Fraxel is a non-ablative (non-damaging) laser treatment. The technique sends bursts of laser energy into the dermal layer of skin, without wounding the epidermis. It stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, so skin looks firmer and smoother. Areas of hyperpigmentation and scarring will fade with the Fraxel, as well.
While Fraxel does not require as much prep time or recovery times as other last skin treatments, there are still a few things that you will want to do in advance of the procedure, to make sure you are the best possible candidate for treatment.
Change Up The Routine
With a Fraxel treatment around the corner, it is going to be time to switch up your normal routine. Some of the ingredients found in ant-aging skin care products tend to make areas of irritation and inflammation worse after a laser treatment. Your surgeon might recommend that you stop using any products that contain glycolic or alpha hydroxyl acids for about a week or two before treatment. Additionally, he will tell you to avoid products with retinoids, as they can cause irritation.
If you are in the habit of using a harsh, scrubby cleanser each day, ease up on it for a few weeks. Switch to over to a more gentle cleanser; this will ensure that your skin isn’t inflamed on the day of treatment. Then, keep using the gentle cleanser after you’ve had the Fraxel, to help your skin fully heal.
Stop waxing about two weeks before your Fraxel treatment. If you routinely wax your brow or chin, schedule your last appointment no later than two weeks before Fraxel. Waxing will make the skin more sensitive, and can lead to unwanted redness or increased irritation after Fraxel.
Skip the Tanning Bed
Face it, no one needs to remind you of the many reasons to skip the tanning bed; the link to skin cancer and early aging is well known. If you happen to still be a regular tanner, however, quitting before having the Fraxel laser will be a good idea. It is recommended that you not be artificially bronzed when going in for the treatment, as tanned skin can increase the risk of pigmentation issues. The combination can also slow down the skin’s healing process, as well.
It is also important to do whatever you can to protect your skin from the sun before getting the Fraxel. Slather on SPF sunscreen daily. Also, avoid spending too much time outdoors during daylight hours. You will be happy you did.
The initial recovery after Fraxel will take about a week, during which time your face will feel slightly sunburned. It is also common to be slightly swollen. While you might not need to stay home during your entire recovery, stock up on things you need beforehand. This will make the recovery process simpler and less stressful.
Grab a few bags of frozen peas or corn when you are at the grocery store. These are not for eating, but for applying to your treated face to ease discomfort and bring down swelling. You might also want to stock up on easy to prepare meals, so that you don’t have to worry about cooking a big dinner for yourself and your family each night. If you are not much of a chef anyway, keep the numbers of several takeout places handy, so that you can easily order your meals for delivery during your recovery.
Take Care of Yourself on the Day of Treatment
Your surgeon will most likely give you number of specific instructions for the day of your Fraxel treatment. One of those will be to eat about an hour before your procedure, because you might not feel up to a meal or snack immediately afterward the treatment. The numbing cream used can also make you a little woozy, so it is important to have some food in your stomach. Additionally, avoid caffeine for several hours before the Fraxel, as well.
Do not wear any makeup on the day of the treatment, and come in your most comfortable clothing. You do not need to arrive at the doctor’s office in sweat pants (unless you want to), but avoid wearing binding or uncomfortable clothes. If you will be leaving your treatment in the middle of the day, it is best to bring along a wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin from the hot sun.
Fraxel is just on of the many skincare treatments offered by Dr. Paul Vitenas and the staff at Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique in Houston. If you are ready to learn more about the treatment and what you can do to get ready, call Mirror today at 281.810.9083 to schedule a free consultation today.