I wish I can get rid of sun damage, dark spots, irregular skin texture, acne scars, pigmentation issues, or reduce my face lines & wrinkles and bring back my youthful age, where my face is clear and free of any kind of impurities.
But why you are saying “I wish”, laser applications can help you to say “I will” Instead! Fractional laser technologies are found nowadays in many different forms with a massive potential that helps you to remove excessive hair growth, dealing with all the previously mentioned imperfections…etc.
Generally, laser works through radiating beams of ultraviolet, infrared, or visible light, that is immediately absorbed by the skin and converted into heat; as a result, the affected tissue layer removed. You don’t have to get worried about the procedure; you won’t get burned as your dermatologist will adjust the laser’s degree based on your skin type and condition.
Laser applications usually fall into two categories that are different from one another as follows:
Ablative laser category; that is considered an invasive or as dermatologists consider it as “Wounding Laser”, an example on ablative laser forms is Co2 Laser skin resurfacing Erbium laser.
Non-Ablative laser category; that is considered as less invasive and “Non-wounding laser”, an example on non-ablative laser forms are the pulsed-dye laser, Alexandrite laser.
There is also a laser resurfacing type that is available as ablative and non-ablative form, an example of this type:
Fraxel Laser Skin Resurfacing
Fraxel laser skin resurfacing is simple the tool that can create a new skin, amazing texture, and even skin tone, and rid yourself of dark spots, sun damage, acne scars and reduce your wrinkles and face lines. Moreover, it has been found that Fraxel procedure enhances the production of collagen giving you the most youthful look ever!
What are the types of Fraxel Laser procedure?
Point of Comparison
Fraxel re: fine
Fraxel re: store
Fraxel re: pair
|· Considered as a non-ablative treatment that is used for maintenance and prevention.|
· The procedure can deal with dark spots, Pigmentation, uneven skin tone and help to eliminate face lines, especially around the eyes.
|· Considered as a non-ablative treatment that can deal with melasma, Seborrheic Keratosis, acne scars, stretch marks, acne scars and enlarged pores.||· Considered as an ablative fractionated laser that usually works on producing new collagen and promote skin resurfacing.|
· It is useful in case of cosmetic tattoos, Pigmentation issues deep frown lines& wrinkles, irregular texture and severe sun damage.
How about the downtime…?
· The downtime is minimal; you will only need two-three days
· The downtime is not so long that range from one to three days.
· The downtime is very long; you will need about 7 days to a few weeks.
· You will also need around 2 or 3 days wound care
No. of treatment sessions…?
· From four – Six treatment sessions
· From three to five treatment sessions
· Based on the affected area
| – The number of treatment sessions mainly depends on the degree of your sun damage, dark spots or pigmentation…etc.|
– Gradual perfection occurs with each treatment
How does the fractional resurfacing work?
Generally, Fraxel laser works by using a beam of laser, creating small zones called “controlled micro-injury” into the skin, by this way it helps in the elimination of old or affected skin and then replace it with new skin. Moreover, it usually leaves the unaffected skin untouched; And by this way, it allows the rapid and natural body’s healing process.
- It was reported that “Fraxel laser procedure is designed to provide skin resurfacing for less than fifty percent of the skin and around 45 percent and more for the healing process”
Fraxel laser resurfacing will also
Each treatment session usually replaces about twenty percent from the old & affected skin, In addition to its perfect role in stimulating the production of new collagen. The end result of Fraxel laser resurfacing is; Youthful, Healthy, and Fresh skin.
Who is the best candidate for the Fraxel laser?
As we mentioned before, there are many types of Fraxel laser procedure; the range of types usually covers all skin types and conditions, therefore, most of the people consider Fraxel laser applicable for all skin types and conditions and this is right. However, you should consult a well-known dermatologist who is expert in Fraxel laser procedure, therefore, able to examine your skin and determine which type of Fraxel laser match your skin type.
- Fraxel re: pair works only on a white skin type
- Fraxel re: fine works on all the skin types (From white to black)
- Fraxel re: store works on specific skin types (From white to brown)
Is Fraxel laser compatible with other treatment procedures?
Yes, Fraxel laser procedure is compatible with other treatment procedure like; Juvederm & Sculptra dermal filler, and Thermage procedure. However, you should wait a period of time before or after doing the second treatment, for example
- For “Thermage” you should wait for at least two weeks
- For “Juvederm” you should wait for at least one week
- For “Sculptra” you should wait for at least three months
Will I see immediate results?
Yes, results are immediate. A distinguished and gradual improvement will appear within the first six months; you will notice smooth, fresh, soft and youthful skin.
What will happen before, during and after the Fraxel procedure?
Before the treatment procedure, your dermatologist will inform you to come 2 hours prior the treatment procedure; within this period you will be asked to intensively wash your face then your dermatologist or his/her assistant will apply certain numbing cream, the numbing cream will last for around 60 minutes. Before applying the laser beam, your dermatologist will provide you an eye protection band in order to avoid any kind of side effects from the laser.
During the procedure, some dermatologists may apply an amount of gel “thin layer” that is used to facilitate the process of laser rollers sliding. The entire procedure of Fraxel laser resurfacing won’t exceed 90 minutes, however, this also depends on the size of treated area.
