What Does Fractional Laser Treat?
Fraxel skin treatmentThere are 2 types of fractional lasers, the erbium fractional laser and the CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser. Erbium lasers like Fraxel are the gentler of the two, and referred to as “non-ablative”. In general, Fraxel laser skin resurfacing is better for younger patients (under 50). It is effective for treating fine wrinkles and mild to moderate acne scarring. The CO2 system is better for older patients, and for treating deeper wrinkles, deeper acne scarring, other scars and skin tightening. Fractional co2 laser skin resurfacing treats skin more deeply, but requires more downtime as compared to Fraxel.
What is the Difference between Fraxel and Fraxel Dual?
Fraxel Dual is effective in treating pigment problems, brown spots, and sun damage in a better manner than regular Fraxel. However, its effect on melasma caused during pregnancy is still in question and one needs to be skeptical if that is your main problem. It’s better for larger areas such as the chest, arms, back or legs.
How does Fractional Resurfacing Work?
In fractional laser skin resurfacing, the laser creates “microthermal” zones deep in the skin. The skin repairs these zones by pushing the old sun damaged skin out from the tiny pixels and replacing it with newer skin. Every treatment replaces approximately 15 to 20 % of the wrinkled sun damaged, or scarred skin. It triggers the natural healing process of the body and accelerates the production of collagen as well as of new and healthy skin cells. Around 1,000 to 2,000 microthermal zones are created per centimeter squared.
Can Fraxel Be Performed With Other Cosmetic Procedures?
Yes. It can be performed with Juvederm, Restylane and other temporary or semi-permanent fillers. However, wait for one week after having the fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure done. For Sculptra, it’s best to have Fraxel done first, or you would need to wait for 3 months after your last Sculptra injection in order to start the Fraxel treatment. For Thermage, wait for 1 week before or after the Fraxel procedure.
How Many Treatments Do I need?
Usually, Fraxel laser skin resurfacing takes 3 to 5 sessions, spaced approximately 3 to 8 weeks apart. You will be given an estimate during your consultation. The number of sessions required depends upon the extent of the sun damage, wrinkles or acne scarring. You will notice gradual improvement with each treatment.
Can I Resume Work Immediately?
No, you need to rest on the day of treatment. You can resume work and routine activities after your doctor approves it, normally 1 to 7 days after treatment.
How Long Do the Effects Last?
This depends upon how well you protect your skin against the sun, and your genetic ageing process. If you use sunscreen and wear sun protective clothing, the skin will look good for longer. Don’t spend a lot of time outdoors or go tanning. If you take proper care, your skin will continue to look good for a long time, with annual maintenance treatments.
When Can I See Results?
Results from laser skin treatment depend upon what you have undergone treatment for. Many people notice results in a week after their first session. The skin feels smoother, has a glow and looks less blotchy. It can take 5-6 months before you see best results. Usually, collagen continues to develop even up to 3 to 6 months after treatment.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Side effects include temporary swelling, redness, crusting and occasional bruising or tiny superficial blisters.
What Does It Cost?
The cost of laser skin tightening or skin resurfacing can vary according to where you live, the clinic you opt for, and the size of the treatment area. Costs for full face resurfacing range from $900-$1400. A full face with neck and chest can range from $1500 to $1900. You will be given a specific quotation before the procedure.