Hellew girls! I finally had my Fraxel Re:fine today YEY!!!
SO last time, I was really undecided on what procedure to take between Fraxel or Pixel. And in Fraxel, between Re:Fine or Re:store. Well today, I guess you know it based from the title lol. I did Fraxel Re:Fine. My derm convinced me that as an Asian with Filipina Skin and brown tones, we have quite a high risk in pigmentation during laser resurfacing. Re:Fine is the mildest as it will lessen the risks of pigmentation. Most laser treatment centers have patients with not so good reactions when it comes to the Re:Store and Pixel. This is the reason why a lot of laser treatment centers in the Philippines today have only Fraxel Re:Fine. (If you are a derm reading this, please confirm?) This is also the reason why Caucasians can take the Laser Ablative ones because their white skin doesn’t have the risk of pigmentation. Pixel on the other hand has same technology except that it is not as famous as Fraxel and its Ablative. For a first timer, I decided to do the Fraxel Re:Fine in order to be on the safe side: Not much pain, lesser downtime. Definitely suit my needs. Anyway, if I wanted to try the other Fraxel or Pixel, I can still do so in the future. But I have to be careful of the risk of pigmentation especially if its done by different types of Derms. By right, having different laser resurfacing procedures on your face with different derms is not recommended.
Here are the procedures: (First six are done by the attendant but the real Fraxel thing is done by the certified Dermatologist
1. Cleansing. The attendant removed traces of my make up. Except for my eyeliner. I would have wanted her to remove it too but she looks a bit unresponsive and lacks customer service.
2. Diamond Peeling. I am not sure how this will help but I think its also beneficial for the Fraxel. Apparently, the attendant again has a heavy hand and used my face like carpeted floor that she needed to vacuum. My gosh I was already squinting of pain and yet she does not seem to respond yet. Good thing the Derm entered the room and asked if I am okay. I asked if Diamond Peeling is supposed to hurt? And ITS NOT. So she just said, don’t put too much pressure.
3. Steam. Lol the attendant again once again is in the scene. I cant seem to breathe at this point because the steam is too close to my face and nose. I had to turn to my side and act in so much discomfort before she even ask me if its hot. Of course its hot darn. Don’t worry I still politely told her that yes the steam is too close.
4. Extraction. I didn’t really have a lot of active acne but the attendant just digged and digged into my pores. Sounds like she’s looking for a treasure lol.
5. Applying Mesonumb. As the name suggest, this numbs the face. Its an anesthetic. I need to wait for 45 mins for the Mesonumb to take into effect. While on this procedure, I just read magazine and let the time flies by. Attendant is not on the scene lol. After 45 mins, she cleaned my face with the tissue. THE FACE FEELS SO THICK. A feeling like I do not own my skin hah.
6. Applying Tracking Gel. Which is beneficial so that the derm can track down which parts of my face have been lasered or not. Tracking gel is clear and transparent. I didn’t know about this unless I asked the attendant because she is too quiet to let me know what’s going on. Me, being the paranoid, always get a shocker everytime she touches my face because I do not know what the hell she is going to do again with my face lol.
7. Fraxel itself. This is it. I think my setting is 20 joules, 5% and 4 passes. This is so technical and dunno how to explain clearly the numbers but just for everyone's reference, this is my setting lol. The Derm did the procedure. Dunno how to explain well but I will try. The Derm first measured something in my face using the Fraxel machine. Probably the area of my face? The machine is intelligent, it can set the intensity or what of the face…something like that lol. Then the Derm just let the tool pass my face. There is a sound after the tool passes my face its like a shooting laser. Then again here comes the lovely attendant, suddenly holding a vacuum type of cooling air which she obediently puts in the areas of the lasered skin. I was so shocked again because damn I didn’t expect, I was in goggles cmon. And that cooling air is so darn cold, I had goosebumps! Oh well, Derm said, the air can help also with the pain so I just tried to be still during this procedure. There is definitely a pain but its tolerable. And the numbness is a bit uncomfortable but its tolerable once again. The only thing I am a bit paranoid is, the Attendant. Really….because just do things without my knowledge. lol enough of her!
