatum base is annoying to me. A good moisturizer or Biafine for day and Aquaphor for night and SUNSCREEN if you're going out. I have Neutrogena Faces with 95 SPF. No kidding. And that's it!

All I can say is that I know some people had very bad experiences with Fraxel and that is a shame because if what I am seeing 4 days into it is just the beginning (the effects are supposed to be gradual over several weeks to months), then I am SOLD.

I will post again in another week or when I see different results.

It has been 5 months since my procedure and I...

It has been 5 months since my procedure and I think I would have to see both before and after pics of then and now to remind myself what I looked like before because I see myself every day and may have gotten used to my "new" face. Mind you, I only had one procedure and had decent skin before, so it's not like this was a huge miracle. How could it be? It was one time and most doctors recommend a package deal. I have a very good skin care regimen and credit my looking younger than I am to that, not necessarily to the Fraxel. I think in order to really be satisfied, you need to ask yourself why you are doing this. For me, I just wanted to be refreshed, get rid of some of the sun damage and freckles and not have to wait for several cycles of peels and microdermabrasion to give me what I wanted. Instant gratification for a fresher complexion was my driving point and I certainly got that. So, am I happy? Yes indeed. But, I probably would not do it again for several years because it truly was downright painful and the downtime for me was almost a week. I don't have the desire or time to go through it again. However, if my face truly was terribly damaged by sun and age spots, then I would have much more of an inclination to do this again because I did see enough of a difference after the first time to be a believer.
I think it is important though to understand that this won't fix everything. I have had Botox in the past and fillers for fine lines and had hoped that Fraxel would make it so I would never want that again, but muscles and movement of them create the wrinkles and unless you are using a paralytic agent like Botox to stop that movement, no amount of laser will get rid of those. I made the mistake of thinking almost too positively and thinking I would come out looking like a teenager and that was just not realistic.
So, if you want a pick-up and want to look fresh, then I say go for it, but be realistic in your expectations and understand that some people found Fraxel to be very bad, so take their opinions into consideration and weight the pros and cons.

Oh, one last thing before I forget..I spoke with a...

Oh, one last thing before I forget..I spoke with a dermatologist who recommended NOT using Aquaphor or any other petroleum based moisturizer, especially during the first day or two because it traps heat and can make your skin much more uncomfortable. Try the Biafine, which I LOVE though it is a prescription, or La Roche Posay Cicaplast, which is used specifically for post-peels and microdermabrasion. Also, Aquaphor can clog pores and unless you really scrub it off (which you wouldn't want to do after Fraxel), it can stay like a film on your skin and cause break-outs. You may already be miserable due to redness and peeling and pain, so do you really want to add insult to injury with Vaseline or Aquaphor? Now I know why my skin was so red and had pinpoint bleeding spots when I washed it. I felt like I had to be much more agressive because my skin felt more gross than it needed to. Just my opinion, but I think the Dermatologist obviously knows better.
La Jolla Laser Cosmetic Clinic

Schedule with Tami, the Nurse Practitioner and you will not regret it. She is knowledgeable, informative, really knows her stuff, and clearly is skilled and trained well. I am a Physician Assistant myself, having previously worked in Dermatology, but changed specialties long before Fraxel came out, so I understand the caution people may have about someone other than an actual doctor being the one to administer treatment, but I urge you to educate yourself before you assume a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician Assistant is not capable or not as good as a doctor. In fact, many more in-depth cases in Dermatology are seen by the doctor, whereas the cosmetic procedures are seen by Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. So, more often than not, the NP or PA is actually more skilled! Both doctors and nurses who work in laser have to attend classes, or have extensive training before they start treating patients. Just because a person does not have MD after his or her name does not make them any less capable.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
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