Fraxel is a word we hear more and more often these days, TLC’s “10 Years Younger” often promotes the procedure for reduction of sun damage, even The View has discussed Fraxel. But what is it and what does it do?
Fraxel is the common name for the device that delivers the technology known as “fractional resurfacing”. Standard CO² or Erbium laser resurfacing is effective in removing wrinkles and sun damage; however, the down time is too long for many people. The Fraxel’s ability to dramatically reduce sun damage and wrinkles with minimal down time is very attractive to men and women, knowing they can continue in their work and daily activities. One might think of this treatment fitting into its own niche between intense pulsed light on one hand, and standard ablative laser resurfacing on the other.
The Fraxel is highly advanced and many safeguards have been built into the system. In understanding the technology, it’s helpful to think of the treated area as a computer screen with many pixels that you can’t see with the naked eye. Only a “fraction” of the pixels (15-20%) are affected with each treatment (that’s why it’s called “fractional resurfacing”). With 80-85% of the face untreated, the healing is fast and downtime minimized. Treatments are repeated every 2 – 3 weeks, so eventually the entire face, neck, chest and/or hands are completely treated. Fraxel is unique because it is able to treat areas that have been unable to be treated in the past; specifically the neck, chest, arms and hands.
The best candidates are those with mild to moderate wrinkles who have brown age spots and rough skin – all characteristics of sun damage. Fraxel also works extremely well for a condition known as Melasma, or “pregnancy mask”. For patients who have vascular issues, such as redness, rosacea, telangiactasias (spider veins), or broken capillaries, these concerns can be addressed in combination treatment using both the Fraxel laser and the pulsed dye laser. For patients requiring improvement in skin laxity and deeper wrinkles, optimal effects will be achieved when using the Fraxel treatment in combination with the Titan procedure.
After treatment, most patients have several hours of swelling and redness; followed with one to two days of redness similar to sunburn. The redness may last for one to two weeks in very sensitive skin, or in aggressive treatments and there is usually some mild residual swelling, noticed most commonly around the eyes, for a few days. Many patients have been able to return to work the following day, and makeup can be applied immediately after treatment to minimize any redness that might occur.
Oh, and I forgot the best part – we recently upgraded our machine to the new Re-Store so there’s no more blue dye!
For more information or to book your consultation, give us a call at 604-421-3111 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.