Fraxel® Laser Systems for Skin Resurfacing
Fraxel® laser systems use fractional-resurfacing technology, in which only a fraction of an area of skin receives laser light, to significantly improve skin texture and remove pigmentation. The energy from Fraxel laser systems stimulates skin's collagen, and rejuvenates skin cells below the skin's surface, helping to smooth out the creases that cause wrinkling and scarring. According to their manufacturer, Solta Medical, Inc., Fraxel lasers, in addition to improving the tone and texture of the skin, treat:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Surface scarring from acne or surgery
- Pigmentation from sun damage and aging
- Actinic keratosis (a common precancerous skin condition)
There are a number of skin-resurfacing systems made by Solta Medical. Which one is used depends upon the condition being treated.
Benefits of Fraxel Laser Treatment
Fraxel laser treatments are performed in a doctor's office and, in most cases, only topical anesthesia is needed. Treatments usually take between 20 and 30 minutes. Depending on the particular laser used, the benefits of treatment with a Fraxel laser include:
- Smoother skin and a more even skin tone
- Softening of deep frown lines and wrinkles
- Improved appearance of redness caused by sun damage
- Removal of unwanted brown spots
- A reduction of fine lines around the eyes
- Less noticeable surgical and acne scars
Possible Side Effects of Fraxel Laser Treatment
Possible side effects of Fraxel laser treatment depend on the particular system used. In general, side effects may include:
- Prolonged redness
- Herpes reactivation
- Acne flareup
The average number of laser treatments needed varies depending upon the Fraxel system used.
Fraxel® Laser Treatment FAQs
Fraxel® laser systems use fractional-resurfacing technology, in which only a fraction of an area of skin receives laser light, to significantly improve skin texture and remove pigmentation. The energy from Fraxel laser systems stimulates skin's collagen, and rejuvenates skin cells below the skin's surface, helping to smooth out the creases that cause wrinkling and scarring.
Fraxel laser treatment is used for:
- Improving skin's texture and tone
- Shrinking the size of pores
- Erasing age spots/brown spots
- Smoothing wrinkles around the eyes
- Smoothing acne scars
- Rejuvenating skin on the neck, chest and hands
How does Fraxel technology work?
Fraxel laser treatment uses fractional resurfacing, in which the laser treats only a small fraction of skin at a given time. The laser light reaches the innermost layers of skin, and stimulates collagen growth while leaving surrounding skin unaffected. The healthy cells in the untreated areas promote rapid healing of the entire area, resulting in faster recovery time and minimal side effects.
How is Fraxel laser treatment performed?
Fraxel laser treatment is performed in a doctor's office, and requires only a topical anesthetic.The laser handpiece is moved over the targeted area, destroying damaged skin cells, and promoting the growth of new, healthy ones. Even when treating a large area of skin, such as the entire face, treatment usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes.
What are the side effects of Fraxel laser treatment?
Skin may feel as if it is mildly sunburned for about an hour after treatment. After that, discomfort should be minimal. Any mild swelling should subside within 2 to 3 days, and pink-looking skin, which indicates that the skin has been deeply treated, usually fades in 5 to 7 days. There is limited, if any, risk of infection or scarring.
New epidermal skin develops within 24 hours. It may have a bronze tinge for a few days to 2 weeks, and will likely flake and exfoliate as the old skin sloughs off and new skin takes its place. The new skin is highly sensitive, so direct sun exposure should be avoided for at least 3 months, and a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF should be applied daily.
Is there any downtime after Fraxel laser treatment?
Although individual results vary, Fraxel laser treatment has little-to-no downtime. Performing routine activities, and shaving or applying makeup, can be resumed almost immediately after treatment.
How long does it take to see results from Fraxel laser treatment?
Results are both immediate and progressive. Optimal improvement is usually visible in 2 to 3 months, but the skin can continue to improve for up to a year. Each laser treatment markedly improves skin quality.
How many Fraxel laser treatments are necessary?
The number of treatments required varies from patient to patient. Clinical studies suggest that an effective treatment plan is 3 to 5 sessions, spaced 2 to 4 weeks apart. Each session targets a certain percentage of the skin's surface. By the end of treatment, the entire target area will have been covered.