Laser skin rejuvenation is one of the five most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. The laser du jour for skin rejuvenation is Fraxel. There are four varieties including Fraxel re:fine, Fraxel re:store, Fraxel Dual and Fraxel re:pair.
The Fraxel laser treats a mere fraction of the skin's surface. In fact, only 15 to 30 percent of the skin is affected by Fraxel laser treatment. Fraxel skin rejuvenation creates tiny wounds in the deeper layer of the skin (dermis). Each wound is surrounded by untreated skin, helping to repair the treated area via a controlled wound-healing process. The epidermis remains undamaged while the deeper layer begins to heal. Old skin cells slough off and the skin gradually repairs itself, encouraging collagen regeneration.
A protein found in connective tissue, collagen maintains the skin's integrity, but breaks down with advancing age. The breakdown of collagen can lead to the development of wrinkles, lines and folds in the skin. Regenerating collagen, however, can improve skin elasticity, tone and appearance.
A candidate for Fraxel laser rejuvenation are people who have age spots, sun damage, acne scars, wrinkles near the eye, and stretch marks. If so, you may be a great candidate.
Fraxel laser therapy is approved for a variety of rejuvenating treatments, including the shrinking of large pores. It is the first and only laser approved for treatment of melasma (the mask of pregnancy), a condition marked by brown patches on both sides of the face, including the cheeks, bridge of nose, forehead and upper lip. Fraxel therapy can be used to treat the neck, chest and hands.
The Fraxel Laser is a resurfacing laser that is used to restore damaged, wrinkled skin back to smooth, younger looking skin. Fraxel is typically performed on the full face to achieve even, consistent results and is done in a series of 4 treatments performed at one month intervals. Each Fraxel treatment consists of first prepping the skin with microdermabrasion, numbing the skin with topical numbing cream then performing the Fraxel treatment.
With each treatment, the Fraxel Laser thermally damages the skin so that it is replaced with brand new skin over the weeks and months that follow.
After the treatment, the skin appears red like a sunburn and mild to moderate swelling can develop. Redness and swelling (if it occurs) typically last 3-5 days. Results from Fraxel treatments begin to be apparent as soon as 3-4 weeks after the first treatment and continue to improve for up to 6 months after the fourth and final Fraxel treatment is completed. Fraxel produces skin that looks like new with fewer lines, wrinkles, spots, scars, and imperfections.
Yes, Fraxel Restore Dual® is an excellent treatment for scars and sun damage throughout the body, and has also recently received FDA approval for the treatment of Stretch Marks, from child birth, rapid growth spurts or significant weight loss.
Yes. Immediately after treatment with the 1927 wavelength, you skin can look red and sun burned. By day three the skin becomes bronzed (especially where the darkest spots on your face are), then over the following 3 to 4 days these spots dry up and peel off, leaving your skin smooth, clear, slightly pink, healthy looking.
A topical anesthetic ointment is applied to the treatment areas approximately 60 minutes prior to treatment in order for the anesthetic to take full effect. For Fraxel Restore Dual® treatments topical anesthesia alone is usually sufficient. The procedure take between 20-25 minutes for the full face.
The Fraxel laser utilizes a new technology called Fractional Resurfacing. With Fractional Resurfacing Technology, only a fraction of the skin receives the laser light at one time. The Fraxel Laser delivers a series of microscopic closely spaced laser spots to the skin while simultaneously preserving normal healthy skin between the laser spots. The preservation of the healthy spots results in rapid healing of the treated area following the laser treatment. The entire face can be treated with the Fraxel Laser in approximately 45 minutes.
Until Fraxel®, there were two types of available laser treatments. Purely ablative laser treatment (CO2 and Erbium) which was very effective but had significant side effects and lengthy healing period (weeks). The other being non-ablative had zero downtime but had very little clinical effect. Fraxel Restore® treatment offers the effectiveness of older ablative treatments with the benefits of the gentler, fractionated laser technologies.
The Dual-Restore is the latest partially ablative laser in the Fraxel Family. It combines two wavelength options allowing for targeted treatment of different tissue depths. The 1927 wavelength is indicated for the treatment of hyperpigmented lesions such as melasma, sun-spots and freckles. It typically removes 85 to 100% of pigmented lesions and requires 1 treatment; however resistant hyperpigmentation as well as melasma may require additional treatments.
Clinical studies suggest that on average, an effective treatment regimen is 3 to 5 sessions, spaced about 2 to 4 weeks apart for Fraxel Restore®. Optimal improvement occurs for 6 months after the series of treatments is complete. This time frame and treatment structure allows for complete healing and replacement of damaged tissue with new collagen and elastin, and viable healthy skin cell growth.
Fraxel Restore® treatments can range between $400-$1400 per treatment. The range of prices depends on partial or full-face treatments, severity of condition, and the relative inclusion of other body parts such as neck and chest.
Most patients describe the treatment as having an intense "prickling" sensation. The anesthetic protocol that our Aesthetic Nurses use and Cryo-air cooling alleviates most discomfort. For those that are sensitive, we suggest ibuprofen or a stronger form of pain killer, which of course we will prescribe to you.
Yes. The Fraxel Laser is FDA approved for use in skin resurfacing. It is also FDA approved for use in the correction of pigmented lesions, such as age spots, sun spots, discolored skin, the treatment of wrinkles around the eyes and melasma.
Fraxel® Laser Treatment is the original "fractional" treatment that produces thousands of deep, tiny columns of trauma in your skin, called microthermal treatment zones. FLT is "fractional" in that it intensively treats thin columns of the skin without affecting the surrounding tissue, which reduces healing time and promotes the skin's natural process for creating new, healthier tissue. Fraxel® Restore® Dual is the non-ablative, low downtime technology.
With fractionated lasers healing time is significantly accelerated so there is minimal downtime and risk. With Fraxel Restore Dual®, at no time after treatment is the skin left raw, therefore, make-up can be worn immediately following the procedure. Some patients are able to return to routine activities, including work and social obligations, the same day of treatment. Generally there is redness and minor puffiness for 1-3 days.
Swelling and redness are the most common side effects of treatment. If swelling and redness does occur, it is minimal and will subside within two to three days for Fraxel Restore Dual®. There is minimal pain during recovery with the Dual; it can be likened to a bad sun burn for several hours. We have never seen any significant complications with either wavelength.
Fraxel Laser treatments offer rapid healing and minimal downtime. Patients typically have some swelling and redness. The swelling generally subsides in a day or so, and the redness usually fades over a few days. Patients can apply make-up shortly after their treatment and generally return to normal activity the following day.
Upon consultation, we will assess the quality and severity of your skin’s problem. After a thorough history and interview, we will help you make a decision that will suite your skin type and your lifestyle issues regarding downtime and risk as well as results.
*Individual results may vary.
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