Bellair Laser Clinic, FRAXEL DUAL - Acne Scars, Redness (Roscea) Poor Texture/Tone - Toronto, ON

Hi All, Writing/Documenting my experience with...

Hi All,

Writing/Documenting my experience with Fraxel Dual in hopes of helping those who are looking to find an open/honest experience that can hopefully help you in making your own decision.

Context
I am someone who's suffered with mild acne, all my life. As a result I have scarring, uneven skin tone and on top of that a lot of redness (which since visiting Bellair Laser Clinic) I've discpvered may possibly be Rosacea (Yay, Me!)
I've tried anything and everything in HOPES that I would not need to go to the extreme route of Fraxel.
I've had Micro/Peels and even IPL and Genesys laser which is nice.......for a maintenance package, not to correct Scarring, Sun Damage, Tone and Texture

Why Bellair Laser Clinic (BLC) ?
They specialize in lasers
NURSES perform any laser procedure (not technicians)
I searched and found no negative experiences from customers of BLC
BLC has received Consumer Choice Award 3 years in a row now
Staff has exquisite bedside manner



Pre Procedure
Went to BLC for Skin Analysis.
For some reason I didn't have photos taken the first time, but when I went through with Fraxel and my 2nd consultation I had pics taken.
2 sets of photos are taken, and they highlight what is actually 'scarring vs. sun damage vs. inflammation' which I liked.
I discovered I have minimal sun damage (one positive), however have a lot of scarring, bad tone (due to enlarged pores) and possibly Rosacea! Which makes sense due to how I always have a bit of redness :(
From there I bought a 3 session package of Fraxel = $2400.00 and received a complimentary 3 session package of IPL (valued @ $700) to treat all left over redness on my face post the Fraxel

Day 1
Arrived at Bellair, helped myself to some water and was offered a warm moist hand towel.
From there I had 2 sets of pics taken (see above)
**If a clinic isn't willing to take before and after pics as part of their best practice, to document your progress, you probably shouldn't go there**
I was extremely nervous when I arrived, as I went online the night before and freaked myself out reading all the horror stories on here re: Fraxel
(As a result I was expecting this procedure to be extremely painful)
I was brought into a room, and a 'Nurse in Training; came in, gently washed my face, wrapped my hair back and applied the numbing cream (lidocaine) to my face
**SEE PIC #1**
From there I was left in a room for 15 minutes where my nervousness turned into HIGH ANXIETY (should I be doing this? Is it worth it? Maybe my skins fine the way it is? What if it doesn't work? Or worst, what if this damages my face?)
My thoughts were interrupted by a 2nd Nurse in Training coming in and asking how I was feeling, I told her I was "good" (LIE! I was freaking out!)

15 minutes after that I had my nurse who was going to perform the procedure come in and she again asked me how I was, I decided to tell her the truth: " I'm really nervous actually"
"OK" she says: "Do you mind if we walk through the process and after care together then?"
"Yes Please" I tell her
From there she reviews the After Care Sheet with me
Then she showed me the laser and gave me a demonstration on my hand of how she would be performing the procedure on my face.
Each section needs '4 passes' vertically across the face (That's Round 1)
Each section needs '4 passes' horizontally cross the face (That's Round 2)
While this is being done you'll feel a constant breeze of A/C being blown on your face to help keep you comfortable and cool.
Ice packs will be applied to your face right away for about 15 minutes after THEN YOU'RE DONE!

I must say, I was still nervous but she made me feel 50% better. She understood I was nervous and she didn't by pass that. She also asked if she could have a Nurse in Training in the room while she performed. I agreed. (For some reason more ppl in the room made me feel more comfortable)

As she was about to begin, I was so scared. I was EXPECTING A VERY SHARP PAINFUL PRICKING EXPERIENCE. Why you ask? Because for some reason that's how it was described to me (by Bellair) and of course I read and watched all the horrible reviews online.

Let me reassure you this, I'm a baby for pain and it was definitely tolerable.
Round 1 is actually a breeze. You're face is numb so it's only a feeling of heat that you feel building up.
The 2nd round is where it's more sensitive because you're now adding heat on top of heat. However it's still TOLERABLE.
Forget the horrible reviews online where ppl are "jumping out of their chairs" because of the pain. I can only assume that those experiences are a result of not being numbed properly, and/or going to an inexperienced place (SPA's etc.)