8. Removing of tracking gel. This was done by the attendant.
We started the procedure at 5:30pm and ended at 8pm (almost like that) An advise to those planning to experience Fraxel is to eat first before the procedure on which I gladly did. When I am nervous, I get hungry easily. When I left the clinic, I was hungry but not that much. Really a good thing that I ate somehow. Anyway, I talked further to the Derm and oriented me on what to do tomorrow and in the next consecutive days. Derm gave me a lightening cream to use on Friday evening. Its Kojic Acid based not Hydroquinone – Good thing because don’t want to use this! Costs about PHP 550.
What my face felt after: My face is definitely numb. I cannot even smile without looking plastic hahah. After about an hour, the Mesonumb started to subside and I experience the sunburnt feeling already. When I looked at the face in the mirror under the fluorescent lighting, its definitely looked red and burned. But when I took photo in my camera, it looked tanned and bronzed. It definitely does not look like that time when I was in Tretinoin. Tretinoin really made my face looked sunburnt like I was slapped 100X. Sunburnt and pale with zits. Horrible, I like this one better, it looks like I went to the beach hehe. Day 1 pain is 6/10.
It was suggested not to wash my face tonight so I will obey. Tomorrow: Sunblock Sunblock Sunblock!
So lets see the results in the next 45 days. The derm said, collagen formation is still present until the 45th day. That’s why she suggests that to do the Fraxel second session after a month.
Diamond Peeling with Fraxel Re:Fine: PHP 12,000.00
Radant KC Fairness Cream: PHP 550.00
Will do it again!!!! Recommended!
Day by day update:
1/7/2010: Friday. First Day After the Procedure:
Woke up at 9:30am. Being paranoid that the sun is up, and it might burn my face even though I am still inside the house, I immediately washed my face with a gentle cleanser such as my La Roche Posay Physiological Gel. It didn’t sting. Then I applied Loreal UV Perfect in SPF 50. I noticed that my face still looks normal but a bit different. Different meaning, I definitely see an improvement and I definitely like it! :) Traces of the ‘bronzed look’ is eveident but its not horrible looking and I believe it can be hidden by powder. Day 2 Pain is 5/10 - Not really noticeable at all!
10PM: I noticed two medium cystic acne on my left chin!! urgh. I was quite devastated but I thought that because I was too lazy, I havent washed my face since 10AM lol I know I know…when you stay at home and see no one, you tend to be a couch potato and do nothing at all even brush your teeth lol. Anyway, I took a bath and then put Retinoic Acid that my derm gave me in.025% Cream. I just did a spot treatment. Afterwhich, I put the Radant KC and slept the worries away….Oh by the way, one reason why I am devastated with the formation of the zits is because, I cannot take the Tetralysal anymore because I am taking them already for too long! My Fraxel derma advised me to stop it or else the acne bacteria might develop resistance…which will not respond later on if I want to use it. My gosh, so I guess the zits is caused by stressing too much on worrying about my Tetralysal withdrawal. geee….
1/8/2010 | Saturday:
I woke up and noticed that the zits have quite subsided. YEY! Also from yesterday, while looking at my face on natural light, I finally got a chance to notice the tiny holes in my skin. It’s smaller than my pores. Its barely noticeable but since I am very observant with my skin, its not hard for me to spot them. I quite cringe at the sight of it cause its holes – reminds me of a disease lol. But then I researched and every Fraxel patients recognize it. Its actually the laser that passed to my skin. Imagine how a printer does it in dpi (dots per inches). I noticed that the dots are now flaking as I can see it after wiping a toner using a cotton pad. (see the gross pic heh)
- Skin’s texture is dying as apparent in the flaking of the Dots caused by Fraxel.
- Normal skin color. No more redness or any sting at all.
- Skin is much glowing than the usual.
Will continue to update of the progress in the next few days so check back this entry as I will edit it here! :)
June 1, 2011 Update:
Sorry for less update. Been very busy with RL >.< Anyway, I still havent continued this yet, because of my budget but I plan to do it next time with Fraxel Re: Store. I have tried another procedure for my Acne Scars which is Radio Frequency. You may try to read of my experience here: http://cecilywishes.blogspot.com/2011/06/radio-frequency-for-acne-scarring.html