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Canceled 2 treatments - San Diego, CA

I had my first fraxel yesterday. I showed up early...

I had my first fraxel yesterday. I showed up early for the numbing cream, The hour went by fast because I was nervous! The procedure itself didn't take too long but WOW it DOES hurt. It is doable if you keep telling yourself why you are doing it. The RN was super sweet and talked me through it. Tears came out, couldn't help it but the pain passes fast.

I had 4 passes and honestly don't know if I could have taken another. Each pass hurt more. Not trying to scar anyone but just be prepared it will hurt but it will be over fast. Keep the cold air blower on! The nurse held it for me.

Afterwards she gave me and ice pack as my face was throbbing and swollen. It's an odd sensation; you can feel the heat beneath the skin. Within just a few minutes my face stopped throbbing and I looked in the mirror! Wow face was beat red and swollen! Was a little shaky (my body always does this shocky thing even when I get dental work) so next time will bring some fruit or something for afterwards.

Minimal pain within an hour but I was pretty swollen for the rest of the day and very red.

2nd day my face is getting rough with little brown spots. Also still swollen but not as much. Also not very nearly as red. If anyone who didn't know me probably wouldn't notice! I wish the slight swelling would stay as I look great!

I put undecided as my rating becuase I really shouldn't judge it until I get the other three treatments.

Updated on 6 Apr 2011:

Today is day 9. I had a pretty bad break out of acne after the whiteheads, but now that is almost healed. All redness is gone and honestly my face does look younger but my doc is honest and said it is probably swelling (though it doesn't look swollen to me.) My skin is just about back to normal except for the lack of sagginess. My doc said 20% of people get an acne breakout but it is temporary.

I wish this was the final result but doc said after 1 month I will see all swelling gone. I still have three treatments to go. He said after three along with the fillers my face will look 10 years younger and I trust him. Doc said it takes a while to rebuild collagen so he won't do the juvederm under the eyes until 1 month past treatment as it could puff the eyes too much.

I have to say after reading many of these negative posts I was afraid to do this but my doc is one of the top fraxel docs. Plus I am married to a doc (different specialty) and will say docs don't just "do this for money" as many people have accused. Most doctors care very deeply about their patient's well being and don't want to scar people. Sure there is always going to be a bad reaction or bad doctor but they are the exceptions.

Day 3 (2 days after treatment). Skin is getting...

Day 3 (2 days after treatment).
Skin is getting more rough but hardly red, more pink/tanish. Also minor breakout of whiteheads. Swelling is gone. I was told all this would happen ahead of time so no surprises. It's way easier than I thought after reading some of the reviews. I do miss using my regular skin products but they said to wait a week.

Today is day 10, all redness, acne etc is gone. I...

Today is day 10, all redness, acne etc is gone. I have been wearing spf 70 sunscreen and a hat and will continue to do so out in the sun. Sun damage is the number one cause of bad skin. Look at the skin on your butt or an area that doesn't get sun and you won;t see any lines, wrinkles, spots, etc.

It's been almost a month since my 1st fraxel....

It's been almost a month since my 1st fraxel. I have a couple spots i'm concerned about but doc will check them out. My forehead has a red square patch in the center, and the pores are very enlarged. Forehead also feels lumpy. The rest of my skin looks great. I did get a bruise below one eye but it is going away. Most people have noticed a change and say my skin looks good even though I haven;t told them it was done.

Yesterday I had my second fraxel treatment. First...

Yesterday I had my second fraxel treatment. First I'll address the pain issue. YES it hurt more the second time! I really didn't think I could get through it but I did. Had over an hour of numbing cream, but still it hurt, especially on the forehead.

I was still red and had minor swelling from the first treatment. My doc said I have sensitive skin so he used 30/6 instead of the 40/8 he did last time. I'm glad he did as I would rather error on the side of being conservative than too aggressive.

Today I have less swelling and redness than the first time. I also got some post laser cream which contains hydro-cortisone, aloe and moisturizer. The moisturizer I was using had salylic acid which was probably too much in the healing process. For all you women that love make up I got some yellow powder that gets rid of redness to wear under your powder foundation. I actually wore it yesterday and went to lunch after the procedure. Today I am not so puffed up my eyes aren't swollen like last time.

So yes these setting are more conservative but down time is nothing. Yes I'm still red but it can be covered. Comparing my before and after pixs I definitely looked tighter so am looking forward to these results. I plan on getting a genesis treatment to get rid of the redness after all this as I do have red skin.

Today is day 4 after my second treatment. So far...

Today is day 4 after my second treatment. So far this has been MUCH easier than the first. No whiteheads or acne like last time. Redness is easy to cover with powder, and swelling is minimal. I think the lower settings are the reason why. Hopefully I will have as good results but honestly I'm thinking the people that had a hard time was because the settings were too high. Maybe there is so many variables with skin type it's impossible to predict outcome. So far I'm happy and plan on my third treatment. The only part I HATE is the actual procedure but it's only 20 minutes.

