I am 51 and have slight crow's feet, lines around my mouth, sagging jaws and brownspots. I am too chicken to have a facelift but it might eventually come to that --ha. After much research and a consultation with my doctor, I decided to try the Fraxel laser.
I had the Fraxel Re:store last Friday at a board certified plastic surgeon's office. Procedure was performed by the doctor's nurse who I had been informed has extensive training in the use of the laser. The numbing gel was put on my face for 1 hour prior to procedure. Eight passes were done on each area of my face -- 2 passes vertical; 2 passes horizontal; 2 more passes vertical and a final 2 passes horizontal. There was very cold air blowing on each area as the laser was being used. There was very little discomfort. I could feel my face swelling before the end of the session.
I was given instruction to go home, place a wash cloth in a bowl of water and ice and place on my face every 30 minutes for a few hours and before bedtime. I left the washcloth on each time until it became room temperature. I was also told to sleep with my head elevated. These things were suppose to alleviate some of the swelling.
I live about 30 minutes away from the doctor's office and my face really started to sting half-way home. I almost panicked thinking this was what I was in for the rest of the day. The nurse had given me an ice pack. I put that on and it relieved the discomfort until I got home. As soon as I arrived home, I did the washcloth thing on and off for 2 hours and took a couple of Advil tablets and went to sleep for the remainder of the afternoon. Saturday there was a little swelling and redness but not as much as I had expected -- I actually went to a play in the late afternoon.
Sunday and today, my face seems a little more red and feels as if I have a windburn and there is very little swelling. I put my makeup on, went to work today and no one seemed to notice anything. Late this afternoon I started to feel the flaking which I was told to expect.
Overall, my first procedure was good. I have 3 more scheduled (1 per month). The nurse did tell me they get a little more intense each time so if I felt I couldn't handle the pain/discomfort, she would prescribe me a pill to take beforehand but that I would have to have someone drive me to and from the visit. I will probably try without the Rx on the 2nd procedure. Also for my second visit, I think I will pack a cooler with washcloths, ice and water for the drive home.
I will post after my 2nd treatment and let you know how it goes.