Fraxel Ruined the Texture of my Skin - 4 Months Until my Wedding :( - Chicago, IL

I am 2 months post 1 Treatment of Fraxel Restore...

I am 2 months post 1 Treatment of Fraxel Restore and my skin texture is looking worse than it ever has in my entire life. I wanted to get the treatment for large pores on my cheeks and a few tiny acne scars but ended up with pores that are even larger, connecting lines (kind of like little slits across my face), skin inflammation, weird raised bumps and skin that gets shiny about an hour after I put my makeup on but is dry at the same time. To say that I am in panic mode is an absolute understatement. Right now, I am currently using Psoria Gold to help with the inflammation and just purchased Emu Oil to hopefully help with the texture. I have gone back and seen the doctor 5 times and of course she denies that the laser could ever do anything like that and claims it's stress that is doing this to my skin. I am absolutely devastated about this and at a loss of what to do. It's crazy because this seems to happen to people who did more than one Fraxel Restore session, I only did one... I wish I never did this to myself. I am praying that my skin will recover in time for my wedding. This has been extremely hard on my fiancé and me :(.

Just wanted to share some photos....

It's Easter today and I cried the entire holiday looking at what my face has become. I can't believe I did this to myself :(

Another pic of damage...

My pores are so huge and swollen! I can't put any makeup on because my skin looks so bumpy. It's like applying makeup to a dried out sponge.

Just some photos of my skin this morning...

You can clearly see the connecting lines and raised texture in this picture. My skin looks very scarred.

Skin is fluctuating a lot ...

My skin has been fluctuating a lot this week. Some days my skin will look extremely red and inflamed and other days the inflammation seems better but the textural issues remain present.
On days where my skin is super inflamed the texture looks extremely bumpy but even on days when my skin is on the calmer side, my face is still covered with pores and connecting lines. 

This review has been edited at the request of the consumer, FraxelistheWORST on 3/17/16

How long did your inflammation take to go down?

Those of you who have done fraxel or another non ablative laser, how long did it take for your inflammation to go down? I really think this texture change is due to being constantly inflamed. On rare occasion when my skin looks ok, I think it's because the inflammation is better. So my question is, how long were you inflamed after your laser procedure? When did it start to get better?

Damage Confirmed...

Just went to a laser expert in Chicago who confirmed that the laser did in fact make my skin worse and make my pores bigger. He didn't seem to know why but seems to think that my skin did not properly rebuild the collagen. Rather, collagen was deleted but new collagen was not formed. He advised me not to do any other procedures to fix it because it could make it worse and said he is doubtful that I will see improvement. I appreciated his honesty but I cried my eyes out in his office. Feeling so depressed right now...

I also want to let everyone know that both the Northwestern and Stanford doctors I met with confirmed that lasers will not make your pores smaller. So if you are getting laser for that reason, you will see absolutely no benefit other than the initial swelling. Just thought I'd share that with you all...

Please love yourself and do not do any procedures like this. This is something that I will have to live with for the rest of my life.

Anyone I can connect with??

Anyone I can connect with on here? I'm feeling so low and like I ruined my life.

Anyone try dermarolling?

Has anyone tried dermarolling to help with their textural damage? I cannot just sit here and wait for things for heal but at the same time I will be absolutely devastated if I make things worse.

3 Months Post...

I am 3 months post one very aggressive procedure of fraxel dual at Chicago Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery. Unfortunately, nothing has gotten any better with my texture. I don't think it's worse but it definitely has not gotten better at all. I still have all the weird lines, indents, stretched pores, an increase in pores, scarring around the pores and even some raised scarring. Right now I am using honey, psoria gold and emu oil. I try to not wear makeup to help my skin breath. Plus everything looks so much more bumpy when I have makeup on. I definitely have cobblestone skin. A lot of the burning and redness has gone away but I still cannot tolerate most products without my face burning. Since I have a lot of raised scarring around my pores and they are not sitting flat anymore I am considering doing silicon sheets to help with that raised scarring. I also take over 10 different dietary supplements to help with healing. Unfortunately, because I think a lot of this is scarring now we opposed to inflammation, I know there isn't going to be a quick fix, or maybe even any fix. These last 3 months have honestly been hell on earth and I pray to God every day for some kind of miracle that my skin will get better.


Just received a letter from Chicago Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery basically telling me that I am not allowed to return to their practice anymore and they are dropping me as a patient. This could be because of my negative yelp review but I find it so infuriating how a doctor can damage your skin like that and then just kick you to the curb like nothing happened. I posted my damage pictures on YELP as well and then the dermatologist went and posted all of these good before/after pictures of FRAXEL from the FRAXEL company. It makes me sad that they are going to continue hurting people like they hurt me and how they barely bat an eye when I come asking for help.

Skin looks like cottage cheese ...

I am almost 4 months post a single session of Fraxel. I really didn't think it was possible for skin to look like this from only one procedure but I guess that's what happens when your skin is burnt.

The left side of my face looks like cottage cheese. I don't know how else to describe it... Cobblestoney I guess. I have large open pores with fissures around them. The pore walls seem to be disfigured and scarred. In addition, I still have deep cat like scratches on my cheek that look like little slits. The right side of my face doesn't look too bad but the condition of my left side looks discusting. My cheek almost looks like it's detached from the rest of my face because it's so raised and bumpy.

This has completely destroyed everything about me. I no longer feel like me and enjoy life anymore. I was once a gorgeous, goofy, spontaneous girl and feel like I lost my life when I did Fraxel.

I'm still hoping it magically improves by my wedding but so far I have seen no improvement so I don't believe that's going to happen.

If you have any thoughts on how to get rid of these raised pores and bumpy texture. Please let me know.

Feeling so low today

If anyone could send me any messages of improvement I would appreciate it. I need to be uplifted.

Skin seems to be getting worse....

I don't know if it's in my head but I really do feel like my skin is getting worse. I'm starting antidepressants tomorrow because I don't know how to cope with what's happening to my skin. The yellowness is from the psoria gold.

Tca peel for texture?

I have received a couple of messages from people who have done tca peels or chemical peels to help them with the texture from laser. For those of you have tried it, did it help? Make things worse? I would definitely wait a little longer to do a peel but wanted to get some opinions from people who have fried this to fix the damage.

Interesting study on a combination therapy of dermapen and TCA peel to improve scars

While I realize that the study conducted is very different because these people are dealing with acne scars as opposed to laser damage pinpoint scarring, I still found this study interesting and some of the improvements are quite remarkable. I am by no means advising laser victims to go out and do what these people did to improve scarring but I think it provides nice proof that dermapen and peels can be good options to improve scarring and texture. Anyway, I have posted the link below.

I'd appreciate no negativity. You can take what you want with this information. I am by no means trying to give people false hope. I realize that the texture changes people experience from laser are often permanent. I am sure all of you laser damage victims will process the information with skeptism as I did. Have a good day!

6 Months Post

Hi Everyone, I just wanted to come back and update my review as I am 6 months post fraxel. Wow, I can't believe it's been half a year since this has happened. I had my wedding two weeks ago and I definitely feel a sense of relief knowing that this big event where everyone was staring at me is over. That said, it was beautiful and lovely but of course I thought about my skin when talking to people which is unfortunate.

Overall, I'd say my skin is about the same texture wise. In terms of improvement the only thing that has really changed is my skin is no longer red anymore and I no longer get random flushing episodes. I think the shiny, waxy appearance has also improved a bit too. I do still have the same, awful looking scarred pores and little slits in the skin. I have done 3 dermarolling sessions and 1 very light TCA peel but this has not really helped with the look of the scarred pores. I am also using retin a 5 nights a week and have been using this for about 3 months. I can confidently say the texture has not gotten worse but I can also confidently say it has not gotten better either.

I do feel like I am feeling around in the dark in terms of knowing what to do. I think all laser victims feel this way though. I don't know if it is better to leave my skin alone and only use gentle healing oils or if active intervention is the way to go since I am dealing with actual scarring. I have been experimenting and only did the tca peel, dermapen and use retin a and one side of my face and on the other side I leave it completely alone. They both look about the same so I can't really conclude what the best route is. The only thing I know is I will never touch another laser again.

I am hoping within the next 6 months the texture will improve but the only thing I have learned throughout this process is healing is completely unpredictable and it varies so much from person to person. Some people improve at the year mark or even after while some people continue to watch their skin get worse. I am praying that the worst is over and I can look forward to improvements.
Chicago Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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