My derm recommended Fraxel for my shallow facial scars. I had very minor scarring in which most people couldn't tell I even had scars, but under certain lighting conditions, I'd notice them and be depressed. I had a long history of acne (about 12 years). I am 25 now. She was my derm, I trusted her, and I didn't know of any other options.... In highsight, I would never do a laser surgery on my face and never recommend it to anyone. I had a full-face Fraxel restore on January 8, 2010. Initial recovery was fine, just as the derm described. One week of brown flaking and redness and then clear radiant skin afterwards.
Pros: - My shallow acne scarring has cleared about 80%. But now, 4 months post surgery, my face is flushing red. It resembles rosecea but its worse because my face is red ALL OVER MY FACE, where I had Fraxel. People with normal rosecea only get red on their cheekbones and/or noses and/or foreheads. My face is red ALL OVER! At the temples, at the jawlines, etc because I had a full face fraxel. Anyways, I believe the Fraxel procedure I had has induced this rosecea like condition in my face. I am writing this review as objectively as possible but I am super depressed now. How am I supposed to face the world now? I am chinese-asian and rosecea is not common among asians, only among very fair skinned causasian skin types. My face was never red before, even when I drank alcohol, it would actually turn white, not red. AND NOW FRAXEL has induced this redness all over my face. From what I've read about rosecea, I think the thing is that because fraxel destroyed the collagen, which is the support system for the blood vessels/capilliaries in your skin and since the system is damaged, the capilliaries can't handle any extra blood flow from when your face flushes for any reason, ie. exercising, having a fever, eating spicy foods, being embarrassed, etc. In my case, it was because I had a fever. The fever inflammed my whole face and because Fraxel had weakened the support system of the blood vessels (ie. destroyed too much collagen), the blood vessels couldn't handle the extra blood flow and become permenantly damaged and dilated. And now my face is always red. Yes, if only I had not gotten sick. But how can you control that? What you can control is not getting Fraxel. It's not only the redness either. I have a lot of bumps and uneven skin texture now. And I look 5 years older than I did just 3 months ago. I used to be told I looked like I was 20 years old but now I look like I'm 30. As well, I believe I have some fat loss in my cheeks. My face is a lot thinner than before and the cheeks are more caved in. That probably contributes to the fact that I look older now too.
Cons: - Permanent facial flushing. It's only been 4 months and I do hope the redness and flushing goes away.... BUT I've read on other sites of people who have had Fraxel and gotten flushing problems, and even 3 years later, they still haven't fixed it even with v-beams and IPLs. I'm very tempted to try an IPL to get rid of the redness but I am afraid because of my experience with laser and all the horror stories that are now just popping up. If I had seen these posts, I wouldn't have done the Fraxel. It's too bad that most of these posts were posted only a few weeks after I had it done. Bad timing. So not fair. T.T
Conclusion: - I'd recommend it for shallow scar spot treatment, which is what I should've done in hindsight, because I only had scars on my cheeks. - If you're only doing it for acne scars, do it only on where the scars are and not a full face.