Just had to post an update. Today is day 8 after...

Just had to post an update. Today is day 8 after my second fraxel. I am starting to see real improvements finally other than the temporary swelling. My skin just looks better, is tighter and smoother. Many of the spots are gone, small lines and the little bumps I had after the first treatment have disappeared. The only thing I have is a small bit of hyperpigmentation below my eye but am told it will go away. I think the key was I had lower settings, and I used a better product for aftercare. Also bumped up the vit c. Looking forward to my third fraxel...starting to see how good it is going to get!

I think the thing is don't go into this thinking it is an overnight process. Your skin will look bad before it looks good. My face now looks the healthiest it has in years, and I'm starting to get comments about how good my skin looks which I can assure has NEVER happened before!

May 8 -- I was due for my third fraxel but my doc...

May 8 -- I was due for my third fraxel but my doc decided to hold off for at least an additional 6 weeks. He said my skin still looks irritated. My skin is very sensitive and is still red even though the last settings were very low. For now I am back using hydracortisone/aloe/moisturizer blend on my face and that is it. My skin continues to look better other than some areas that are still red. I'm very glad I have a good doctor that looks at my face carefully. Getting my fillers on a few weeks and may do genesis if the redness persists.

I made the decision to cancel the last two fraxels...

I made the decision to cancel the last two fraxels. I think it is just too harsh for my skin. I have a mixed final review.

The good--

6 weeks out of my second treatment my skin looks fantastic from my eyes and below. It is tighter, smooth and i look much younger. It is pretty amazing. Tone is more even too, and many spots are gone. I really wish I could complete the treatments but see below for the reasons i am not.

the not so good -- the "boney" areas of my face-- cheekbones, forehead and outer corners of the eyes are still having issues. My forehead still has that bumpy enlarged pore look, and the red patchy look has not gone away. Fortunately I have bangs to cover it.

The outer corners of my eyes still have the little bumps. texture looks very rough. the wrinkles are gone though so pick your poison!

My cheekbones-- one is still slightly swollen and one has a spot that is painful. I have been using hydrocortisone/aloe/vitamen moisturizer still to make that area less tender. It is getting better.

Overall I am happy with the way my face looks but am afriad to do further treatments until the trouble spots heal, and even then the settings will have to be so conservative not sure it is worth.

Honestly the tighening and smoothness that has occured so far exceeded my expectations. Becuase of this I don't see any reason to continue.

Bottom line, is it worth it? I think it depends on YOUR skin. I think there are so many variable reponses to this treatment it is hard to predict the outcome. So for now, no more lasers for me. (I don't really need any more!)

My doc is very kind and said this is a process and will do everything to make this heal and for now the best thing is let it rest.

So I wanted to update another month later. My skin...

So I wanted to update another month later. My skin has fully healed after 2 treatments. As I mentioned before I opted to cancel the additional 2 treatments. The area around the outside corners of my eyes is still bumpy but not noticeable.

I think this procedure is hard on sensitive skin and takes a long time to see the results, but now my skin looks great I don't need makeup. I've also had juverderm and botox and yes I do look 10 years younger! I guess I'm lucky to only need 2 treatments.

Well it's been six months since my first tx so I...

Well it's been six months since my first tx so I thought I'd update. I had 2 treatments of the restore.

Was it worth it? I think it is overpriced. I originally bought 4 treatments but canceled the last 2. My skin is very smooth and it cleared up the sun damage. On the downside the sides outer corners of my eyes have the pitting. But, no wrinkles! Also I have some hyperpigment under one eye.


Now I'm using retinol almost daily and my skin is getting even better but not sure if it is from the fraxel or retinal. If I had it to do all over again I would have used the retinol alone to see if there was an improvement.

I'm changing my rating to not worth it because of the potential for damage in some individuals and you can buy lots of precription strength retinol for the same money.
Name not provided

Updated on 3 May 2011:

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 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
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (28)

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no one really notices it but I do want to say there are probably better treatments for sun damage than lasers. I won't be doing it again! BTW I am having facial rejuvenation surgery on my face and neck in two weeks so that should be a big change.
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Please Keep us updated. Jaylyn only has the pitting around her eyes. It has been well over a year and it has not diminished with a retinoid. If you find something that works, please let us know! I hope you have a full recovery!!
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I'm 58 years young and I'm having my first treatment tomorrow. I've weighed the pros and cons and have decided to do the Fraxel treatment. I'm having three treatments 4-6 weeks apart.
Please don't e-mail me with negative reviews. Positive attracts positive, negative attracts negative. I'm guilty of being a polyanna, I wear the title proundly.
I wish everyone health and happiness and thanks for the reviews.
Wish me luck!
Thanks,
Babs2

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So glad to hear you are doing so well! I had my last treatment a little over a week ago. Glad it is all over and now on to the healing and resoration phase. Thanks for the update! I often wonder how people are doing so it is nice to hear a follow-up story every now and then.

