Fraxel is a non-invasive laser treatment that makes hundreds of thousands of microscopic holes in the skin. This softens and elevates scars and wrinkles and as the skin heals it tightens due to the production of new collagen and elastin within the dermis or deeper layer of the skin. Basically it smooths wrinkles and scars, fades brown spots, and resurfaces your entire skin tone. Unlike ablative lasers, Fraxel is a fractional skin resurfacing treatment, which means it only targets a fraction of the skin at a time. This means that after treatment the skin appears a little red and puffy but there is no real downtime.
The Fraxel laser uses a wavelength of 1550nm below the skin to address different skin concerns on the face, neck, chest, hands and legs—just about anywhere, The Fraxel Repair 1550 wavelength is designed to target and smooth your skin’s texture (fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scarring).
The laser is safe for all skin tones, though it might not be the best choice for anyone with melasma (a complex form of hyperpigmentation), since melasma can worsen under the effects of a Fraxel laser. Is the Fraxel laser safe?
Dr. Condon will let you know whether or not your skin is suitable for this particular laser, so definitely schedule a consultation regardless as there may be other options of treatment.
The laser treatment itself is relatively quick—about 30-45 minutes—but you should expect to factor in at least another 60 minutes for the topical anesthesia (numbing cream) to work before getting started.
The discomfort of this experience is different for everyone but would be described as a warm stinging sensation. Pain medication can be administered at Dr. Condons discretion.
The downtime to Fraxel is typically a week. During the first two days, you can expect redness, and swelling (like a sunburn), then between days three to five, your skin will start to feel dry and peel. You will be equipped with an aftercare regime to minimise downtime and makeup can be applied 24hrs after treatment. And, as a note, the chest usually takes a little bit longer to recover, so don’t be alarmed if the process seems slow.
Despite how intense it sounds, the Fraxel laser actually has minimal side effects and downtime (at least, in comparison to other intense lasers). The patient should expect redness, swelling, and peeling afterward, but it settles in less than a week.
The number of sessions required vary in accordance with the patient’s condition. Generally between 3-6 sessions are required at monthly intervals.
Once you have had a Fraxel treatment, SPF50 should be worn to protect your skin from any new damage from the sun. Not only will your new skin be more vulnerable to the sun, but you’ll also want to stay covered to prevent the pigment from coming right back.