How Fraxel Works
Fractional Photothermolysis, given the commercial moniker of Fraxel because of its similarity to the concept of image pixelation, was invented in 2001 as an alternative to standard laser skin treatments. Fraxel laser technology allows effective, safe, reliable treatment of scars, sun damage, age spots, uneven skin tone, lines, and wrinkles. Fraxel is different from traditional CO2 lasers because it focuses on problem spots individually, rather than treating the entire area of the skin. This approach is effective because it takes advantage of cells' symbiotic relationship in order to speed healing, instead of prolonging recovery time by unnecessarily damaging healthy areas. Fraxel uses precisely targeted pulses of light to enter the second dermal layer in tiny, strategically spaced units called microscopic treatment zones, or MTZ's. These pulses cause subcutaneous thermal interactions that destroy cells in problem areas but do not expose surrounding cells to heat, leaving them healthy and intact. As a result, the nearby cells help speed the replacement of pigmented cells with new, viable ones. The treatment also promotes the growth of collagen, which erodes during the aging process. Collagen fibers become clotted in the surrounding tissues, empowering them to further aid in the development of a tighter, more youthful epidermis. Another benefit of Fraxel is its flexibility. The depth, energy level, and speed of each laser pass are synchronized, allowing the physician or technician to customize treatment according to the severity of each patient's condition. Fraxel offers three trademarked levels of treatment: re:fine, re:store, and re:pair. Re:fine is recommended for those with the mildest cases of skin damage. Re:store, the original Fraxel skin treatment, is somewhat more aggressive, with the laser pulses guided more deeply into the underlying tissue. Re:pair is the strongest of the three treatments, and is designed for patients with moderate to severe skin problems. Not only does the laser penetrate further into the skin, but Re:pair is also the only Fraxel treatment in which the outer layer of skin can be treated as well. This level of adaptability allows for as little damage as possible for less advanced skin damage, with healing times as short as two days. Treatment can also be adjusted to handle the most difficult cases effectively, but in only one session, and with less down time, simply by exploiting cells' natural ability to heal each other.