Take care!
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Thanka Gerb, Yes I did delete my acct but for some reason it didn't take and I am getting emails so decided to stay and keep MY report updated.

Like you, I don't see anything wrong with the gals that are posting pictures. Maybe if they were older and had cancer scars or sundamage like we do they'd be thrilled with the results lol. I can't imagine doing this in my 20's.

I am getting more and more comments about my skin. I have friends that haven't seen me in a while say "your skin looks great!" You can't imagine how good that makes me feel. After the first treatment I did have the face "collapse" at the 4th week, but since the doc said it would happen I was ready for it. Now after the second treatment it has not happened and many of the brown spots are gone. The overal texture is smoother and appears tighter.

I don't understand the people that are complaining they have to wear sunscreen afterwards. For good skin care you should always wear it as sun if the number 1 thing that causes damage. It's the reason I keep getting CANCERS.

So, those contemplating this treatment I would suggest:

1. Get an experienced doc. Mine has done hundreds. He is the top fraxel doc in the area. I also looked at the licensing board to see if he had any claims against him. He had a clean record.

2. Educate yourself on skin care, before, during and after treatment. The first month I was using salylic acid after treatment and this was too stong. Those little bumps you see some people complain about are dermatitis and a sign of irritated skin. Baby your sking with vitamen C serum and a GOOD non acidic moisturerizer. For makeup use a minerlized make up. WEAR SUNSCREEN under makeup. Use an UVA/B high SPF made for your face. You can't do too much moisturizing, at least twice a day.
Also I wear a hat in hot sun. Not because of the fraxel but I am babying my skin and try to undo all the damage I inflicted on it over the years.

3. Tell your doc if you have concerns. I am using conservative settings now because I have sensitive skin. Also I am reading some people getting high numbers of passes per session-- I'm only getting 4.

4. Be patient. This is not an overnight process. If you had fraxel done and then didn't take care of your skin, I can see how hard it would be on you skin to recover. Don't blame the procedure.

I'm getting my 3rd treatment in 2 weeks. Went 5 weeks in between this time because of lack of time.

One more thing. I don't think this is miracle treatment. It will be an improvemnt that people may notice but aren't really sure what you did. Ultimately I did it for myself becuase I was looking pretty haggard. My skin looks a lot fresher now.

And please evil fraxel and those other fraxel nazis please do not post on my thread. This thread isn't about you, it's about MY experience. You've already been warned by adim.
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Hi kaytee,

I'm glad you didn't delete your account and you are continuing to update. Happy stories are just as important to the community as non-happy so glad you decided to stay. Hope you are having a a good memorial weekend.

Thanks,

-Britt

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I hope you don't let these people and their comments cause you to delete your account.

I have pondered a while as to why they feel the need to rain on everyone's parade. They posted to my blog too. I can't figure it out no matter how hard I think about it.

If you have a negative experience, just post that; no need to look on the blogs and post something to everyone who is going through the process.

I'm not posting smileys on their posts.

There are SO many variables to this treatment until I can't begin to list them here. Age, heredity, on and on...no one person will have exactly the same results as someone else.

I had my second treatment a week ago and so far so good.

I look at some of these people's pics and don't see anything wrong with them to begin with so I guess if it made it worse, it is horrible to them.

My skin is so damaged that any improvement is a lot.

I am enjoying reading your experience and thanks for posting.
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deleting my account so I don't have to listen to this. Obviously you guys either had a bad person doing your fraxel, are hysterical, or didn't take care of your skin afterwards. Yes I will enjoy my beautiful skin while you guys stay home, surf the net and complain all day. Oh, and I suppose you are gearing up for a class action. Good luck with that.
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I hope you do not delete your account. I think you are giving a great review of your experience.

I did not mean to offend or upset you. You asked for the studies so I simply provided them. You can check my posts, I do not go around posting negative comments on people's reviews I can assure you. Please stay and continue your review. People need ALL reviews: good and bad to make informed decisions.
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There is nothing in that study that is surprsing. You need to read it carefully and see if of the reasons why you had a negative experience. My doc is very conservative with settings (as the article mentioned side effects due to high settings) and the article was primarily geared to high settings on ABLATIVE or CO2 lasers. Is that what you had? I did look into it and decided it was too agressive for my skin. I saw nothing of fat loss, causing wrinkles or other claims.
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um, actually, i think it's YOU who didn't read the study carefully.

