Fraxel laser treatments use lasers to penetrate the under layer of your skin, called the dermis, which is responsible for the production of collagen and elastin, two naturally occuring substances that help keep your skin supple and young. Fraxel lasers create microscopic wounds in this under layer of skin, prompting your body's natural healing response and leaving you with firmer, younger looking skin. Because Fraxel laser treatment doesn't damage both layers of your skin, it's a minimally invasive alternative to chemical peels, dermabrasion and other methods of minimizing fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes and scarring.
How Fraxel Laser Treatment Works
Fraxel treatment is most commonly used to dimish the appearance of sun spots, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. Fraxel's microscopic laser lights penetrate the under layer of your skin (the dermis), wounding it. As these wounds heal, your skin produces more collagen and elastin, so the treated area appears smoother, younger and firmer.
Fraxel is safer and less painful than blue light therapy, dermabrasion, chemical peels and other traditional procedures intended to treat fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes and scarring. The affects of Fraxel are long lasting and it's appropriate for people of all skin colors, as it doesn't carry the risk of scarring that other dermatological treatments carry for those with dark skin.
Different Fraxel Techniques
There are three types of Fraxel treatment that can be used to treat mild, moderate and severe skin conditions. Before any type of Fraxel treatment, your doctor will cleanse your skin and then apply an anesthetic ointment. The ointment will remain in place for 60 minutes before the session begins.
- Fraxel re:fine treatment, the mildest type of Fraxel treatment, reduces the appearance of fine lines, age and sun spots, irregular skin tone and melasma (a condition characterized by patches of brown skin on the face). Your doctor will apply the Fraxel laser for 20 to 25 minutes during a typical session, and you'll probably need four to six sessions to see results. Fraxel re:fine treatments carry a recovery time of one to three hours.
- Fraxel re:store treats mild to severe damage caused by wrinkles, acne and other scars, sun and age spots, melasma and precancerous lesions. You'll receive laser treatment in 20 to 25 minute sessions and you'll need three to five sessions. Fraxel re:store carries a recovery time of 24 hours.
- Fraxel re:pair treatment treats wrinkles, sun damage, uneven skin texture, age and sun spots, and offers results similar to those of a face lift. Your doctor will administer one treatment with a very strong Fraxel laser; the session will last about 20 minutes. You'll need to plan for a recovery time of five to seven days.
Side Effects of Fraxel Treatment
Following Fraxel treatment, your skin may bleed, and the wounds may ooze for up to 48 hours. Other side effects include redness, swelling, dry skin, itching, flaking, peeling, crusting and oozing. In rare cases healing may be delayed, infection may occur, or you may experience scarring or changes in skin pigmentation.