What is Fraxel Laser Treatment ?
Fraxel® Laser Treatment is a “fractional” treatment that produces thousands of deep, tiny columns in your skin, called microscopic treatment zones (mtz). The term “fractional” means that only a percentage of the skin surface is affected with each pass of the laser. Fraxel intensively treats only some of the epidermal cells without affecting all of them. This method of fractionally treating the skin reduces the healing time and promotes the skin’s natural process for creating new, healthier tissue to replace the damaged cells.
Natural Image OC provides Fraxel Laser Treatment to the people of Orange County at our Laguna Niguel location. The Fraxel laser has been approved by the FDA to treat multiple skin conditions anywhere on the face or body, including:
- age/sun spots
- actinic keratosis
- acne scarring on the face, shoulders or back
- melasma (the mask of pregnancy)
- eye wrinkles (crow’s feet)
How is Fraxel laser different from other laser treatments?
Fully ablative laser treatment involves the vaporization of entire layers of skin cells at a very high temperature. This treatment is very effective but requires a healing period. The Fraxel re:store laser is almost a hybrid but does not remove the skin. Instead, the laser beams create tiny columns of intense heat that cause the skin to go into repair mode, improving texture, color and creating a collagen-building response.
Fraxel treatments strive to offer Orange County patients a measure of the effectiveness of ablative lasers with the benefits of gentler, non-ablative lasers. It’s safe, easy, and delivers results. Fraxel was featured as one of the Top Beauty Breakthroughs of 2005.
What are the Benefits of Fraxel Laser Treatments?
Fraxel has many of the positive impacts of ablative lasers but the gentler benefits of the non-ablative treatments. Healing time is significantly accelerated so there is minimal to no downtime. Because the Fraxel Laser leaves the skin intact, make-up can be worn immediately following the procedure, most Orange County patients let their rest for a day or two following treatment.
Some Orange County patients are able to return to routine activities, including work and social obligations, on the same day of treatment. Depending on your skin condition and treatment, you may require a little more time.
Treatments for acne scarring
These treatments are generally more aggressive and may mean two to three days of time off for swelling or redness. Dr. Sikorski will help you understand how Fraxel Laser Treatment will fit into your schedule.
What are the risks of Fraxel Laser Treatments?
Swelling and redness are the most common side effects from treatment. If swelling does occur, it is minimal and will subside within a day or two. Redness may occur and will fade within a few days. There is a very limited risk of infection or scarring.
The Fraxel Procedure
Preparation and Procedure
First, a white anesthetic cream is applied to your entire face, chest, arms or the area to be treated, to numb your skin. This anesthetic ointment is left on for approximately 60 minutes prior to treatment in order for the anesthetic to take full effect.
Then Dr. Sikorski glides the laser over your skin multiple times. A chilled air system blows very cold air on your skin to help make the treatment more comfortable. The procedure takes between 20 to 25 minutes for a full face. The anesthetic ointment is washed off immediately after the treatment.
How many treatments will I need?
Clinical studies suggest that on average, an effective treatment regimen is 3 to 5 sessions spaced about 2 to 4 weeks apart. Depending on your condition and schedule, you may space treatment sessions further apart. Results are both immediate and progressive.
For OC patients who prefer to have a single treatment and a flexible enough schedule for about a week of downtime, the MiXto CO2 laser is an alternative option. Dr. Sikorski offers surgical laser treatment with the Sciton fully ablative laser for those desiring a full-performance treatment.
Is Fraxel Laser Treatment painful?
Most Orange County patients describe the treatment as having an intense “prickling” sensation. Some minimal level of uncomfortable heat can be expected. However, the topical anesthetic ointment and air cooling alleviate a great part of the discomfort. Thus, most patients find Fraxel treatment tolerable.
What should I expect after Fraxel Laser Treatment?
During the first 24 hours after treatment, your skin may feel as though it is sunburned, and it will appear pink or red. Make-up can be worn to reduce the sunburned appearance. Your skin will naturally bronze over the next week or two. As you continue treatment, the sunburned to bronze conditions will repeat. Just like a natural sunburn, your skin will flake and exfoliate normally. Using a moisturizer will help reduce the appearance of dry flakes.
What precautions should I take after treatment?
Wearing sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher twice a day is especially important. Avoid direct sun exposure during the healing process and for at least 3 months after treatment. Wearing wide-brimmed hats is highly recommended when out in the elements.
What’s the effective way to take care of my skin after Fraxel treatments?
The Fraxel Skin Ecology System is a unique line of skincare products designed specifically to enhance and extend the benefits of Fraxel treatment. Made with natural healing ingredients, this comprehensive regimen moisturizes, soothes, and protects your skin – immediately following the procedure and long after. This is available exclusively from Fraxel physicians.