Fraxel Beware - Valparaiso, IN

I had read review after review on Fraxel for years...

I had read review after review on Fraxel for years. My skin in general was not bad, no acne scars, but I had noticed a change in texture with age & some minor discoloration. I'm fair skinned & freckled since I can remember. I'm pretty religious about SPF. Most of wrinkles, pretty mild for 49, are due to facial expression. I have seen my doctor for about 10 years & I trust him. However I did avoid the push for fraxel years ago. After seeing mixed reviews, I was really torn but I trusted my doctor's aesthetician that it would improve the tone & texture. I bought package for 3. The 1st time one aesthetician was quite mild as she wanted to get a baseline for my skin. I actually had little peeling & did have a weird area on my cheek that seemed "whiter" than surrounding skin. Wasn't really impressed but not distressed either. I waited quite some time for the 2nd treatment. The 2nd time, the doc's senior aesthetician went a bit more aggressively. They had even advised me to not cease my retinol. Which the 1st time I did. I had even consulted another doctor prior years & they said cease retinols, etc prior. So I was surprised I was told to keep using. I really only use quite sparingly anyways. Needless to say, I had the sunburn look & swelling all of which I expected. Actually the few days after I liked how my face looked full & young. Well, that didn't last long. There was an area around my mouth that peeled much worse & in fact became purplish. I was only using mild cleansers as instructed. The same area was very sensitive to heat or cold and for about 6 months appeared discolored. I suspect a broken blood vessel. 6 months later, I'm not happy. I still see discoloration and also have developed persistent blushing in my face. Not quite rosacea as its not bumpy but I'm tired of having red splotchy cheeks. Cover up helps only mildly. Before, I was able to go out with only a light tinted moisturizer or BB cream. Now unless, I want to look like I've been hitting the bottle all day, I've to apply heavy foundation. Maybe it's my unhappiness but in all honesty I also feel as if zapped some of the volume from my face. I've generally been lucky to have a full cheek. I know I'm aging but it seems to have sped up since the procedure.

16 months post 2nd treatment

Well, the redness I had in my face & the small broken vessel eventually went away, so I wasn't left with anything permanently damaged. Facial volume is difficult to gauge. I feel like I've lost it but photos don't really show what I see. I find once you start futzing with your face, you are rarely ever satisfied - especially as natural aging rears its ugly head. Sometimes your aging face is like Facebook & your life, you're more satisfied when it's not under a lens for constant inspection and self-critique. I'm not anti tweaking my looks or doing things to slow down aging, but I'm finding some of that has to come from within. I didn't notice a huge benefit for the cost of this procedure...no benefit more than an average peel would give and the annoying daily redness & purple discoloration whenever the broken vessel was exposed to heat or cold outlasted the texture improvement. Texture appeared smoother for a month, the discoloration & flushing lasted 7-8 months. I think collagen production would be difficult to gauge & if there is, it's probably only minimal, if at all.
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