Fraxel Laser Treatment®
1550, 1927, Re:pair
Your skin is like a photograph. Sometimes, photographs need to be touched up just like your skin needs a touch-up from time to time. Fraxel is the way to touch up your skin in order to give it a livelier and more youthful look. Fraxel can resurface your skin to treat any damage to your skin from a quick touch up to more severe cases with no downtime.
Within 24 hours after a treatment, your skin has already begun the process of healing. In this time you can already start to see the results of Fraxel and your skin looking healthier and more youthful. Feel free to contact our doctors in our offices in Queens, NY, Bergen County, NJ and Long Island, NY for more information about our Fraxel laser.
Different Fraxel Lasers
Fraxel lasers come in three types: 1550, 1927, and re:pair. Fraxel 1550 and 1927 (referred to as DUAL 1550/1927) treats mild to severe skin damage. Fraxel re:pair is an ablative procedure that uses a CO2 laser and is used to treat the most severe cases of sun damage. The fractional technology used provides a decreased recovery time compared to non-fractional treatments.
What is Fraxel used for?
The Fraxel laser has a number of uses. It is largely used for Laser Skin Resurfacing for mild to moderate skin damage (for severe skin damage see Pixel). The improvements can be drastic depending on the aggressiveness and number of the treatments. If any of the following are of interest to you, it would be best to schedule a consultation with one of our dermatologists specializing in lasers.
- Taking care of acne and surgical scars
- Treating melasma and actinic keratoses
- Lightening up and removing age and sunspots
- Smoothing wrinkles and crows feet around the eyes
- Clearing up sun-induced irregular pigmentation of the skin
- Shrinking enlarged pores
- Dull, sallow skin
- Keeping skin youthful looking
- Rehabilitate sun damaged skin
- Reducing surgical or traumatic scars
These procedures all range from light treatments to more aggressive treatments. The Fraxel laser can have dramatic results to replace damaged skin with healthy new skin. This can be just the “fix” your skin needs.
How does Fraxel work?
The Fraxel laser works using Fractional Photothermolysis. This process treats only a small portion of the skin at a time, referred to as the microthermal treatment zones (MTZs). Fraxel differs from most other lasers in that it is absorbed by water which is present in all your skin tissue. The Fraxel’s mid-infrared laser wavelength (1550 nm) can penetrate deep into the skin tissue causing a minute sized injury where it will then purge old pigmented skin cells. This only affects the MTZ areas, leaving the surrounding areas untouched by the laser. This allows your skin to heal faster than if the whole area was treated at one time. In fact few if any patients experience downtime from work. The purged old skin makes way for new healthy skin to grow and replace the old skin.
What kind of results can I expect?
You can see improvement in your skin within a 24 hour period. In that time your skin re-epithelization will have finished. This is the process for one session but three to five sessions are suggested for the best results. For maximum results these treatments should be scheduled about a month apart to allow collagen formation and remodeling. Though results are immediate you will continue to improve over the course of the next three to six months.
How long will it last?
Typically in our offices in Long Island, NY, Queens, NY and Bergen County, NJ, we have seen our results last a very long time. For wrinkles and age spots it would depend on how much sun you receive among other factors.
Does the treatment affect me afterward?
You can resume your daily activities after treatment. There is though a very mild sunburn sensation which can last up to an hour after the procedure. Your skin will acquire a pinkish hue for the next five to seven days, which is a good sign, for it shows that your skin is healing and having a response to treatment. You can still apply make up and other topical creams afterwards and men can shave after a treatment. Swelling could develop but it is usually only minimal and would go down in one to two days.
Other affects may include Bronzing and Flaking.
- Bronzing can occur if the treatment was more aggressive and it can last anywhere between three and fourteen days.
- Flaking is a natural occurrence as your skin replaces the old and dead tissue with new tissue. Flaking shares similar traits to a minor sunburn, with the notable exception of no pain. Moisturizers and other medication can help treat this problem if it occurs.
Explaining The Fraxel Procedure
Before a procedure, a consultation is required to discuss appropriate treatment areas, the cost and if you are a good candidate. After that has been decided these four steps will occur.
- The treated area will be thoroughly washed and cleaned before the procedure.
- Sometimes we utilize a topical anesthetic to the desired treatment areas before treatment. The anesthetic is used to numb the skin so the procedure will be hardly felt. It usually takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour to reach that point.
- A special gel is then applied to the area to be treated. This is used in order to allow the laser’s Optical Tracking System to notice contact with the skin. By noticing contact the laser is able to deliver its unique treatment patterns. After the treatment, the gel is washed off.
- The Fraxel is then used in a sequence of passes across the treatment area. With each pass, there are overlapping strokes so that each area is evenly treated multiple times.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Is the Fraxel laser FDA-approved?
The Reliant Fraxel® 1500 Laser has been FDA approved 510(k) since July 2005 for the following skin procedures:
- The photocoagulation of pigmented lesions, such as age spots (lentigos), sun spots (solar lentigos) and dyschromia including melasma. It was the first laser to receive approval for the treatment of melasma.
- Periorbital wrinkle treatment
- Any dermatological situation that requires the coagulation of soft tissue
How many treatments do I need?
The severity of your skin condition will determine how many treatments are needed. A single treatment can show results, but a series of three to five treatments is usually more effective with more dramatic improvement. Only a thorough consultation plan will help us determine the number of treatments needed for your skin to achieve the results you are looking for.
Is it safe?
Yes. The FDA would not allow an unsafe device to be used. In addition there is a built in feature that does not allow the laser to fire unless it is in direct contact with the skin, the special gel, and the laser hand piece is in motion. The Fraxel 1500 boasts an Intelligent Optical Tracking System that will allow and ensure that the laser tracks and self adjusts the speed and consistency of the amount of MTZs produced. This helps prevent over-treatment in any area.
Does it work for all skin types?
Am I a candidate?
If you desire to have your skin revitalized for any of the reasons we listed above, then you are a candidate. If you have already tried other non ablative treatments and they have not worked, Fraxel might. Fraxel can be a more aggressive treatment for mild to moderate sun damaged skin.
How long does it take?
The treatment process can take 15 minutes to an hour depending on the area(s) and condition(s) being treated. If you opt for the anesthetic cream, then you have to allow additional time for it to take effect.
Does it hurt?
With the anesthetic cream applied beforehand, there should be minimal pain. We have additional techniques to lessen pain for sensitive individuals like cool air, ice, analgesics, etc. Afterward there is a mild sunburn sensation which can last up to an hour. You could also develop swelling but it would be minimal and would resolve itself in one to two days.
How much does it cost?
Our prices are very competitive and are less than most laser surgeons. The costs can vary depending on your skin condition and the area of treatment. Call today to set up a consultation so we can tell you if Fraxel is right for you. We will also tell you if there are other procedures which can help you. We also offer package discounts for multiple treatments.
- Article in Happi Magazine on treating melasma by Dr. Joshua Fox
- Click here to read about the Fraxel 1927