Fractora is an elective cosmetic procedure, which uses radio frequency to ablate and resurface the skin's surface. It improves skin tone and appearance for aging skin, leaving the patient looking refreshed and rejuvenated.
The Purpose of Fractora
This specialized dermatology procedure has been U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved since 2011 to treat skin that demonstrates some of these characteristics:
- Fine facial lines
- Deep wrinkles
- Skin pigment irregularities
- Stretch marks
- Visible blood vessels
Fractora works to enhance deep collagen, which improves the appearance and texture of the skin in the area being treated.
The Best Candidates for Fractora
Fractora is suitable for all skin types so is an appropriate treatment choice for most patients. It is effective in treating the following areas:
- Lower eyelid
- Upper eyelid
- Smile lines
Some patients choose Fractora for a full face and neck treatment while others focus on a localized area. Localized treatment is used for a specific concern, such as acne scarring around the nose or deep lines around the eyes.
Patients who lead a healthy lifestyle and maintain a healthy body weight usually show the best benefit from Fractora treatments.
The Fractora Procedure
Fractora is a non-invasive procedure. It is done as an outpatient treatment in a physician's office and allows for immediate return to a patient’s usual activities.
To control discomfort, a topical anesthetic cream is applied to the skin prior to treatment. Some physicians choose to also use injected lidocaine with epinephrine to further numb the area. Patients are also advised to take 600 to 800 mg of ibuprofen orally before the procedure.
The area to be treated by Fractora is marked by the physician with a skin marker. A cold air chiller is run simultaneously as the Fractora device is passed over the skin to increase patient comfort.
During a Fractora treatment, fractional radio frequency is delivered to the area being treated. This is done by an array of tiny, sterile pins, which are in a small brush-like device. The treatment tip delivers gentle, pulsed, localized heat to the area. Small micro-lesion dots are made into the sub-dermal tissue at the treatment area but the skin surface is not really punctured.
It is important to note that the Fractora treatment tips are available in varying sizes and depths, which allows treatments to be individually customized to suit the specific needs of the patient.
Patients feel a sensation of warmth but not pain during a Fractora treatment. Body areas that have thinner skin, such as the jawline or forehead, tend to be more sensitive than others.
Each session lasts 45 to 120 minutes. The sessions are scheduled several weeks apart.
This ablation of the skin catalyzes the natural healing process, including collagen restructuring. The thermal stimulation of the hand held Fractora device causes the deep layers of the dermis to contract, which improves skin tone over the course of several weeks.
Fractora Side Effects and Risks
Fractora treatments have minimal side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Moderate skin redness for three to seven days
- Swelling at the treatment site
- Short term texture and pigment changes
- Acne-like skin reaction
There are very few reports of adverse reactions after Fractora treatments. Patients are advised to contact the treating physician if there is any unusual reaction during the recovery phase.
Recovery Time after Fractora
Fractora treatments require involve no downtime or significant pain. This skin care treatment choice has a rapid recovery period.
Patients are encouraged to keep the treated area moist immediately after the procedure. A simple, pure moisturizer like Aquaphor is usually recommended. Patients are allowed to wear their usual makeup to cover any remaining skin redness after 72 hours.
Duration of Procedure Benefits
The usual course of Fractora treatment is delivered in a series of three to six sessions with each being scheduled every four to six weeks.
Some beneficial results are experienced immediately after a Fractora treatment but, typically, noticeable improvement is seen about two weeks after a treatment. Skin characteristics improve for up to three months after treatment. Beneficial effects of Fractora can last up to one year.
The skin at the treated area will be rejuvenated for a period of time and then begins to naturally age again over the years. This is the reason that many Fractora patients choose to undergo periodic maintenance treatments.
Cost and Insurance Coverage
Depending upon the size of the area to be treated with the specialized equipment that requires physician expertise, the cost for a Fractora treatment falls between $750 and $2,500. This is an elective, cosmetic procedure so medical insurance does not cover the cost.
It is most important to have a clinical evaluation done by a qualified and experienced physician who is trained in the use of the Fractora system. This will ensure the safest and most comprehensive results.