I had my Fraxel Re:pair procedure on Jun 23rd. I'm a 59 year old female with fair freckled skin tone. I wanted to tighten loose skin, erase wrinkles and improve the under eye crepey, sagging skin.
I did do some research prior to the procedure and I had found this site and reviewed some of the comments posted. I thought I was prepared for what to expect. In hindsight, I was not prepared enough. Although I must say I really wanted to have this procedure and had my mind completely set on it, so it probably wouldn't have mattered how much research I had done. I discounted the reported problems, discomforts and down right complaints. Of course I never expected to have as many problems as anyone had reported.
I was given Keflex, an antibiotic and steriod cream to start the day before the procedure. They gave me Darvocet and Ativan that morning and applied the Pliagas topical anesthetic about an hour prior to beginning. The doctor used several nerve blocks and many, many locals (it felt like over every square inch of my face and neck). Regardless, I did experience quite a bit of pain throughout. Between 5-7 on a scale of 10. At one point I had to take a short break because I was hyperventilating. My settings were 50mlj at 40% with 4 passes, except for my eyes and they were the typical half settings. But I was very determined to get it done so I endured the pain.
When I left the doctor's office I was heavily coated in steriod cream and vasoline. I looked like a frosted cake. It was quite a sight! But by then the pain was all over. That part was really as others have reported, no more pain.
I followed the regimen strictly as to vinegar washes and coatings of steriod cream and vasoline every 2-3 hours the first two days (even through the night). I was supposed to drop the steriod cream after day 2. But on day 3-4 my face was so very red and tight and the itching had begun that I went back to using the steriod cream and by day 5-7 I was starting to feel much better. I only stopped using the vasoline yesterday and started using a moisturizer. Because my skin is extremely sensitive and I have many allergies I continue to use the steriod cream. I have also taken Benadryl twice a day since the evening before the treatment.
Today is day 10 and I wore makeup for the first time. I also applied sunscreen and ventured out in public. I looked like I might have a little sunburn but felt socially presentable. I have worked from home since the day after and will return to the office on July 7th.
I think the results have been good so far. My only remaining issues seem to be some continued reddish pinkness and what I think is some lingering swelling (with a numbness) in my forehead, beneath my eyebrows (they still feel heavy) and I have quite a bit of puffiness in my upper eyelids for the first half of the day. I did experience some prickling pain for 4-5 days but that is going away now.
It has erased the marionette lines, the furrow between my eyebrows and the lines in my forehead. The trenches beneath my eyes has also improved. I haven't had much change in the jowls or the deeper furrows around my mouth yet. My neck is my only real concern. The skin was very red and raw and now it is so tight that it is hard to stretch my neck back to look up at the ceiling. The texture of the skin is thick and feels very rubbery and it wasn't like that before.
But I am only at day 10 so I do expect that the next 3-6 months will bring improvements. I will report back in the weeks to come.
I have been taking daily photos but I don't know if I want to upload them, they are quite gruesome!