After the procedure, your dermatologist will provide you with a list of the aftercare routine that you have to follow for better results.
What will I feel during and after the Fraxel treatment?
During the procedure, you may feel like “Pins and needles” sensation that maybe a little bit painful, however, it is tolerable due to the effect of both topical anesthesia cream and cold air.
After the procedure, you may experience some burning sensation that will only last for few hours (Mostly 3 hours), And as your skin starts to shed you will notice baby sift, smooth and clear skin underneath.
What are the side effects of Fraxel laser treatment procedure?
The side effects are particularly happening on neck skin and may appear in form of
- Crusty layer may form
- Swelling that may last for 7 days
- Post-inflammatory pigmentation
- Redness on and around the treated area
- Minor itching, dry skin, peeling or flaking, and a bronzed skin appearance
- Sometimes, skin infections may occur like herpes or candida infection, however, it is very limited
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How long does Fraxel laser result last?
Generally, the Fraxel laser results are long-lasting, however, this mainly depends on the aftercare routine. After performing the treatment procedure, your dermatologist will inform you with the aftercare routine instructions as follows:
- You should wear your sunscreen whenever you are out!
According to the American Skin Association; it stated “Sunscreens provide protection by absorbing, reflecting or scattering the sun’s rays. They may also contain chemicals that interact with the skin to protect it from UV rays. Sunscreens are rated according to their effectiveness by the sun protection factor (SPF). A product’s SPF number helps determine how long the product will protect you before you need to re-apply it – how long you can stay in the sun without burning. For example, you may normally burn in 20 minutes. If you apply an SPF 15 sunscreen, you’ll be protected for about 300 minutes, or five hours (SPF 15 x 20 minutes = 300 minutes). A person with lightly pigmented skin who burns in 10 minutes would be protected for only about two-and-a-half-hours with SPF 15 (SPF 15 x 10 minutes = 150 minutes).”
- You should stop using any kind of chemical peels, aftershave, and bleaching creams
- You will have a sensitive skin for the first two weeks and burning sensation for the first two weeks, so make sure that you are not using any kind or irritants that may worsen the situation.
- You should also stop any kind of bleaching creams that contain Hydroquinone or mercury…
- Moisturize… Moisturize… Moisturize
You must use moisturizer on regular basis and whenever you feel dry, however, you should make sure that your moisturizer is not formed of irritant components.
- Skin Care Products
After the Fraxel laser treatment, you should use skin care products that are gentle and non-clogging. You can ask your dermatologist about your previous skincare products whether it helps or not and he/she may help you choose products that suit your skin condition and the healing process.
Is Fraxel laser treatment safe?
- Fraxel treatment is a safe option and this is based on research. Indeed, as with any laser procedure, there are always some side effects and/or downtime.
- It is better to inform your dermatologist with all of your disease histories before performing the treatment procedure.
Is there a downtime for Fraxel laser procedure?
Yes, there is a downtime.
You have to take rest for at least one week, pay attention & care for the treated area, and to follow-up with your dermatologist; you must follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the aftercare routine, for example:
- You have to avoid the sauna sessions
- You have to avoid shaving (Men) for 3 days
- Exercising is not allowed for at least one week
- Avoid alcoholic beverages for the 48 hours at least
- Avoid using any kind of chemical peel treatments for the first four weeks
- Keep your head always raised during sleeping for the first couple of days
- Do not use any retinoid, Retin-A or glycolic products for at least two weeks
- Don’t use any kind of creams over your face, unless your doctor prescribes it for you
- Over touching and scratching the treated area will worsen the situation so, you have to avoid it
- You are not allowed to swim especially in the chlorinated swimming pools for at least three weeks
- You have to use icepack on the treated area for around 7 hours in order to reduce swelling if found
- You have to avoid hot water and direct contact with water on your skin during showering for the first three days
- Excessive exposure to the sun is not allowed for the first 4 weeks after your treatment; therefore, it is recommended to wear sunscreen with a specific SPF that suit your type and condition of your skin
How about the U.S Food And Drug Administration approval?
“The FDA has issued a separate clearance for each subgroup for treatment of specific skin conditions.” And by numbers and dates;
- In June of 2005, the FDA approved Fraxel as an excellent treatment for melasma
- In July of 2005, the FDA approved Fraxel as an effective treatment for acne scars
- In March of 2005, the FDA approved Fraxel laser as an operative treatment application for skin resurfacing
- In July of 2007, the FDA approved Fraxel Repair as an application for skin resurfacing.
- In December of 2007, the FDA approved Fraxel Repair as an effective treatment for wrinkles, furrow, and surface fine lines.
- In May of 2007, the FDA approved Fraxel Refine as a non-invasive technique in skin rejuvenation.
What are the procedure alternative options?
The alternative options mainly depend on your skin condition and which kind of Fraxel laser you are going to perform.
Examples of the alternatives;
- chemical peels and Microdermabrasion.
- Clear + Brilliant
- photo rejuvenation with or without photodynamic therapy (Levulan)
- CO2 fractional laser resurfacing (CO2RE).
And finally, What is the total cost of Fraxel laser treatment?
The total cost usually depends on the size of the treated area, the number of sessions and the geographical distribution; however, the average cost could be from $800-1200 per session.