Fraxel Laser Skin Treatments
What is Fraxel Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Fraxel is a safe and highly effective fractional laser used to treat skin issues including fine wrinkles, sun damage and/or sunspots, age spots, creapiness, skin texture, and acne scarring. The most common treatment area is the face and neck, but patients also choose this procedure for other areas showing signs of aging, such as the back of the hands, and the décolleté.
How does Fraxel Laser Work?
Fraxel works via a fractionated laser technology creating hundreds of controlled microscopic laser columns in the skin, triggering the body’s natural healing process. The treatment induces the production of organized collagen and elastin fibers. The result is smoother, glowing skin that shows improvement in as a little as one week, although patients typically require three to five treatments to appreciate best possible results.
Dr. Vallecillos on Fraxel Laser Treatments: Fraxel is a tried and tested laser platform that offers safe and effective treatments with minimal downtime. Having performed thousands of these procedures, this laser is by far my favorite for the management of fine lines and wrinkles, actinic keratosis, sun spots and age spots, and both acute and chronic acne scars. The treatment is commonly performed in conjunction with other energy-based platforms such as Morpheus8 in order to condition and prepare the skin for more invasive procedures such as facelifts.
- Preparation: Prior to your procedure, stop using blood-thinning medications and supplements, such as NSAIDs, fish oil tabs, and vitamin E. Also, avoid direct sun exposure during this time and use of light-sensitive creams and skin treatments such as Retin-A. Do not wax or use abrasive scrubs during this time. Purchase either ice packs or bags of frozen peas, and a gentle cleanser. The day of treatment, limit caffeine intake, eat an hour or two before your procedure, and bring a hat to wear after your treatment.
- Anesthesia: Anesthesia is not necessary for this procedure, although a topical numbing cream is applied for about an hour prior to the procedure.
- Preoperative Consult: Come prepared with any questions you have, and ready to share your goals for this procedure. Dr. Vallecillos recommends an appropriate treatment plan, as well as how many sessions are necessary to achieve your desired results. Share your complete medical history, including any current medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter. Some conditions and medications increase risk of hyperpigmentation, so informing Dr. Vallecillos of these is important to reduce your risk.
Fraxel Laser Procedure
Approximately 60 – 90 minutes prior to your procedure, the treatment area receives cleansing and then a numbing cream. After about an hour, the laser nurse specialist removes the numbing cream and cleanses the face once again. The procedure itself lasts approximately 20 minutes. The nurse gently passes the laser roller head evenly over the treatment area, creating the microscopic wounds to promote healing and skin regeneration. For eye treatments, patients receive numbing eye drops and eye protection in the form of a contact lens-type shield.
Who is a candidate for Fraxel?
Fraxel is safe for most skin types and is designed to manage people seeking to improve their skin texture and tone, fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots and acne scars.
What is the recovery time for Fraxel?
For 24 hours, you may feel as though you have sunburn. Applying cold packs or frozen peas in 20-minute increments for the first five hours, alleviates this feeling. Generally, redness fades within three to five days, which is also when patients may again use cosmetics. Allow four weeks between your treatment and events where you expect many photos, such as weddings and reunions. Do not scratch or rub the treatment area, although men may lightly shave approximately 48 hours after treatment. Do not use saunas or hot tubs, and avoid overly warm showers for three days.
Avoid strenuous exercise and alcohol for 48 hours, and direct sunlight for four weeks. Elevate the head when sleeping, and do not use light-sensitive skin treatments for 10 days.
Are there risks or side effects associated with Fraxel?
Redness, flaking, and slight discomfort are common and generally resolve within a few days. Bruising is rare but may last up to two weeks. Skin may look bronzed for the first week or two following treatment.
How long do the results last?
Follow Dr. Vallecillos’ after-care instructions exactly for optimum results. Patients typically require three to five treatments spaced four to eight weeks apart. Collagen continues developing up to six to eighteen months after the final treatment. The laser treatment produces permanent results, however you must keep in mind that aging is a continual, unrelenting process, hence maintenance treatments may be necessary to keep the skin appearing optimal.