Fraxel Restore in my Forties; Aging Gracefully - Santa Rosa, CA

I am a 46.5 year old caucasian woman and like many...

I am a 46.5 year old caucasian woman and like many of you my story is similar. I was a teen and adult acne sufferer. I was prescribed antibiotics and topical creams from age 16 and in my mid 20's I was prescribed an eight month coarse of Accutane. Much to the discouragment of others, Accutane was a positive treatment, but the results still left my skin with shallow scaring concentrated along my temples and cheek area. In my early 40's, I began to have facials including extractions and peels on a regular basis. This was extremely benificial for combating hormonal breakouts. As I have aged, the elastcity in my skin is begining to sag and the acne scars are becoming more visible. For this reason I chose to try Fraxel-Restore.

I have done my research on the procedure and doctors in my area. I have also been to several cosmetic seminars and spoke with others who had the procedure done. Although nervous, I was confindent in my choice of doctor. I was not looking for the cheapest gig in town, but the doctor who was looking out for my best interest.

My Fraxel course of treatment will be four sessions, each spaced one month apart. Yesterday I had my first treatment. It began with Lidocain numbing cream for an hour and half. The laser was set on 50, 70 being the highest setting. I held a wand blowing cold air at my face while the nurse did 8 passes over my entire face, with an extra pass around the temple area. The sensation felt like tiny heated pricks, very tolarable. The laser time was 20 minutes. I was very red and swollen immediately following the precedure. The pain and tingly heat sensation lasted about 2 hours, but with an ice mask and fan I was comfortable before I went to bed last night. My post receovery treatment consist of ice, mild cleanser (Cetaphyl), plain aloe, sunscreen spf 50, wide brimmed hat and minimal exposure to the sun.

Today the swelling is down and the flaking has begun. My skin is very tight and the texture is like fine sandpaper. I see and feel a visable differance. I know this is only treatment number one, but so far so GOOD!

I would enjoy a positive and productive discussion about Fraxel, but if you are a troll or naysayer, pass on by.

Today is day 4 of Fraxel treatment #1. My skin is...

Today is day 4 of Fraxel treatment #1. My skin is still a bit red, but not swollen. I have flaking and peeling and use moisturizer about 4 x's a day. I can definitely see an improvement and I'm very encouraged that with 3 more treatments I'll get excellent results.

Eight days since Fraxel treatment 1 and I'm...

Eight days since Fraxel treatment 1 and I'm excited!!!! Wore mineral makeup today for the first time all week and it went on incredibly smooth. I still have a pinkish hue to my face, but I know my skin is still healing. If I feel this fantastic after only one treatment, imagine how I'll feel after 3 more. I'm changing my "was it worth it" to a definite YES!

Last night my husband remarked (without provoking)...

Last night my husband remarked (without provoking) the difference in my skin. He commented that my makeup looked smooth and natural. YIPPIE!!!!!!!
Today I saw my aesthetician for an eye brow wax. (She did not perform my Fraxel) She was amazed at the noticeable difference after one treatment. I'm pleased as pie!

Yesterday I had my second Fraxel Restore. My...

Yesterday I had my second Fraxel Restore. My treatment and recovery are almost identical to my first, although they did increase the laser to 55. As an aside, I did have dermaplaning two week ago. This proceedure helps remove excess facial hair (I had blonde peach fuzz). I'm very happy with the results and my moisturizer and mineral makeup apply much easier now.

Day 3-Post Fraxel Treatment #2- An update, Round 2...

Day 3-Post Fraxel Treatment #2- An update, Round 2 has more peeling, bronzing and redness. It is still tolerable, but I am applying moisturizer 5-6 times a day.

Today is day 8 post my second Fraxel treatment. My...

Today is day 8 post my second Fraxel treatment. My skin looks great! So great, last night I went to a girl’s night out party with NO foundation only eye makeup. I'm still babying my skin by moisturizing several times a day and applying additional sunscreen. I have also started taking 1000 mg Vitamin C. I hear this helps in the production of collagen. I added two new photos to show my progress.

Day 2-Post Fraxel treatment #3. I'm not sure if...

Day 2-Post Fraxel treatment #3. I'm not sure if the recovery is getting easier or I am just getting used to it. After my treatment yesterday, I went home and iced my face pretty consistently till I went to bed. I also propped my head up with an additional pillow and I seem a lot less swollen today than I have in the past on day two. Today I went for a long walk with a friend and got Starbucks too. Wore a large brimmed hat and slathered SPF 50 sunscreen before going out. My nurse said she will take photos before my next (last) appointment and then have me return several weeks later to take additional photos. She is very pleased with my outcome and so am I!
BTW, going to a big family party in two weeks. No one knows I have done this. I wonder if they'll notice the difference :-)

I added two new photos to my profile. These photos...