Post procedure I expected my face to be RED as a result of the example pics BLC showed me. But I wasn't, I was more pink and able to quickly get to my car and back to my place without anyone noticing (maybe I'm lucky) **See PIC #3**
I didn't wash my face before bed, and slept elevated on my back as directed.

Day 2
Less Red, however I do have a lot of white heads that popped up.
Washed my face gently (which felt, but doesn't look swollen) with a recommended Hexam Gentle Cleanser + Phyto Corrective Gel I will apply 3 times today (no moisturizer until tmrw)
Both these products are affordable and offered at BLC.
Don't spend a ton of money on your face and then cheap out on the healing /after care of your face!

Will keep updating you on my experience with Fraxel.
I'm going to go back in 6 weeks for another session (never do fraxel any earlier than 6 week gaps) but I'm also going back in 2 weeks for either micro or a face peel to help clean and decongest my face in-between sessions.

I will keep updating. Stay tuned.

Day 3

White Heads reduced, Less Redness, but still full sandpaper texture, and bumpy skin (breakout)
I called my sister on FaceTime and showed her my face......her reaction was something a long the lines of "whoa"
I told her the redness had already severely gone down, but she mentioned it's not so much the redness but your skin looks bumpy (which it did)
I started to get worried after I spoke with her about whether or not the bumpiness was normal, bc all I had read about was the white heads.
However that night I decided to wash my face carefully with a cloth in the morning and at night, as opposed to using my hands to help slough away dead skin.
***Important to note I'm washing my face with a Hexam Gentle Cleanser (antibacterial/anti-redness) + a Phyto Corrective Gel (soothes and calms sensitive and irritation prone skin)

I was planning to go to work the next day, but couldn't.
The only thing I would stress is they SAY you can return to work/apply make up 2-3 days post treatment. This is a lie, unless you're someone who doesn't care, or you don't mind wearing makeup that looks horribly caked on and dry. You're best to stay home.

Day 4

Woke up and HAPPY.
Bumpiness reduced 80% and I would redness has been significantly reducing by 20% each day.
The sand paper feeling (which is the most important for applying make up, also only significantly reduced today
There is no way I could have went to work yesterday (today, maybe I could have if I had layed low) but I decided to stay home one more day and return on Day 5

Day 5

Happy to report I woke with my skin almost back to it's original colour. I would say I have about 15% redness remaining.
In addition, bumpiness was completely gone except for where I had existing or future acne. Fraxel will bring all that nastiness to the service, so be prepared. However with the sandpaper texture gone you are able to cover up with makeup.
Sandpaper texture - 15% remaining, mostly around jaw.

I returned to work today (and I did use my clarisonic brush on the low setting with sensitive brush) to help slough off any extra dead skin. Skin felt fine after. However I will say after putting on:
Correcto Gel, Moisturizer, SUNSCREEN, Primer and foundation.........I felt I looked like crap, but stuck it out and went to work.

Will need to play around with makeup routine to get this right.
Thinking long term results here :)

Overall I'm happy guys! No horror story to report. Not trying to get ahead of myself here, but I will be following through with the next 2 Fraxel Apt + some Micro or peels in-between, followed up by 3 IPL sessions to reduce my overall concern with redness/rosacea.

I will keep you posted on each procedure as we go......
Welcome, so glad you took the time to share your experience with us! Your review is very well documented and will be super helpful for others looking to have this procedure. I look forward to your updates and wish you luck!
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Thank you!
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Hello, Thanks very much for sharing your experience with us, I have made an appointment with Bellair Clinic this coming Friday for a fraxel on for my cheeks as I have several years of acne scars, I am really scared about the whole process. Wanted to know in terms of pain, how bad is it? Does does the laser feel? how bad does it hurt? I am such a baby when is comes to me pain, your feedback will be appreciated. Thanks once again to sharing your honest experience with us. Regards, Anix
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Bellair Laser Clinic

Thank you for really taking the time and energy to document your 'real' experience which will help so many people! You're a very generous person to offer to share your experience in such detail. Again Thank you!
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Thank you :)
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2nd Fraxel Treatment - Complete

Hi All

So it's been 6 Weeks since I last posted.....

I went in for my 2nd Fraxel on Wednesday evening as opposed to the Friday last time. It's the long weekend with Victoria Day so I was able to be strategic and work from home Thursday and Friday, while ensure I had an extra paid day off (Monday) work to heal in privacy with just the family.
Again my recommendation is giving yourself 5 days to heal if you want no one knowing you're treating your skin.

