I am 39 with sun damaged skin. I had committed originally to doing at least 3 fraxel restore treatments for wrinkles around my eyes and lips and some MINOR skin discoloration and texture. After two VERY aggressive treatments I have to say I notice no visible difference in wrinkles. Overall, I do not believe looking at before and after pics you can see any differences. What a disappointment!
Here’s my summary of my treatment experience. I'll be polite and start off with the Pro's:
Brown spots: The few brown spots I had definitely did fade. This was not my reason for doing this since there are other less expensive options for the little discoloration I had.
Texture: My skin "feels" smoother, kind of like if I had a microdermabrasion - again which is much cheaper than Fraxel.
I have to note that I did have 2 very aggressive treatments.
Downtime: I was VERY red and had petechiae (red dots) for several days afterward. Having the procedure done on Friday going back to work Monday I looked absolutely ridiculous for a few days, but lived thru it. It took me a good 6 days for me to truly feel that it was no longer noticeable. One other thing to factor into your downtime… Fragile skin. No one really has brought this up in my research, but my skin is EXTREMELY fragile. I mean god forbid I get a blemish or an itchy spot I get hemorrhaging underneath my skin. I mean I had one in the middle of my forehead the size of a quarter. Imagine trying to cover one up. The doctor told me that my skin would be this fragile for several months? Really so I have my treatments months apart so add that to your downtime, so you are looking at several months of healing.
Breakouts: The first treatment I broke out with pustules all over my chin and was treated with antibiotics. The 2nd treatment was not as bad as I took them before the treatment started and it helped keep this to a minimum. Note - I do not have acne. Now - I break out more than I have since I was teenager. I'm not happy about this.
Wrinkles - I did this mainly for lip wrinkles and under eye wrinkles. I notice no difference. In fact, I would go so far to say that the hallows underneath my eyes are worse.
PAIN - oh the pain! I almost couldn't make it through the first treatment. The 2nd treatment I took a percocet which helped me tolerate the pain during treatment however my face hurt more afterward. I heard other lasers are NOT as painful as fraxel.
Advice: I would go with a more aggressive type of laser treatment. The downtime and cost is just not worth the benefit even if I got twice the results with 2 more treatments I would rather pay 1/2 the price and take an extra day off work to knock it out in one session.
If you have skin discoloration only, this *might* be an option since I did work well on the brown spots. However, I still don't think it's convenient going thru multiple sessions at this cost. The downtime is not supposed to be that much worse, maybe a day or two.
I'm going for Active Fx in a week. I wish someone else had posted this before I wasted time and money with the Fraxel restore.