I added two new photos to my profile. These photos are from treatment # 3 post Fraxel 7 days. I am still a bit red, but feel very comfortable going out in public. Although it's difficult to see from the photos, this round of Fraxel has shown significant results in texture. Of course I can still see scars, but they are smoother and less visible. I did have two or three sunspots and those are completely gone. Looking forward to my final treatment next month.

On Friday I had my fourth and final Fraxel...

On Friday I had my fourth and final Fraxel treatment. It seems to hurt less and recovery appears faster after each session. The nurse did an extra pass on my temples since this is the area where the acne scars were most noticeable. I asked if she thought I might need a fifth treatment. She told me to wait three months and then make my decision. Most of her acne scar patients are happy with the results after four treatments. Looking into the future, three to four years, I might decide to do another treatment to freshen up my look and help with fine wrinkles around my eyes. I will post more photos as we get closer to the holidays, when my face has plenty of time to heal. For right now, I'm delighted beyond belief!

As of eight weeks ago, I am post my 4th and final...

As of eight weeks ago, I am post my 4th and final Fraxel treatment. I have added two new photos to show my progress. When I look at these photos, I notice the greatest improvement around the eye area. There is definitely a reduction in fine lines. As far as the acne scars, of course I would have loved peaches and cream skin, but that is just unrealistic for this procedure. However, with that being said, the texture of my skin is smoother, the fold lines around my mouth have softened and I am more confident going out in public not wearing makeup. Was it worth it? Without a doubt YES!

Last week I began using Obaji eye cream. Although...

Last week I began using Obaji eye cream. Although it has only been one week, I am noticing a slight improvement with wrinkles and crepeness. I am also continuing with dermaplaning and facials every five weeks. To date, my skin has never looked better.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Happy New Year! It has been almost three months...

Happy New Year! It has been almost three months since my final fraxel. The same question arises time and again. Was it worth it?
My skin is definitely different. I no longer have pronounced aged spots or discoloration. The texture of my skin is smoother, makeup seems to adhere better to my skin. I don't look as greasy after exercising. Pore's seem smaller. BUT, I still have scaring, less visible YES, completely gone NO. I would say I had a 30% change. To some of you, a 30% change might seem insignificant, but to me any improvement is worth it.

Six month update- when I first posted my initial...

Six month update- when I first posted my initial blog back in June 2012, many of the naysayers said " let me know what you think after six month, your face will show increased signs of aging, you'll be very disappointed you did it" WRONG!!!!! I have documented my progress with many before and after photos and I couldn't be more happier. My face looks great! In fact, someone I met for the fist time told me I didn't look old enough to have an 18 year old child. YAY!!!!! The only change I have made to my morning/evening routine is an additional serum that has Retinal. With summer upon us, everyone needs to be very diligent about wearing sunscreen. I'm an addict now and won't leave the house without applying, even if I'm just running a quick errand.
Happy Summer to All!
Walter Tom, MD- Aesthetic Laser & Vein

Recommendation from a trusted source and attended several seminars.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
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
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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GLad to hear of your success with this. I am interested in whether the second treatment made much of a difference compared to the first? I have had my first treatment of Fraxel Restore on 20th of May. At first because of swelling all the wrinkles and most of the fine lines on my forehead seemed to have vanished. But since then as it wore off, more and more of the improvement is reversing. I suppose my wrinkles are not as deep in some cases as they were, but I am disappointed so far. But the doctor said it would take 3 treatments to deal with the wrinkles. So I will stick with it.
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Hi Brian, I noticed the most significant difference after the third treatment. I had a total of four. But you must give your face time to heal and that could take many months. Be patient. I'm nine months out now and I'm loving the results!
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I'm on Day 7 of Fraxel Dual 1927 setting - face looks fabulous - loads of compliments today - noticeably better and smooth, pier reduction and and improved texture - probably do it again in Sept
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Excellent advice Naomi! Thank you for sharing.
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You look great! So worth it! Thanks for sharing your story here. :-)
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I have been struggling between ultherapy and the frameless treatments. Ur results look so amazing that I'm def leaning towards frameless now...thanks so much!

