I want to pre-warn everyone about these less than attractive photos that you are about to see but I really wanted to share my first Fraxel experience with you guys! Hopefully it might encourage some of you to try it out as well.So, you may be asking yourself…what exactly is a Fraxel? It is skin resurfacing fractional laser technology that helps with fine lines, pore size, brown spots and sun damage, acne scars (my main reason for doing it) skin texture and tightness.
Their website explains step-by-step exactly how the Fraxel technology works:
So as I mentioned before, my main reason for wanting to try out this treatment was to help with my small acne scars left over from too much pimple popping as a teenager. Shrinking pores and overall skin texture was very appealing as well. Now I have to be clear that the average person needs anywhere from 3-5 treatments to see noticeable and lasting results so I plan to do at least two more and then assess my skin at that point.
I went to Dermfx, a local Medical Spa franchise that has four locations in Southern California, Redondo Beach, Sunset Beach, Newport Beach and Orange. I am pretty knowledgeable about the Aesthetics industry but I really liked the Dermfx staff because they were happy to answer all of my questions. I saw RN Shannon Alexander at the Orange location and she was absolutely amazing. Before the treatment they applied numbing cream on my face and had me sit for 30 minutes to allow for maximum numbing. They also offer Percocet and Valium for pain management as long as you have a driver or take an Uber to your appointment. I was pretty nervous and Shannon really helped ease my nerves and keep me calm during the treatment.
She talked to me throughout the treatment and gave notice as she moved from one quadrant of the face to the next. Initially it was not painful, however, they do anywhere from 8-12 passes on the face so by the time you get to the 5th, 6th and 7th pass you definitely feel the burn. It hurts, I am not going to lie but it was not as bad as I expected it to be. Now, my next treatment may feel different because they will probably increase the settings.
As you can see, immediately post Fraxel my face is very red and raw. I was very hot and tingly for about 30 minutes after but after I applied Neova’s CU3 Post Laser Lotion, my skin started to calm down. This lotion has Copper Peptides in it that help to speed up recovery of compromised skin. After that, it just felt like I had a bad sunburn.
Day 1 I was relatively swollen but nothing major. They recommend that you just rinse with water and apply the Post Laser Lotion for the first few days and then add in a gentle cleanser after a week. It still felt like I had a sunburn and my face felt like sandpaper.
Day 2 I had a TON of little white heads all over my chin and jaw which is normal but also really sucked because I obviously could not pop them because my skin was still very raw.
Day 3 you can start to see the bronzing come through. This is the damaged pigment (or photo damaged skin) raising, which is a good sign.
Day 4 more bronzing coming through and by this point my face was starting to itch but unfortunately you cannot scratch it. The itch is your skin reepithelializing which is also a good thing. This is your bodies response to “trama” which means that collagen is also starting to build.
Day 5 I started to peel a little bit but mainly my skin just felt very dry and still felt like sandpaper.
Day 7 you can see the bronzing starting to flake off. It looks like coffee grinds and can be darker on some people than others. I had a pretty mild recovery but like I said earlier, I might not have the same recovery process next treatment when they up the settings.
By Day 10 you can see that most of the bronzing is gone and my skin began to feel normal again. I did not wear makeup for 2 weeks straight to allow my skin to fully heel and also get the best results. However, if you need to wear makeup for work or an event you can do so Day 4.
My skin looks better now than pre treatment but I still have acne scars and some discoloration so I will definitely need to do a few more treatments to really see optimal results. I will keep you guys posted and I promise I will do a better job at taking pictures next time. I know these are kind of crazy looking because truthfully I took a lot of these photos right as I rolled out of bed each morning. 🙂