My father had a tanning salon as a child. I was his first employee and got a quarter for cleaning every bed after use. When his business went bankrupt, we dragged one of the old sunbeds into our garage and I was given the freedom to bake myself as I wished. This kind of hobby gave me the desired orange-bronze skin tone I was looking for homecoming photos, but had serious implications.
At the age of 39, I have sun damage and am mercilessly obsessive with SPF and a increasingly complex skin care product . If I get occasionally carded for wine, I owe the Fraxel laser treatment.
Fraxel is a FDA approved laser device. Dermatologists treat signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, scars and sun damage (or age spots). The doctors praise the results and the minimal downtime required for healing. It's not cheap treatment often costs about $ 1,000 per pop. (Solta Medical, the company that makes Fraxel Laser, says the patients will notice immediate noticeable improvements, but recommends three to five as "an effective treatment regimen.")
During my first treatment before Ten years ago I was not worried about fine lines or wrinkles at all. I had Melasma on my upper lip – what I called the Burt Reynolds mustache – and a significant hyperpigmentation along my forehead. I also had scars from adult acne acne that I had acquired in my late 20's. I was uncertain about both sides, and a colleague suggested her dermatologist who performed Fraxel lasers on her with fantastic results.
At age 29, I had the first of three treatments that were a year apart and unbelievable results. After the first treatment, my melasma, acne scars, and a large age spot had faded dramatically. After three treatments, my skin was as clear and smooth as a newborn's.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Or at least I have to improve it.
Seven years after my first Fraxel treatment, I went back to another.
This time, after I had begun to see the effects of the aging of 10 years on my skin, I hoped it would take advantage of the benefits that I as a 29-year-old did not care about – and with the goal of bulking and Botox that avoid so popular treatments with my colleagues. It's not like I'm an anti-needle. But if I can laser myself every few years instead of undergoing a quarterly Botox injection, then I can eliminate signs of aging and dark spots in an annual treatment.
It should be self-evident, but Finding a reputable doctor is the key . I selected Mary Lupo, MD a dermatologist-approved dermatologist and clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University's School of Medicine, one of the leading experts in the field of non-surgical skin rejuvenation. Dr. Lupo tells me that Fraxel is an ideal way to combat aging for those who do not choose Botox or Filler because it actually makes collagen. Fractional lasers cause micro-lesions in the skin, and the resulting healing process stimulates new collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, she explains. This makes the skin firmer, fuller and more elastic. It also brings new skin to the surface and effectively replaces damaged, discolored skin. (Fraxel is a brand name, and Dr. Lupo claims he can tune me more accurately than other lasers of this type and provides the most consistent and consistent results. "All broken devices are not the same," she says.)
During my interview, I am informed Dr. Lupo, that I am an ideal candidate for Fraxel laser. I am a former sunbather, a 15 year old outdoor runner and now very careful with the sun. She tells me that virtually all skin types can be safely treated, but you must refuse to expose yourself to the sun before and after treatment.
This is where the entire Fraxel process has fallen.
I came to Dr. Lupo's office so that a topical lidocaine cream could be used to apply a wonderful hour for me to read a book and scroll before and after Fraxel photos on Instagram.
Dr. Lupo treated me with a Fraxel dual laser, which is used for fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage. "Dual refers to the two wavelengths," Dr. Lupo, "1550 for texture (the skin layer) and 1927 for the surface pigment." A doctor can control variables such as the strength of the laser and how deep it penetrates the skin. to tailor the device exactly to the needs of the patients. My treatment (a laser of 1927 with an energy of 10, a level of 4 and 8 passes – considered as a moderate treatment) began and was – the true truth – it hurt. I can only describe it as if 100 bees were stinging my face at once. The pain was intense, but short-lived. Luckily I expected it – it felt just like it did ten years ago.
After the treatment, I felt stingy and hot for about an hour – as if my ice packs seemed to melt the moment my burning face touched. Prednisone was given to me for two days to combat swelling and I slept that night without any pain on raised pillows.
It took a week for the procedure to be completely cured.
Everyone recovers differently from this procedure, but I've sensitive skin and fell victim to the side effects of redness and swelling (other common reactions are itching, dryness and temporary and permanent changes in skin color). I worked at home for a few days to avoid exposure to sun and other people.
On the second day, my face resembled a balloon of sandpaper that was horrible on the face mirror, but I was sure it was completely normal. On the third day, the swelling and redness had resolved, but my face itched awfully as the top layer failed. I have carefully applied thick layers of CeraVe salve containing hyaluronic acid and ceramides (and available for [$ Amazon for less than US $ 10). I noticed that some of the dry sandpaper stains flake off and flake off reveal new skin. That was reassuring and exciting, because although I was still part of the monster, I was able to leave the house for a brief mission (smeared with sunscreen, of course).
On day four, the sandpaper had gone to three quarters My face felt like it was a human snake thrown off its skin to slowly reveal a new pink-colored, feathery baby skin underneath. On the fifth day, the face serpent was completely sloughed off and I was pink and sensitive Mark, my skin was completely healed, and my melasma and sun damage had mostly disappeared, my face showed – I say – a noticeable glow.
It was not easy (or cheap), but it was worth it.
My skin is clear and looks younger, but most of all I love the confidence I have regained. I felt completely uncomfortable – or even – tinted moisturizer – and I only wore sunscreen several times, which I never do in the month since the treatment.
I understand why Fraxel lasers may not be for everyone – it's uncomfortable and expensive, and there's more downtime than other methods (without a laser) to reverse the signs of aging, but Lupo says that with a disciplined skin routine, the results of my treatment can last years. That's enough to remove the needle for now – and spend more time practicing my #nomakeup # nofilter selfies.