Fractional Resurfacing Myths and Facts

Fractional resurfacing is a less invasive laser-based skin rejuvenation method that retains the full energy of skin resurfacing lasers, while giving you a safe treatment alternative and fast recovery that non-ablative laser treatments provide. In determining if it is the appropriate treatment method, you must be able to accurately assess the pros and cons of this skin rejuvenation option. While fractional resurfacing may be a favorable treatment alternative, it is important that you are aware of the misconceptions associated with it.

Myth: You Can Use Topical Anesthesia for Fractional Resurfacing.

Fact: Although this skin rejuvenation can be performed in office with oral sedatives or topical anesthesia, about 10 to 20% of patients prefer general anesthesia.

Myth: Recovery Time for Fractional Resurfacing Is Only 3 to 5 Days.

Fact: The normal downtime for fractional resurfacing is 3 to 5 days. However, notwithstanding the stability of the skin tissue as only a tiny proportion of the skin receives laser treatment, you may have to wait for more than 5 days before you can start applying makeup on your skin. In fact, your downtime may even reach 10 days if the treatment density is about 50%.

Myth: Fractional Resurfacing Poses No Risk of Scarring.

Fact: There are patients who think that this less-invasive skin rejuvenation method does not pose any risk of scarring. On the contrary, there are several treatment complications that are associated with fractional resurfacing. You may experience post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation, hypo-pigmentation or dyspigmentation. You won't be having problems as long as the proportion of the skin coverage of the treatment does not go beyond the recuperative capacities of the treated skin area. It is a very sensitive skin rejuvenation procedure that requires knowledge, expertise and training. You must not assume it to be an absolutely risk-free skin treatment procedure, because it's not.

Myth: Fractional Resurfacing Can Handle All Types of Deep Lines.

Fact: Fractional resurfacing can handle all types of deep lines except lip lines, specifically those that occur at the vermillion border, which is the edge of the skin between the red lip (mucous membrane) and the normal skin. These deep lines respond better to pulsed CO2 resurfacing.

Myth: Fractional Skin Resurfacing Can Tighten the Skin.

Fact: Despite the numerous advertisements and reports about such benefit from using skin resurfacing, skin tightening is not a predictable result of this method, nor is the fractional laser used as a skin-tightening gadget. Fractional skin resurfacing is a viable alternative for deep and fine lines, acne scars, skin discoloration and sun damage.

Myth: It Can't Be Used in Tandem with Dermal Fillers and BOTOX ® .

Fact: Fractional skin resurfacing works well as adjunct treatment to BOTOX ® and dermal fillers. In fact, these treatments complement each other. You can undergo BOTOX ® treatment a couple of weeks prior to the fractional skin resurfacing. Dermal fillers are done after the laser treatment primarily to correct any residual problem spots.

Myth: Fractional Skin Resurfacing Is a Painful Procedure.

Fact: Most patients can tolerate the laser treatment and report very minimal or no pain after the procedure. Skin care practitioners use a combination of mild sedative, topical anesthetics, local anesthetics and even general anesthesia during treatment and recovery, depending on the tolerance to pain of the patient.

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