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congratulations! very nice you look great! I'm doing the same treatment (just completed my 3rd treatment) I see an improvement but my scaring was much worse than yours. Hope to see great results. Joe

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Very nice testimony
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Thanks for your reviews Fishmonger. It's positive and detailed reviews like yours that convinced me to give Fraxel Restore a go for my acne scarring (mainly on my cheeks). I had my first one in July 2012 and had a total of 4 spaced with each spaced about 2 months apart. Improvement was very gradual but now, less than a year after the first treatment, my scarring is much less noticeable than before. The only downside is that it brought out pigmentation on my cheek bones but that is definitely the lesser of two evils for me. Best AUD$4,500 I've ever spent!
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I would say you definitely have an improvement overall, looking at your first and last pix. Congrats! I'm 30 days now after my third monthly Fraxel Restore treatment, and probably need one more to see real results.
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Thanks for sharing! It's great to see a positive review. I'm 39 - I think after 2 treatments I'm definitely seeing a difference with the scars on my cheeks. We're using Obagi to address my hypopigmentation. I just had my #3 treatment yesterday (through Kaiser Sacramento). For the first two treatments I returned to work on day 5 with tinted sunscreen and did ok. I wear my glasses and people don't notice any remaining puffiness around my eyes. I wish I could have taken a full week off this time - but alas back to work on day 5 again.
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Hi Tricia, I'm glad to hear your treatments are going well. I noticed the most significant change after my third treatment. Do you plan on having any more? I'm also using the Obaji ELASTIderm eye treatment and its helping with fine lines and creping under my eyes. Keep in touch. Would love to know your thoughts after you've completed treatment.
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Thank you for sharing your experience so thoroughly! The information that you provide is very helpful. Who was your Dr. in Santa Rosa? Thank you.
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I went to Dr Walter Tom- Aesthetic Laser and Vein. Mary his licensed nurse performed all four Fraxel procedures. She was wonderful!
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Did you notice much or any benefit after just one treatment. Thanks.
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Hi Ruuby, for me the most significant change was after treatment #3. Be patient though, it takes time for healing process to really show it's best results. I'm now almost four months post my final fraxel and my skin has never looked better!
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Hi Fish. Thnk you for replying. You may remember from my original posts that I had 5 or 6 fraxel restore treatments six years ago and was delighted with the results etc etc. I just had a one off top up treatment 9 days ago and am hoping I will see some result with just one treatment. I just wanted tI freshen my skin up a little and erase a minor brown spot. The original treatment had a fantastic affect on pigmentation etc but aging still happens. I have had several trips abroad and even though I wear hats and loads of high factor sun screen, six years is a long time etc. my skin is certainly still 100 per cent better than pre fraxel ! Ithink it is the best thing I did for my complexion which was scarred by acne on my cheeks. The thing is, i wonder how effective just one treatment will be. I didn't go very red but I was more swollen this time after treatment I didn't really bronze this time although my skin felt like sandpaper until today. Today my skin seems to look brighter although I can still see some of the pigmentation. Do you think ths will continue to fade and one treatment will be enough to get me back 100 per cent on track !
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Hey fishmonger! Checking in how ur skin is now that it has been a while since ur last and final treatment?:) hoe ur doing great!
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Thx for the update! Ur skin looks great!! Really see the difference, how do u feel about the fraxel series?
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Hi Sandrine, thanks for your encouraging posts. Still happy I did Fraxel and I'm continuing good skin care practice with facials, sunscreen and nightly makeup removal. Happy Thanksgiving to you!
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Fish, I see a big difference in your skin between your pre-Fraxel pics and your 8 weeks post fraxel #4 - mostly with the overall texture of your skin. It's a LOT smoother and the tone is so much more even! Thanks for posting...it's interesting that you say you see the biggest difference in the fine lines around your eyes - my dermatologist only went up as high as my cheekbones all 3 times. I asked her to go higher up the second time but she didn't really - she said something about the skin being too thin there.
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Hi Seeking, when the laser was done under my eyes, the nurse changed the laser head to something smaller. I'm not sure if the setting changed as well. Last week I began using the Obaji eye cream and although it had only been a week, I am noticing a slight improvement. Thanks for your encouraging posts and Happy Thanksgiving!
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Hey Fishmonger! Is it normal, that after the first treatment you don't really see much of improvement in the scars? will this change with the following treatments? what do you think..
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Well, I am pleased so far, of course there is still potential for more improvement.. but I imagine that with every treatment you'll get better and better results. The downtime was pretty easy, went back to work the next day. I finally booked a 4-treatments-packages as well, you are really encouraging me that it will get even better. I am a bit impatient, as I've been wandering around with scarred skin and now I am finally doing something to treat it.. :) The doctor had me on 50mj and did 10 passes, although what I counted was less..and she was done in 10 minutes ( i didn't have my cheeks done) Thank you for answering so quickly to my questions :)
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