the study is on fractional lasers, which is non-ablative lasers, ie. notice that Fraxel:restore, the non-ablative laser, is listed in the study?

anyone reading these postings, if you can't see the link above to this study,

google

"Dermatologic Surgery Fractionated Laser Skin Resurfacing Treatment Complications: A Review"

to see for yourself
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btw, i also thought the posts were too rambling and incoherent when i read them over a year ago. at that time there weren't as many bad reviews out yet either so i also thought to just trust my doctor.

i now understand why they were rambling because the emotional devastation that you have to endure from the damage is nothing you can imagine... not until it happens to you.

i'm just looking out for you and your safety. if you can imagine that.

i honestly would prefer to be selfish. wish this never happened to me. not have to write these reviews.

were you able to read that study?
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since you're online, i hope you can access that link. Fraxel is very new, so many studies haven't been done yet. the pdf is available for download if you can find the link on that page.

also due to FDA's 501(k) expedited medical device approval process, its own clinical trials aren't required to be as rigorous as that for drugs. the 501(k) approval procedure doesn't even require testing on humans before approval! (look up all you can about the process if you're interested)

i also read the negative reviews here on this site and also, read them with a grain of salt and went ahead and did the Fraxel.

i have regretted it since, that i didn't take the negative postings more seriously. so this is all i can do now to help prevent the same thing from happening to other people.

please, why don't you just wait a few months, 6 months, a year, until you do your next procedure. you don't need any more lasers. T.T

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Well I youtubed as well as googled. I didn't see any of the damage of what you speak of, except one person on here who has since "passed." Afer reading many of those posts I came to the conclusion there were other issues besides fraxel. Some of those posts were rambling and made no sense so I took them with a grain of salt.
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I truly wish you the best on your treatments. More than likely you will be fine; however, that is not the case for some of us. Collagen remodeling takes 3-6 months to see results.

I believe that evilfraxel was trying to help you with sharing in her experience from a 16 month perspective.

I have posted a few studies below. I have many, many more if you are interested.

Best wishes!!
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yea I have read them, and I also read about how you complained about using sunscreen. You should be using it anyway, with or without fraxel. I have had cancer from the sun. Do you think I would knowingly make it worse? I am going on two MDs medical advice which I'm sorry holds more weight than a randowm poster who obviously has an agenda. Where are all these studies you speak of...DNA damage, increased cancer, etc. If you post links to these studies I would like to read them rather than sometimes hysterical posts on boards. Two of my precancers are GONE btw.
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i do have an agenda, and that is to spread the word that Fraxel is dangerous.

links are not allowed on realself, otherwise i would. which is why i say "google google google"

anyways. good luck to you. i wish i never did fraxel.
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I also wish I would never of done fraxel. It's a never ending nightmare. My face and life is ruined thanks to fraxel and Prevea Plastic Surgeons in Green Bay Wisconsin.
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please do not post a good review after only a week! it distorts the reality of this laser and its long term side effects.

good luck on your healing.
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what are you talking about? I'm getting ready to have my third treatment. Just because it didn't work out for you doesn't mean it is that way for everyone.
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well, like i said, good luck.

but i personally would recommend you not to do any more treatments.

it's too dangerous.

you didn't even read my review before you commented on it. do none of those points hit home for you?

i'm 16 months post procedure and i only had 1 treatment.

and i'm only 26 years old, the healing should've been great but it was a disaster.

the swelling from the laser takes about 6 months to go down... that's when you will notice the damage.

i really do hope you don't have damage but...
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Hi evil,

While we appreciate your community involvement, procedures will effect everyone differently. Kaytee is right and should not be judged or have comments said just because they are going in and having a procedure done which they like and worked for them. So please continue to be part of the community, but also remember everyone is different and sharing information is a bit different than telling people they should not go through with the procedure.

Thanks,

-Britt

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Hi Britt. I did not mean to upset anyone. I seriously thought she was interested in reading the studies. BTW: Why were they deleted?
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yes I'm not looking forward to mine either! The laser was set at 2/3rds power (whatever that is)and then the last pass she turned it down. I probably could have endured one more pass but maybe they just wait and see how the skin reacts the first time. I have blotchy skin and am getting the treatments for fine lines and just all over improvement since I sadly neglected it with sun damage. Today is day 12 I swear it isn't swollen and I go see an improvement! Next treatment is May 7th but I may move it up a few days.
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Hi Kaytee,
your experience was quite similar to mine but I had major swelling on day 2 around the chin - it was quite scary actually. The pain - yes, it was so painful. I had 6 passes and when 5 and 6 happened I was in a lot of pain - I just wanted a gigantic fan blowing all over. My face also felt like it was on fire for a good couple of hours. Felt better after the 3rd. I'm not looking forward to the next 2 treatments (I'm only having 3 in total). Looking forward to reading about your next session.
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