So, we kicked it up a notch this time.
They went a level deeper and covered more surface area. What does this mean you ask?
Well if you healed with no issues after your 1st session, they continue to increase your level of Fraxel by 1 level until you and the nurse feel you have reached your optimal result.
What this means is the laser goes a level deeper in your dermis while increasing the percentage of surface area it will treat.
Remember: Fraxel treatments target between 5 and 35% of the surface, leaving the remainder available to rapidly heal the treated areas. So I believe they monitor what your skin can handle and increase as necessary.

....continued

So I arrived (drenched) because I got caught in a downpour.
I was offered a towel, and brought in right away.

I wasn't worried this time for 2 reasons:
1) My 1st experience was not nearly as bad as I thought (see above posts)
2) Anna (my nurse) is great. I recommend her if going to get Fraxel.

Make up was removed, lidocaine applied, and I waited around 30 mins before we begun.
Anna recommended that I take Tylenol next time I come in while waiting for the lidocaine to kick in to help with pain management. I did.

I'm glad I did because this round hurt more than the 1st.
Again, it was tolerable but I noticed in certain areas (forehead/temples/lip) on the 2nd round (horizontal passes) it hurt way more due to increasing the laser up 1 level.
My nurse told me that's expected and we could take a break whenever we needed too.
I requested 2 breaks, around temple and forehead only.

Again when it was over, I felt amazing. Got the A/C and Ice packs to cool down and was on my way.

The good news is, even though it hurt a wee bit more this round. My healing experience was MUCH more pleasant.
I was more swollen, BUT didn't break out in white heads or the nasty bumps I had last time and the redness was not as severe. I was more rosey. I am confident by tmrw I'll be back to normal again.

I can see visible results this round, overall texture and tone looks good. I can't comment on acne scars yet as my face is still kinda red - but I will follow up.

I will say next time, since I assume I will be increasing the Fraxel by another level again, I'm going to ask to come in early to have the lidocaine on for 45 mins vs. 30 AND will skip the forehead (my forehead actually is the only good part of my face and it only hurts more bc ur forehead is more bone than muscle)

Overall STILL HAPPY :)
Hi Anix The best way I can describe is listed above. It feel warm and gets warmer with each pass. Make sure you get numbing cream and take tylenol while waiting for the numbing cream to kick in. Ull be fine :) no one was as scared as I and I am going for my 3rd this week. Best Wishes! Again, the success is within the person who performs the procedure and your post self care. :)
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Dear FlawlessSkin, I am a kindred soul--just had my first Fraxel treatment 5 days ago at Bellair Laser Clinic here in New York! So far I am having almost an identical experience post-procedure. However, the pinprick bumps/sandpaper texture got me paranoid, and browsing this forum's negative reviews got me really scared. Maybe you know what I'm talking about, but a lot of people are saying they are experiencing drastic skin damage in texture/elasticity/premature aging a year or 2 after Fraxel... some stories so horrible they make me cringe. I am wondering when was your first treatment and have you noticed any negative side-effects besides the post-procedure redness/sandpaper texture? Anything after these have faded? Did your skin return to normal after healing, and do you think it will remain that way?
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Hi Chris It's been 3 weeks since my 2nd treatment, and about 9 week since my 1st. My skin goes right back to normal about 5 days later after each treatment, and what I have noticed is about 2 -3 weeks post each fraxel session my skin looks really good (overall better texture, tone, some superficial scars have faded) I've noticed NO negative side effects, trust me. If I thought it was damaging my face I would stop right away. I can say I noticed an actual visible improvement after my 2nd treatment vs my first. I can only assume and hope that I'll keep seeing this improvement over the next treatment. Sounds like you pulled a 'me' and freaked yourself out by reading reviews (which is a good thing to do your research) but sometimes you don't have all the info when you read ppls reviews. That's what I'm trying to write mine step by step. Keep close eye on your healing and look at the products I purchased above post procedure. I would get the same to ensure you heal properly. Other than that, relax and give yourself some credit for going through with it. I'm still happy I did :) I have read these reviews that you speak of, hence me wanting to write mine. Glad to hear we are both at the same clinic. All the other horror stories, I can only assume some are based on poor personal reactions or they want to someone who is not qualified (it's harder to find those that are, than those that are not)
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Bellair Laser Clinic

Bellair Laser Clinic

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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