Fraxel Re:store - Laguna Niguel, CA

I am 35 yrs old, with fair skin, freckles and...

I am 35 yrs old, with fair skin, freckles and strawberry blond hair (German/Irish background). I decided to get the Fraxel Re:store to help with crows feet and wrinkles around the eyes, and crepey skin/laxity under the eyes. I chose the Fraxel Re:store for the minimal downtime vs the Re:pair (and I thought I would save the stronger Re:pair for when I'm older). I got the "eye package" - which is 3 treatments to the area around the eyes and the upper and lower eyelids. I decided not to get the entire face at this time.

I was a bit nervous given some of the reviews on here, so asked many questions of my doctor. I know that I'm the "perfect candidate" of this laser based on my skin type, but still wanted some reassurance. I have also previously have a few IPL's - with good response in improving skin coloration/freckle removal - and looking back, I think those IPL's helped prepare me for the pain. After talking with the doctor/nurse, I was also told that not having my entire face done, just the eyes, meant that I'd also most likely have less overall pain (as it's less surface area, and the area around the mouth tends to be the most painful).

So day of procedure, I get there an hour before to have the numbing cream applied, and I take 2 Advil. Also, given that I got the "eye package" - I was told to take Prednisone (an anti-inflammatory). I'm usually not big on taking prescription pills, but they said they highly recommended it as the eyes/eyelids tend to have significant swelling (more so than the rest of the face), and they worry about they eyes swelling shut. So I took two Prednisone. I had also taken a small amount of Bromelain as well (a natural anti-inflammatory).

As for the procedure itself, I didn't think it was that bad. Again, having previously had IPL's I think I was somewhat more prepared for that rubber band/pricking/stinging feeling. What I will say to be prepared for though is the eye shields. Because of getting the upper eyelids done, they have to put in protective metal eye shields (like contact lenses). If you are at all claustrophobic, this may be difficult for you. I'm only slightly, but I will say it's kind of a freaky feeling to know your eyes are open and you can't see anything. I hate to akin it to a "buried alive" feeling - but that's how I felt. That, more than anything was the most uncomfortable part of the treatment as it got my pulse racing.

The good news is that they do the eyelid treatment first, and as soon as they're done they take the eye shields out - thankfully! Then they continue on with the rest of the surrounding eye area. The nurse and assistant who did my treatment were very nice and talked throughout - obviously trying to distract me from the pain. Though personally, I thought the treatment pain, while unpleasant, was definitely bearable. They did 4 passes with the laser.

When the treatment was over, they applied Biotine cream and gave me lots of other moisturizer/cleanser samples. They also recommended that I purchase Neosalus, a prescription cream that is a non-steroidal cream meant to help with the itchy/flakiness, especially the several days post procedure. Neosalus is typically prescribed for eczema/dermatitis.

So I get home and have the typical post-treatment pain (on a scale of 1-10 I would say a 2-3). I ice the eyes for 10 minutes every 2 hours, and am surprised that there really wasn't much redness/swelling. After three hours, any pain completely subsides and I actually felt fine. I continue to apply the Biotine several times.

Next morning (today), I wake up and definitely can see more swelling. Still not much redness, but definitely swelling. I tried to sleep with 2 pillows (as recommended), but that was uncomfortable so ended up with my normal one pillow. I think some of the swelling may have been due to that.

We'll see how this progresses, but wanted to get my first review in now, before I forgot any important facts. I'll update my review as the days go on.

Today is day 3. There was still some swelling when...

Today is day 3. There was still some swelling when I first woke up, but it seems to decrease as the day goes on. Still red and the skin is definitely flaking. Thankfully I took today off work, as it would be really difficult to cover with makeup, particularly as the redness is only around the eyes, not the whole face. I attached some new pics, and realized the flash from the camera was making my face look better than reality. You can see the difference.

Don't think I would've gotten it now

It's now been nearly 4 years post my eye fraxel and to be honest, I think it made the skin around my eyes very loose and crepey. The first year post fraxel was good (and that's when most people post reviews). But now that more time has passed, in hindsight, I would not recommend it. I think the skin around the eyes is just too thin and sensitive, and while the short-term results are ok....I think it does more damage in the long term and has made my eyes look far older and saggy. It's a lesson that you really need to get reviews from others several years post a procedure to see if they're still happy with it. Hope this info helps someone! :)
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