Im 37, Indian (skin type 5)I got 2 diff opinions for Fraxel Restore re # of sessions (4 vs 5) & laser intensity (50-80 mj vs 70-90 mj). Does the higher intensity come with increased risk of PIH or permanent damage? Whats the best gap between 2 sessions? Are the benefits reversible after 2-3 years?
Indian Skin Type: Number of Fraxel Sessions and Intensity?
Doctor Answers 2
Fraxel Restore is a great laser to both improve the appearance of your skin and also as a way to prevent aging of the skin. I believe that frequent Fraxel Restore treatment can maintain a youthful appearance to the skin by continuously turning over the collagen in the dermis and thus maintain the integrity of the skin.
Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is more common in patients with Fitzpatrick skin types 4-6 and you are in this category. You surgeon will need to pretreat your skin with a bleaching agent (hydroquinone) and be careful with the power delivered. I generally start with a more conservative setting and advance as tolerated. Also, the density of treatment is just as important as the power (fluence) in terms of recovery and risk of PIH. You may consider starting at around 20% and increasing as tolerated.
I would suggest a series of 5 treatments initially and then using the Restore several times a year to maintain the result and keep your skin youthful.
Energy settings for Fraxel Restore
I can not determine from your photograph nor your statement, what about your skin you are trying to improve by the use of Fraxel. The indications could be fine lines, brown spots, acne scars and textural changes. The energy used difffers based on the indications and your skin type. Interestingly, Fraxel has helped many patients who have excessive pigment, such as melasma, but a risk of any resurfacing, including Fraxel, is worsening of melasma!
The energy in joules, the density of the fractional beams, and the number of passes can be varied depending on the condition, skin color and depth of intended treatment. Treating pigmentation usually requires energies of the 20s to 30s, and less with dark-skinned individuals. Acne scarring may need the highest energies.