It’s common in the cosmetic dermatology field to hear device-makers tout their products as “revolutionary” or “groundbreaking.” What’s rare is when the devices live up to the hype. The Fraxel laser skin resurfacing system earns its glowing praise. Dallas Center for Dermatology and Aesthetics was among the first practices in the area to provide Fraxel laser treatments, and our patients love them.
What is the Fraxel laser good for?
Traditional laser skin resurfacing treatments involved making a choice:
- Ablative treatment: Patients undergo a single treatment that essentially vaporizes the skin’s outer layer and they spend weeks recovering from procedure’s intensity.
- Non-ablative treatment: This option is much gentler, with very few side effects and little downtime, but requires numerous treatments to get modest results.
Fractional laser skin rejuvenation treatments, such as Fraxel, revolutionized the procedure. Fraxel delivers the best of both worlds, combining the potency of ablative treatments with the safety and gentleness of non-ablative lasers. Patients enjoy dramatic results with less downtime.
How is this possible? The answer is a technology called “fractional photothermolysis.” A Fraxel laser shoots thousands of microscopic laser columns—each just 1/10th the diameter of a hair follicle—into the skin, creating microchannels. These precisely controlled laser columns trigger the production of new collagen without injuring the surrounding tissue. The result is smoother and healthier skin that looks more youthful.
The Fraxel laser system includes a number of treatment options that we customize to address the skin condition and goals of each patient. The different options include:
- Fraxel re:pair: More aggressive than re:store, Fraxel re:pair requires only 1 treatment session. We give patients oral medications and numb the skin’s surface to minimize discomfort. This treatment is for patients with more severe sun damage and deeper wrinkles. The recovery is at least a week.
- Fraxel Dual: This versatile treatment features 2 wavelengths. It treats skin discoloration and can improve the skin’s texture and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Fraxel Dual resurfaces your skin by stimulating the growth of new, healthy skin cells from the inside out. We typically schedule 3 to 5 treatment sessions spaced 2 to 4 weeks apart to produce the desired results.
What can you not do after Fraxel?
Even though the treatments vary in aggressiveness, it’s important to avoid sun exposure as much as possible regardless of the treatment option used. Fraxel re:pair patients should stay out of direct sunlight for several months following the treatment. We also recommend postponing exercising or swimming for at least a week. Showering is fine, but avoid having a direct spray of hot water on the treatment area.
How long until you see results from Fraxel?
You’ll see immediate changes as the skin heals, and the skin’s appearance will continue improving for 4 to 6 months following the laser treatments as the deeper layers of skin heal. Its results are what truly sets Fraxel apart from other skin rejuvenation treatments. The skin not only looks refreshed and brighter, but it feels softer and reveals a more even tone. You can see some of our patients’ remarkable results in their Fraxel before-and-after photos.