As if having acne isn’t bad enough…
Once you’ve finally won the war on acne, the battle scars are left to remind you of the struggle. While it was a relief to resolve my acne after 15 years, I was still looking at a new challenge ahead and it didn’t look like it would be much easier than the one I just overcame.
Hyper-pigmentation (red and dark marks) as well as indentations remained that were impossible to cover because applying make up over it still left an uneven texture.
Sure, it wasn’t obvious to every one who looked at me but I didn’t want to keep any memories of my unsightly acne and as a model, it was painfully obvious at photoshoots and continued to cost me jobs.
Here’s where I get really honest with you: resurfacing treatments to smooth the skin are going to likely be painful AND expensive if they’re going to be effective. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news and I denied it for a few years myself, holding out hope that I wouldn’t have to spend so much on smooth skin but nothing was nearly as effective and I wasted a decent amount of time experimenting with alternatives that disappointed.
Scaring is known to be fairly difficult to repair compared to other skincare concerns because scars effect the deep layers of the
skin so unlike acne, hyper-pigmentation or other imperfections that tend to be more superficial and therefore easier to address. That is exactly why topical creams, oils and lotions aren’t nearly as effective for smoothing skin.
The three methods I used to see results were Fraxel laser, micro-needling with chemical peel and recently CO2 laser which I am healing from currently. I will share my experience and results with micro-needling and and CO2 in upcoming posts so check back for them soon.
The two other methods I used to see results were Fraxel laser and micro-needling with a chemical peel. Recently, I did also do CO2 laser which is a similar treatment to Fraxel however I am still recovering from my first session so I am not yet able to share my results.
Lasers can do amazing things. Fraxel is a special brand of laser that targets fine lines, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation and indentations. Fractional lasers penetrate the top skin layers, Fraxel light energy stimulates collagen by and resurfaces the top layers of skin allowing your skin’s natural process to smooth wrinkles and scars. Skincare professionals recommend a minimum of 4 treatments performed to see best results but of course, that could vary depending on severity.
My Fraxel experience:
I saw medical aesthetician, Victoria Lewis, at Tribeca MedSpa for 4 treatments on my cheeks (my biggest problem area) and each treatment cost me $600 (I believe it has since increased). They numbed my face prior to treatment and gave me some extra strength Tylenol to manage the pain and I figured it was a super quick treatment so how bad could it really be? It was extremely painful although very fast.
The laser is turned to the highest setting to target the depth of acne scars and makes 4 quick passes on each area so collectively, it is only a few minutes long. I found it best to just grin and bare it without a break however it does get more and more painful with each pass. It feels like a million spiders with very, very hot legs are crawling all over your face and although I was shaking from the pain, I was pretty much fine as soon as the laser stopped. In the days that followed, my face became increasingly more red then brown (like a terrible sun burn) and swollen.
The tiny little bumps that covered my face weren’t noticeable because they were so small however my skin did become terribly dry within days. This resulted in a lot discomfort and some unsightly peeling for a few days with a texture similar to sandpaper. Tropicals can be applied to help lessen the appearance and discomfort however peeling, dryness, redness and swelling are an inevitable part of the healing process.
I was happy with the overall results, I felt it was worth the discomfort, downtime and money because it was effective as you can see from the before & after photos. My skin has an improved, smoother texture with less hyper pigmentation which would have been difficult to achieve this quickly using less invasive methods. After completing 4 treatments, although I did see great results, I continued to feel my skin needed further improvement. I have gotten other skincare treatments since Fraxel, all photos featured on this post only show the results of Fraxel.
If you have gotten Fraxel or used another method to treat your acne scars, please share your experience below!