Not Fun or Cheap, but See Some Improvement

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I am a 27 year old femalde, I had my first fraxel...

I am a 27 year old femalde, I had my first fraxel restore laser treatment in July 2012 for moderate/severe acne scarring. As for the treatment itself: It hurt. Nothing terrible, but it was certainly very uncomfortable. Healing time was the part I liked the least. I spent two days very red and very swollen. By the time work came around on Monday, I was able to put on make up but I certainly didn't look great. I was still red, a little swollen, and by then, peeling had begun. It was a rough work week. I then spent a long time being unhappy with my fraxel results. I am sure no one else noticed my face looking bad, but the skin just didn't seem as healthy as it once had, my scars did not seem improved, and my skin was red. Lately though, nearly four months later, my skin is no longer red, seems healthy, and I do notice some improvement with scars! Not a lot, but some. I believe doing the 3 remaining treatments will leave me noticeable improvement in my skin. This has not been an easy or enjoyable process for me (and it's nowhere near over!), but I think by the end it will be worth it. I hope the improvements will be worth $3,000.

Update: It's been 24 hours since my 2nd fraxel. I...

Update: It's been 24 hours since my 2nd fraxel. I guess the doctor turned up the levels this time and said I might experience more swelling and redness (great...) than I did last time. I have been icing, taking benadry (zzz), and ibuprofen. Things seem to be going okay. Just the typical redness and severe swelling. My skin is getting very dry (Despite LOTS of lotion) and starting the peeling process. I wish I could speed up that process since I have to work Monday, but I am sure my face will be dry, itchy, and flaky . No pain no gain, I guess.

It's been 11 days since my 2nd Fraxel. I forgot to...

It's been 11 days since my 2nd Fraxel. I forgot to mention in my last update that it hurt a LOT more this time around (it was set at 70.) Thank God the procedure is quick. My first few days of recovery were worse than the 1st time. More swelling, more pain, and I missed another day of work because I looked so bad. However, since day 3 passed, I think I am healing quicker than last time. My skin looks okay right now, but not great. It's still a bit red, very dry and the texture isn't right. I've had a breakout around my mouth, but nothing too crazy. I'm looking forward to healing all the way and seeing the results.

Okay, 16 days after and my skin is looking great!...

Okay, 16 days after and my skin is looking great! I am so surprised. It is still redder than normal, but it's nothing that some foundation can't cover up easily. My scars, which are by no means gone, look much softer and my skin looks very healthy! Very pleased right now. Hope things keep going well!

Okay, it has been 5 months since my last Fraxel. I...

Okay, it has been 5 months since my last Fraxel. I personally haven't been feeling too great about the results, but I have received a couple of unsolicited comments about my skin looking better, so that is encouraging!!!! It can just be so hard to track progress when you see your own face every day. I should have taken photos I guess. I am going in next week for 3rd fraxel. The technician said she is going to turn up the settings even more, which I am not looking forward to.

It is Sunday afternoon. I got my 3rd fraxel on...

It is Sunday afternoon. I got my 3rd fraxel on Thursday afternoon. The technician said she turned it up even more this time. My face is such a mess right now. Still a little swollen, very red, and full of sore-like spots, probably from me being too rough on my skin when washing, I imagine. My bad. Doing whatever I can to speed up healing so I can wear make up and go to work tomorrow. :(

Still not done yet

4 and final Fraxel is scheduled a couple of weeks from now. It has been quite some time. I don't know if it is good or bad to spread out treatments this much, but the doctor hasn't said anything so I'm not too worried. It's been long enough since my initial 3 treatments that I think I have an idea of the effectiveness of Fraxel for me. It has brought about some improvement, which is wonderful. It hasn't totally changed my face and given me great skin; I still have noticeable scarring. Additionally, I am not sure, but my skin might be slightly more wrinkled as well, which wouldn't surprise me considering the damage inflicted on the skin from the laser. However, I have aged a bit since starting fraxel and have moved to a very sunny location and I probably don't wear enough sunscreen. Who knows. Either way, even if it did cause some damage, it's not bad. Overall, I am so grateful for the improvement it has brought about, even if it isn't major!!! I am hoping that the 4th fraxel will make it even a little better. I am sure the clinic will encourage me to purchase additional fraxel sessions. I don't have the money, but otherwise I probably would! I am going to try to get pictures from before fraxel to compare to the ones they take before my final session. Stay tuned!

meant to add..

I don't know if it is the Fraxel, or just my body changing, but since around the time I began the treatments, my acne has improved, and my skin is a little less oily!

All done

Had my fourth fraxel a month ago, went in for pictures today. Looking at the photos, the results are not very good. I have developed discoloration from sun damage or fraxel damage, not sure. My face was extremely red today (unrelated to the Fraxel I am pretty sure, something is just angering my skin right now), so that makes it harder to see any changes unfortunately. Despite what the pictures show, I promise, my skin DOES look better over all, scar-wise anyway, obviously the dark spots don't look great. As you can see, the one big scar on my cheek is MUCH better, which is awesome, because it is the one that bothered me the most. My pores are also a bit smaller and overall texture of my skin is a bit better. But now I have to figure out how to deal with the discoloration and apparently redness too, because geesh, I am red. Overall, I don't think Fraxel is worth the price or the possible damage it can cause. Maybe I shouldn't have been so scared and just gone for the C02 resurfacing like originally recommended, but it just sounds so scary I couldn't bring myself to do it. The woman who has done my fraxels recommends I try something called Fractora that she has seen great results with, but I have better things to spend my money on.

Another image

Face looks better than it has in a long time (Believe it or not)

I still have acne scars, obviously, but they are better than before Fraxel. (As I've said, with this scarring I should have just done C02, but it scares me!) My skin is doing SO great lately, for me anyway. Not nearly as red, very little acne. I even stopped wearing heavy foundation and now just wear concealer and a BB cream that is basically a tinted moisturizer. I would have never dreamed of just wearing that before Fraxel or even a couple of months ago when my last pics were taken. I still have sun damage issues (look at the top of my cheekbone along eye socket) that was probably caused by my skin becoming extra sensitive to the sun after Fraxel, but those are improving with a dark spot corrector. It will probably never get all the way better, so that sucks, but I guess I'll live. AVOID THE SUN AFTER FRAXEL.
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