What is Fraxel® Laser Treatment (FLT)?
Fraxel® Laser Treatment (FLT) is a "fractional" treatment that intensively treats old epidermal pigment cells without affecting any of the surrounding tissue, which reduces healing time and promotes the skin's natural process for creating new, healthier tissue to replace the damaged cells.
How is Fraxel® different from other laser treatments?
Until Fraxel, there were two types of available laser treatments. Ablative laser treatment, which literally means to vaporize at very high temperature, is very effective but has significant side effects and requires a lengthy healing period. The other available laser treatment, being non-ablative, has little or no side effects and almost no healing time, but requires numerous treatments over many months and has limited results at best. Fraxel® treatments offer the effectiveness of ablative treatments with the benefits of the gentler, non-ablative lasers.
How does Fraxel® work?
FLT is designed to target aging and sun-damaged skin by targeting portions of specific damaged tissue well beneath the outer most epidermal layer of skin, Fraxel® Laser treatments trigger the body's natural healing process accelerating the production of collagen and new, healthy skin cells.
What are the benefits?
Since FLT has the impact of ablative lasers but the gentler benefits of the non-ablative treatments, healing time is significantly accelerated so there is minimal downtime. Because the Fraxel® Laser penetrates the non-living outer layer of skin leaving it completely untreated, make-up can be worn immediately following the procedure. Patients are able to return to routine activities, including work and social obligations, the same day of treatment. Others require a little more time, depending upon their skin condition and treatment.
What are the risks of Fraxel® Laser Treatments?
Swelling and redness are the most common side effects from treatment. If swelling does occur, it is minimal and will subside within a day or two. Redness may occur and will fade within a few days. There is a very limited risk of infection or scarring.
How many treatments will I need?
Clinical studies suggest that on average, an effective treatment regimen is 4 to 6 sessions, spaced about 4 weeks apart. Depending upon your condition and schedule, your treatment sessions may be spaced further apart. Results are immediate and progressive. Optimal improvement is usually visible in about 2 to 3 months. This time frame and treatment structure allows for complete healing and replacement of damaged tissue with new collagen and elastin, and viable healthy skin cell growth.
How are Fraxel® Laser Treatments performed?
First your skin is thoroughly cleansed. A topical anesthetic ointment is also applied to the treatment area approximately 30 minutes prior to treatment in order for the anesthetic to take full effect. The procedure takes between 30 minutes for a full face.
Does it hurt?
Most patients describe the treatment as having a "prickling" sensation. The topical anesthetic ointment and air cooling alleviates most discomfort.
What should I expect after the procedure?
During the first 24 hours after treatment, your skin may feel as though it is sunburned, and it will appear pink or red. Make-up can be worn to reduce the sunburned appearance. Your skin will naturally bronze over the next week or two. As you continue treatment, the sunburned to bronze conditions will repeat. Just like a natural sunburn, your skin will flake and exfoliate normally. Using a moisturizer will help reduce the appearance of dry flakes.
What will I have to do following the procedure?
Wearing sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher twice a day is especially important. Avoid direct sun exposure during the healing process and for at least 3 months after treatment. Wearing wide brimmed hats is highly recommended when out in the elements.
How do I get started with Fraxel® Laser Treatment?
To find out more about Fraxel® Laser Treatment and to discuss your individual requirements with Dr. Michele Finley, please contact us.