What Is The Fraxel Laser?
The Fraxel laser is a type of fractional laser skin resurfacing device. Fractional skin resurfacing can smooth fine lines and wrinkles, correct uneven pigmentation such as age spots, melasma and sun damage, reduce pore size, and improve the overall tone and texture of the skin. Fractional resurfacing works by making tiny injuries to the skin which stimulates the production of new collagen. At Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists of Newburgh, New York, there are two Fraxel lasers that we commonly use: Fraxel re:store and Fraxel re:pair.
Fraxel re:store is the original product in the Fraxel family and it is an excellent option for those seeking quick rejuvenation of wrinkles, acne scars and other imperfections without significant downtime. Fraxel re:store can treat fine wrinkles and lines such as the wrinkles around the eyes, acne scars, surgical scars, age spots, sun spots, melasma, and actinic keratosis (precancerous lesions). After treatment, the skin will appear smoother, fresher and more youthful with an overall improvement in the skin tone and texture. Fraxel re:store is a non-ablative treatment and does not remove the top layer of skin, resulting in a less extensive recovery of one to two days.
Fraxel re:pair is for more serious skin concerns. It can treat wrinkles, irregular texture, age spots, sun spots, and redness associated with sun exposure. Fraxel re:pair also tightens loose skin and helps to prevent future sagging. Patients can see dramatic results after a single treatment. The skin will appear smoother and more youthful with a more even tone and texture and fewer lines and wrinkles. Fraxel re:pair is an ablative laser, meaning that it removes all layers of the skin within each of the tiny fractions of skin that are treated. While results are more dramatic, there is a longer recovery period of about one week.
Fraxel Resurfacing – The Procedure
Prior to making a final decision about whether Fraxel laser resurfacing is right for you, patients will be able to view the benefits of the procedure for their skin with the Canfield VECTRA 3D imaging system. Fraxel laser resurfacing takes approximately twenty to forty minutes to complete depending on the treatment area. Because patients may experience some mild discomfort, a topical anesthetic may be applied prior to treatment. A mild sedative may also be given with Fraxel re:pair treatment. Patients typically experience an increasing sensation of heat and for this reason air is gently blown on the skin during the procedure.
After Treatment: What to Expect
Patients may experience some temporary redness and swelling. Other side effects may include minor itching, peeling, flaking, dry skin and a bronzed appearance. After treatment with Fraxel re:store, the skin may appear sunburned during the first twenty-four hours. Swelling, redness, peeling and flaking may take a week or so to resolve following treatment with Fraxel re:pair and patients may also experience some pinpoint bleeding and oozing for a few days.
Most patients are able to return to their normal routine within one to two days after treatment with Fraxel re:store and within five to seven days following treatment with Fraxel re:store.
Fraxel resurfacing is a very safe procedure but there are possible complications and these may include skin discoloration, infection, cold sore flare-up and the very rare possibility of scarring.