It’s time for the 3 month check-in on my Fraxel Dual Laser Treatment. I’ve taken another round of photos and put them next to my before pictures so we can see how effective one Fraxel Dual Laser treatment is. I love doing these before & after posts because I can really see in the photos if there’s a measurable difference or not.
I loved what the laser did for my skin in the first 2 weeks after the recovery period. Seeing all that dead skin slough away and reveal pretty new skin was amazing! I felt like my skin was so smooth and even looking on the surface, but it takes about 3 months for increased collagen production to have an effect on wrinkles and firmness. During that time I’ve been diligent with sunscreen and hats so I wouldn’t un-do all the good that the laser accomplished.
The Fraxel Dual is FDA cleared to treat the following:
- Wrinkles around the eyes
- Acne scars
- Surgical scars
- Age spots/sunspots (pigmented lesions)
- Melasma (irregular patches of brown skin on the forehead, cheeks, upper lip and nose)
- Actinic Keratoses (precancerous lesions)
- Skin resurfacing
Doctors will usually recommend 3-5 treatments spaced about a month apart. Most patients see best results after 2-3 treatments. Studies show that the 1927 nm wavelength gives 75-80% improvement after 3 treatments. Since I just had one treatment and she only used the 1927nm wavelength, I’m looking for something in the range of 25% improvement in pigment lesions, surface wrinkles, and actinic keratoses.
Let’s take a look:
(But wait, first my standard Photo Disclaimer: These are un-retouched photos taken months apart in a home setting using the same camera and lighting for both (also no makeup). I try my best to match the exposure, face angle & expression but can not make conditions match exactly. Photos are here so you can judge the value of the procedure for yourself, not to convince you one way or the other.)
I can clearly see a reduction in brown discolorations overall especially on my forehead by the hairline and on the bridge of my nose, and cheeks. Overall I think my skin looks plumper & firmer.
In this photo the large age spot on my cheek is lighter, as is the freckling by my ear. My forehead looks smoother as do my crow’s feet. There may even be some improvement in my sagging eyelid hoods!
The actinic keratosis looks about the same, but the age spot is lighter along with the freckles. I think my jawline looks slightly firmer as well.
I see less improvement in the vertical lines of my upper lip, and on the discolorations along the edge of my bottom lip. I think my pores were smaller temporarily but now they’re back to looking the same as they did before. I don’t see much improvement in the “rippled” skin on my chin.
You can see everything better in the detail photos:
So to answer the burning question:
Was It Worth It?
If I set my expectations realistically and look for 25% improvement, then YES I see at least that much improvement so I feel like the treatment definitely delivered! I have to say that I’m much happier with my skin overall since the procedure. I just wish it was less expensive because now that I’ve seen the results I’d really like to have 2 more treatments and get to that 75-85% improvement, and have her use the 1550nm wavelength as well.
Unfortunately I’m not made of money or down-time so to do that would run me another $1,500-$3,000 plus 6-8 more days of hiding out while I rain skin-flakes! It would have been great if it could have corrected everything in one treatment but I suppose it’s unrealistic to think anything can un-do 50 years of sun damage in one treatment for 1,500 bucks.
I hope you found my posts about my experience and my before & after pictures helpful if you’re considering this procedure. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
Here are links to my other posts on this laser treatment: