Hoping for Healing After Fraxel Restore Treatment

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*Treatment results may vary

I had Fraxel Restore about 6 weeks ago with a...

I had Fraxel Restore about 6 weeks ago with a board certified plastic surgeon. I'll be staight with you. I have terrible skin. Enlarged pores on my cheeks, forehead, chin and nose, bad texture and discoloration from sun damage and and unhealthy lifestyle. During my first pregnancy I developed a few moles that really bothered me. I had the one between my eyes removed and 2 years later after I lost the weight from my second pregnancy it spread out leaving a long indented mark. I also had a huge ice pick scar next to it and one on the end of my nose. So basically I was already a mess before I attempted Fraxel.
Since the worst of the scaring was on my nose the doctor decided to just do the treatment on my entire nose to keep the texture consistent (should have been my first clue not to do this!) My second clue was when I asked him about adverse after effects he said he could "make a wound, but couldn't control how it would heal". I'm so stupid, I thought he was talking about surgical excision of the icepick scar.
I had the fraxel treatment, the procedure went ok. It didn't really hurt, but I was pretty worried about a couple of things. First, I asked the doctor if he was just going to use a high setting on the scars and a low setting on the non-scarred areas. He said "no, I'm going to use a high setting everywhere because we have to keep it uniform". Second, after the procedure my face looked way worse than a sun burn. All over I had a white sandpaper texture. It was so dry that I couldn't scrub off the ink he had marked the treatment area with.
The next day I woke up very swollen. My skin was so dry it cracked and bled in one place. I was told to just put sunblock and moisturizer on it, and stay out of the sun. Everything looked ok, although in the meantime I had found some scary reviews on here and was secretly freaking out.
About 4 weeks after treatment I noticed that the pores on my nose were looking larger and turning into little vertical slits. A week or so later the skin on my nose seemed to crinkle up and start to look like prune. I should also mention that my skin has never gone back to the same color and has a sort of pinkish brown hue that makes the texture look even worse.
I'm going back to see my doctor next week and I'm hoping he has some answers for me.
I went to sever doctors for consultations and tried to be careful when picking out one to do my treatment. I'm feeling very jaded now and wish I had never done this!
Any advice on how to proceed would be appreciated!

8 weeks...

After reflecting on what could have happened to cause my bad outcome I wonder if I had use a better moisturizer it would have helped. I think my treatment was unusually strong and I should have been advised to use something stronger like they do after repair. Anyway, little if any improvement.

9 weeks

Seems to be looking worse today. I went grocery shopping and caught my reflection in some mirrors, my skin looked so lumpy and porus even from feet away. I'm so depressed.

No improvement

Looking bad again for the last few days. I was doing a no dairy/ no gluten thing until thanksgiving and then fell off the wagon. I wonder if that's what it could be. I'm going dairy free again and I'll see if that will help. If it doesn't work I'll drop gluten again too. I've been using psoria gold ultra sensitive 2 x daily for a month (3-4 times daily the first week). It never really looks good, but some days the pores look smaller and crepeyness is less noticable. Moisturizer helps with this too. I'm still freakishly deformed. I'm going to a new derm next friday. I don't have much hope for him because he has a laser in his office, but it's worth a shot. I figure his close by and takes my insurance, maybe because he has a laser he'll know something (ha-ha!). I make my self laugh. Anyway, I'll just try all the local derms until I've worked through them all and have to go out of the area. I've got nothing but time. If they're unpleasant I'll make another appointment and bring my 3 year old and 18 month old and let them trash their office. At least I still have a sense of humor!


The texture was really noticeable in the light of the car. Not a great pic.

Talked to a new dermatologist

Talked to a new dermatologist. He has a fraxel machine in his office, but he said he would not have used it on me. I am too young, and it wouldn't have helped the scar I was trying to treat anyway. He looked at my skin and agreed I had texture issue, but not just where the laser damaged my nose. He said that if I had normal skin there was no way I would have had skin cancer at 27. He said my skin was genetically different and I had to take special precautions, like wearing a floppy hat anytime I went outside. Sunscreen would not be enough. He said the texture issues were most likely due to stress on my body because of pregnancy, and maybe the fraxel didn't help. He introduced me to the aesthetician who he worked with. They suggested some 15% glycolic acid, maybe a peel down the line and the aesthetician said I had some dark pigment that would benefit from IPL (NOPE..... NOPE!!). I may try the glycolic acid, but at 10%, it's only safe for breastfeeding up to 10%, and since I still am, I'm not going above that. I can't find much information on glycolic acid and the risks, but I imagine they are much like retina A, as it does the same thing. He said he doesn't prescibe Retina A in the winter in the northeast, it too drying. If anyone has any infor on glycolic acid please comment or drop me a message. Thanks.

Picture of the damage

3 months post

3 months post and still no changes since the initial damage that showed up at around 4 weeks. Still weirdly dry looking skin, enlarged pores with fissures around them forming into lines and wrinkles all over my nose. I tried emu oil beginning a few weeks ago, it seems to be breaking me out. I took a brief break from it over Christmas and tried the glycolic acid cream 10%. This seemed to make the pores and wrinked more prominent. In retrospect it may have just cleared the pores of sebum and made them seem deeper. I don't know and I'm afraide to try it again. Maybe in a few months after I let the skin heal longer. Still using psoria gold sensitive 2x a day and cerave lotion. I wash with cetaphil cleanser. Tried raw honey the other day and it seemed ok, it smells nice at least. Made my baby laugh to see me put honey on my face. She's the one with the sweet face I told her!

Permenant damage

I'm pretty sure this texture isn't going anywhere. I'm ready to give up with the crazy creams and what not and just let it be. I have to learn to accept it. Problem is that in some lights it's almost invisible then boom. I look in the mirror in my car and it slaps me in the face. It's so ugly I can't stand to look at it.

New pic

This is the best I could do with my crappy cell camera but here are more pics



Very depressed

I tried the glycolic acid again and this time had a full blown allergic reaction. I used it once on a Saturday and then again on Tuesday and by Wednesday my face was broken out in hives and looked burnt. Pores were larger and I have a shiny orangepeel texture even worse then the normal condition of my skin. I'm very depressed and fear that I'm going to accidentally kill someone at work by giving them he wrong meds or my children will get hurt because I'm not paying attention. If only I'd never stepped into a plastic surgeons office in the first place. I'm going to try some antidepressants. I'm still breastfeeding but I can't live like this. It's so terrible.


I was unable to sign on for a while and started another account where I posted a review on my plastic surgeons page. I'm glad I finally did it people have to know the risks of these procedures.
I tried to go on antidepressants but I had allergic reactions to 2 of them! I seem to get skin reactions from everything now!! It's crazy. I've taken both these meds in the past.
I'm done breastfeeding as my daughter is 2 and eating lots of food now. Life is stressful however and my hopes for gaining some normacy when my hormones went back to normal and started antidepressants are dashed due to these allergic reactions.
Skin is about the same, maybe slightly worse. I don't know. I try not to look in the mirror.
I'm hearing lots of buzz about accutane on here but I'm hesitant to try such a strong med. If I can't even take Zoloft I can't imagine what accutane would do to me if I reacted to it.
I'm going to try a long term spot test of some retinol if I can get it. I see a nurse at my derms office this week. Wish me luck!


Depressed again

Such ups and downs with this. Looking worse the last few weeks. I'm still not sure if it's something I did or just the natural progression of the damage. So depressed.

I wish someone could tell me what's going on with my skin

Made theirs take of looking at my skin in harsh light after I washed it and noticed the laser hole/pores looking deeper/bigger. I don't know if it's something I put on my skin or if the damage is just getting worse, the lighting or what.


Made the mistake* should be the first line lol so tired!

Over a year

It's been over a year since initial damage. Nothing I've tried has helped. I hope to try derma pen in the future at some point but I'm trying to conserve my time off from work as I'm on probation at my new job for the next two years. Nasal skin is still porus, with fissures running between enlarged pores. Area between my eyes is crepe with stretched out holes. Ice pick scar on nose tip in worse. This could be due to retin A use. Scar between eyes from surgical mole removal the same. Basal cell removal scar is the same. Ice pick scar between eyes seems larger also.

Over a year

It's been over a year since initial damage. Nothing I've tried has helped. I hope to try derma pen in the future at some point but I'm trying to conserve my time off from work as I'm on probation at my new job for the next two years. Nasal skin is still porus, with fissures running between enlarged pores. Area between my eyes is crepe with stretched out holes. Ice pick scar on nose tip in worse. This could be due to retin A use. Scar between eyes from surgical mole removal the same. Basal cell removal scar is the same. Ice pick scar between eyes seems larger also.

Taking down my profile

I'm going to be taking down my profile in the next week or so. I have posted a review on my doctors page under a different account and I feel like that's the only thing that matters. I'm feeling very discouraged by some of the individuals in the community attacking me the other night and I no longer feel like it's productive for me to spend so much time reading the emails that come to my inbox daily in large numbers. I don't have time or the energy, but somehow feel a compulsion to read them anyway. I have kids and a job and friends who I rather be focusing on. I do want to thank those that have been supportive and kind. If anyone has any breakthroughs please message me through my other account, which fortunately has much less use and therefore produces less mail for me. Nonono55. Good luck.

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
1 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
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
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