Dear Fraxel Diary,
I am 47-years old woman that loves spending time outdoors. In the Fall and Spring I am happy for any excuse to be out and about in my hometown of Philadelphia, and during the Summer I spend every second I can at the shore in Avalon, NJ.
Because of my history of chronic sun-exposure and sun-damage, I am desperate for a treatment to clear my extensive freckles and sunspots. These brown-spots have worsened over the years, and I am finally at the point where I’m ready to take ownership of my skincare and DO something about it. (I also have Rosacea, for which I use topical Metronidazole gel as needed.) I could definitely be better about sunscreen and sun protection in general, but I will work on improving those habits after treatment.
Per the recommendation of my skincare provider, I am excited to move forward with Fraxel treatments. I can’t wait to see how Fraxel will effect my sun damage, and I will be grateful for any texture improvements.
Immediately After Treatment
When this picture was taken, I just completed my first Fraxel treament!
Because of my Rosacea, I was treated on the gentler side, so although I had mentally prepared for severe discomfort — the treatment really wasn’t that bad!
There was a topical numbing cream applied to my skin about an hour before treatment, and I think it took about 90-minutes from after the numbing-cream was removed before the full numbing effects went away. Once all the numbing-effects had dissipated, my face just felt hot and tingly, kind of like a fresh sunburn.
I applied bags of ice to my skin off and on for 10-minute increments, and this felt very soothing.
For tonight, and the following week after treatment, I have been instructed to only use gentle skincare products. (I’ve stocked up the appropriate supplies, and have a gentle face wash, and oil-free moisturizer and SPF-50 waiting for me.)
I’m a little nervous about what I’ll look like tomorrow, but I am going to sleep with an extra pillow and will drink tons of water to help thwart any swelling.
Last night I slept surprisingly well! (Maybe I was more nervous than I thought, and this caused me to be extra-tired?)
I am a little swollen, a little pink, and my brown-spots look a little more distinct. Although I can appreciate the “side effects” this treatment has caused, it is definitely not as scary as I had feared and I went to work today as usual.
My face does feel a little itchy, and is very dry. I cannot seem to apply enough moisturizer, my skin is just soaking it up like a sponge.
Even though I’ve been advised that ice will not effect the swelling, it still feels really good, so after work I have been intermitently applying bags of frozen vegetables to my skin.
My freckles look even darker today, and the texture has started to change!
When I run my fingers over my skin, it feels almost like sand-paper, and when I examine myself in the magnifying mirror, I can see a criss-cross of teeny-tiny dots covering my skin. These dots represent the grid-pattern the laser made on my face during treatment, and contribute to the sand-paper feeling I am experiencing.
I am still slathering on the moisturizer, and I have made sure to cover every speck of my face with sunscreen before venturing outside.
Right before I went to bed tonight I noticed the first bit of skin peeling, which for some reason was very satisfying and exciting. Despite the other Fraxel effects I’ve seen; redness, puffiness, rough texture, etc., the peeling seems like the first positive sign that the desired results are coming to fruition.
On one hand, being in the thick of peeling is making me feel so much better?
Even though I am dying to see the end-results of this treatment, I am following orders and doing everything I can to resist the urge to pick / pull at the peeling skin. (The patches of clear skin peaking through are great encouragement to stay patient!)
I am still applying liberal amounts of moisturizer throughout the day (especially with the peeling, my skin feels really dry and tight) and I have been religious about sunscreen.
On the other hand, this is the day (so far) that I feel the most self-concious about my appearance post-Fraxel. The initial puffiness and redness was at least uniform, whereas my current peeling is so haphazard and asymetric that it clearly looks like SOMETHING unusual is going on with my skin. Those beautiful patches of cleared skin are giving me hope to bear through though…
Fortunately, the majority of the peeling seems to be over. The residual areas that still need to complete molting are along my jawline and hairline. It is kind of like the peeling is working it’s way out from the center of my face towards the perimeter.
I feel like I look more normal today, and similar as to when this process started, I am still loading up on moisturizer and sunscreen.
It has only been 4x days since my treatment, and I am already very happy with the progress my skin has made. I can’t wait to see what happens in the upcoming days / weeks.
2-Weeks Since Fraxel Treatment
I’m sorry I have not written in awhile, but the skin-changes that have occurred since Day 4 are not as dramatic as the earlier days, and didn’t seem to warrant the same type of daily updates.
It has now been 2-weeks since my Fraxel re:store treatment, and I am thrilled with my results. I have not touched any kind of cosmetic since my treatment, and I am so happy with the clearness, texture and tone of my skin! It seems like a luxury to be able to head out into my day with nothing on my skin except moisturizer and sunscreen — and feel like a million bucks!
My skin feels so smooth, and although it was recommended that I get another one or two Fraxel treatments to clear the residual sun-spots, I am absolutely thrilled with the results from ONE treatment.
I was also told that my skin will continue to improve for 6-months after treatment while my skin fully turns-over and renews itself, but it is hard to imagine my skin looking any better than it currently does?!
I will be completely compliant with sunscreen and sun-protection, I am so happy with my results I want to do everything in my power to enable my skin to look like this for as long as possible.
1 Month After Fraxel Treatment
Another two-weeks have passed since my last entry, and I am just delighted with my results. I cannot stop admiring my skin, and at this point several of my friends and family-members have been intrigued enough by my results that they are also going for consultations to see if Fraxel will benefit them the same way it has for me.
Because I am SO happy, I have gone ahead and scheduled my next Fraxel treatment so that I can enjoy even further improvement. (In addition the short-term gratification this will provide, I am 47-years old, and am also excited about the collagen / anti-aging benefits that a series of Fraxel treatments will provide me.)
Even a month after treatment, I am still excited enough about my improved skin condition to be faithful about sunscreen and sun-protection. I have learned my lesson; I can enjoy my time outdoors as long as I have sunscreen (with plenty of reapplications) and a hat on.
Final Before + After: