What is the FRAXEL SR Laser Treatment?
Until now, all (conventional) available laser treatments allowed for good results but at the cost of significant side effects, risks, and prolonged healing and recovery times or, on the other hand, generally fewer risks but at the cost of undergoing numerous treatments over several months and limited improvements. The Fraxel SR Laser Treatment is an innovative new technology that offers best of both old systems – excellent results without sacrificing safety, minimized side effects, drastically reduced healing time and much shorter therapy. The treatment significantly improves the texture of the skin, reduces wrinkles, skin discolorations such as age spots and sun spots on face, hands or anywhere on the body, as well as smoothes out acne scars.
How does the Fraxel Laser Treatment work?
Unlike traditional laser resurfacing, which removes the entire skin surface at one time, the Fraxel laser is selectively applied to the skin, creating a pattern of evenly spaced microscopic laser “spots” surrounded by untreated normal skin. Because the skin surrounding the spots is not treated at the same time, the healing takes place very quickly and treatment does not cause visible wounds. In subsequent sessions the rest of the untreated skin is targeted by the laser.
How many treatments will I need?
Each session treats approximately 15-20% of the skin surface. Typically 3 to 5 treatments – each from one week to one month apart – are recommended depending on the severity of the problem. Most patients will notice some improvement after a single treatment. “Maintenance” treatments can be performed as needed.
Where on the face or body can Fraxel Laser be used?
Fraxel Laser can be used anywhere on the body where the skin would benefit from resurfacing. Unlike old laser treatments, Fraxel allows for rejuvenating the neck and dcollet, which were not treatable with previously available methods.
Are Fraxel Laser treatments safe?
The Fraxel laser technology has been approved by FDA. The treatment is safe and no incidents of scarring or infection have been reported. Some mild blistering and/or temporary skin discoloration can occur, especially in darker-skinned patients, when more aggressive treatment is performed.
Is the Fraxel laser treatment painful?
Usually treatments feel like a prickling sensation and are well tolerated by patients.
To relieve any discomfort, a topical anesthetic ointment is applied prior to treatment.
For more aggressive treatments oral pain medicine or anesthetic injections may be used.
How long does each treatment session take?
Each treatment session may take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes, depending upon the size of the area treated.
How soon can I return to my normal activities?
In most cases patients can resume all normal activities immediately. No special aftercare is needed for the treated areas and patients can begin regular skin care regimen right after the treatment. There may be some redness and swelling in the treated areas and a mild burning or itching sensation, which usually disappears in a few hours. Redness may persist for a few days and the skin may take on a “bronzed” appearance. As the microscopic spots are shed over the course of a week or so, the skin color will return to normal. If anesthetic injections are used, there may be some bruising in the injected areas. Very rarely, there may be crusting or blistering in some areas with more aggressive treatments.
If an oral medication for pain or sedation is given, a patient should not drive a car until the next morning.
When will I see the results?
Most patients will see some improvement within a few days after the procedure. Yet, the true miracle of the treatment is in “remodeling” the body collagen in the deep layers of the skin. Therefore, the patient will notice a gradual improvement and the skin smoothing and tightening over the period of up to a year following a series of treatments.
Are Fraxel laser treatments permanent?
The changes in the epidermis and dermal collagen induced by Fraxel Laser treatment are permanent; nevertheless, time, sun exposure, and gravity will continue to take its toll. The Fraxel Laser “turns back the clock”, but doesn’t keep the clock from ticking.
Laser Skin Resurfacing for Treating Wrinkles, Scars and Blemishes
One of the newer cosmetic procedures for the treatment of wrinkles and other irregularities of the skin is laser skin resurfacing.
If you are bothered by those little wrinkles that begin to appear around your mouth as the simple result of aging, or by old acne scars, fine lines or other skin blemishes, laser skin resurfacing may be just the right cosmetic procedure for you.
With this technique, short and concentrated pulses of light are played over the skin irregularity or wrinkle. Since the pulses are so precise, the doctor is able to safely remove layers of dead or damaged skin cells. This resurfacing creates a smoother, clearer and more uniform appearance to the skin.
In addition to the wonders laser skin resurfacing can do with wrinkles, this procedure also works well to improve age spots, scarring, fine lines, acne scars, blemishes, and skin pigmentations.
The laser skin resurfacing procedure can take from about thirty minutes to more than an hour, depending on the area being addressed and problem being treated.
There are several options including Fraxel laser resurfacing and Scioton laser resurfacing. Fraxel typically requires more than one treatment but recovery is minimal. Sciton erbium/CO2 laser typically requires just 1 treatment but recovery is minimum 1 week.
First, your skin will be cleansed with an antibacterial solution. Next you will be given a topical anesthetic. You may also be given sedation.
For Sciton laser treatment your doctor may want to have you under general anesthesia, but this is not usually the case.
Operator with the use of a hand-held device, pass the laser light beam over the area being treated. This may be done more than once, depending on the treatment area and goals. The laser vaporizes and destroys the target layer of skin, leaving the next layer of undamaged, healthy, resurfaced skin.
Once your laser skin resurfacing treatment is completed, we will cover the area with a thin layer of cream or ointment or possibly some synthetic sheeting to protect the area and aid recovery.
Fraxel Laser Skin Resurfacing requires minimal recovery time. After the top layer of skin has been removed by the laser treatment, the area of skin treated will likely be pink and sensitive. The feeling is often described as that of having a slight sunburn. Everyone’s body is different and general discomfort and recovery time will be dependent on your skin type as well as the area being treated and the type of laser used. However, most patients recover quickly and with minimum amount of discomfort.
Sciton laser resurfacing requires about a week of recovery and several weeks of make up coverage of reddened recovering skin
Frequently, Dr. Turowski will combines laser skin resurfacing with the use of Botox or other appropriate fillers to obtain the best possible results and the smoothest, clearest skin.
Sciton laser treatment can also be combined with face lift procedures
To find out more about laser skin resurfacing and to see if this procedure is right for you, contact New Horizons Medical Spa for a consultation with Dr. Turowski.