Who would have ever thought that lasers could do so much? Today’s laser skin treatments are nothing like the procedures of the past. For one thing, they are much gentler on the skin, while at the same time becoming more effective all the time. Modern lasers have proven to be a great way to dramatically slow the hands of time. If you are noticing your skin changing with age, treatment with the Fraxel laser may be exactly what you need to regain a youthful appearance. However, before you schedule a consultation, it helps to learn a few key facts about Fraxel lasers.
Fraxel is Non-Ablative
In years past, the only choice in laser skin resurfacing was an ablative treatment such as the CO2 or Erbium laser. An ablative laser works by damaging the top layer of skin. This will stimulate new cell growth, which will then improve the skin’s appearance and texture. Ablative lasers can also stimulate the production of collagen, renewing the skin’s support structure to improve firmness.
The drawback of an ablative laser is that it creates a wound on the surface of the skin. People who get a CO2 or Erbium laser treatment will have to wait for their skin to heal before they can resume their regular activities; a process which can take weeks. With an ablative laser, there is also a greater risk for complications such as infection, scarring, and permanent changes in the color of the skin (hyperpigmentation).
In contrast, many types of Fraxel treatments will use a non-ablative laser. The treatment will leave the top layer of skin intact, while still stimulating the production of collagen within the dermis. Additionally, the recovery time after Fraxel is much shorter than with ablative treatments. The risk for infection, hyperpigmentation, and scaring is reduced, as well.
Fraxel Treats Many Different Concerns and Areas
Fraxel can treat a variety of areas, from the face to the hands. Since it is non-ablative, Fraxel is safe to use on delicate areas, such as around the eyes. The treatment can solve a number of common skin concerns. It will help to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, fade dark spots or areas of hyperpigmentation, and reduce the appearance of acne or other types of scarring. Fraxel can even help with stretch marks.
Fraxel Might Not Be For You If…
If you are wondering if Fraxel is too good to be true, remember that the treatment is not for everyone. Although it can treat a variety of skin concerns, if you are dealing with an active infection, active cold sores, or have a fresh sunburn, you will want to wait until your skin has cleared before scheduling a Fraxel treatment.
If you are going through a terrible bout of acne, it is also a good idea to put off a Fraxel treatment until the breakout has resolved. Some chronic skin conditions, such as rosacea or eczema, may mean Fraxel is simply not the treatment for you.
It is recommended that you go easy on certain skin care products before a Fraxel treatment. Some products and topical medications are harsh on the skin, and paired with Fraxel can be damaging. Your doctor will suggest that you stop using products with retinol for a few weeks before your Fraxel sessions. Also, those who are taking Accutane may need to wait for up to a year before it is safe to schedule a laser treatment.
Fraxel Will Require Several Treatments
Typically, patients will see the best results from Fraxel when they schedule multiple treatment sessions. How many you will end up needing depends on your skin concerns and your desired results. Generally, people will need between three and six separate sessions, spaced between one and two months apart, for the best results. At each session, the surgeon will adjust the strength and type of Fraxel laser needed, based on your skin’s response to the prior treatment.
Fraxel Requires Time Off
Although recovery is much shorter with non-ablative lasers like Fraxel, do not think you will be back in the office the next day. Most people will need to take up to a week off after Fraxel, as the skin can initially be red and swollen. After a few days, it is likely rough, dark patches will appear on the treated area, however these will slough away over time.
Fraxel is only one of the anti-aging treatment options offered by Houston’s Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique. To learn more about this or any other anti-aging options, sign up for our No Time for Lines event on March 30th. You can also call 281.810.9083 to schedule a complimentary, on-on-one appointment.