I am in my early 40's with an olive complexion and some scarring from acne. Fraxel has reduced (not eliminated) my scarring, it evens out the pigmentation and creates new collagen. I describe it too friends by saying if your skin was like an orange peel, Fraxel would make it more like an apple peel. I find it to be an extremely painful procedure but I have the absolute highest setting on my entire face. My entire face is swollen before I even leave the doctors office. I look rather grotesque for the first 24 hours and swollen for at least 48 hours.
The pigmentation is like a tanned American Indian. There are areas where you can see the laser pin points across your face wear the skin has been burned. As time goes on your face sheds these tiny dead skin points. There is a bit of flaking, which is worse the first procedure and gets less in later procedures. I would say that you should give yourself 5 days before needing to be at work or in public. If the levels are not as deep your recovery will be quicker and less severe and 3 days may be enough. To date I have had 7 procedures and try to have one once a year because I am always so happy with how my face looks about 2 months after when all the new collagen has formed. If your problem is scarring and you can put up with an hour of pain, this won't cure your problem but it will definitely make it better.