Can you tell me more about the benefits you can get from Fraxel laser resurfacing? What sort of skin problems get the best results from Fraxel?
Fraxel Laser Treatment Results
Doctor Answers 20
Fraxel laser resurfacing works for skin texture, mild tightening, mild to moderate wrinkle reduction
Thank you for your question.
Let's first talk about the science of the laser, and then talk about what it can do for you. The traditional first and second generation Fraxel lasers are 1550nm infrared lasers that are used to remodel the dermal collagen (second layer of the skin). Simply speaking, this laser targets the collagen in your second layer without causing damage to the surface of the skin.
The traditional Fraxel lasers are "non-ablative fractional" lasers that work by essentially "drilling" areas of heat damage into only the dermal collagen (avoiding crusting, scabbing, and downtime) and allowing the surrounding normal collagen to help speed up healing.
This differs from Erbium and CO2 "ablative fractional" lasers that do the same thing, but also "drill" these heat damage areas through the top layer as well (causing the scabbing, crusting, and increased downtime).
Now that you understand how they work, here's an explanation of what the traditional Fraxel laser can do. By working on remodeling the dermal collagen, you get a tightening in the second layer that will lead to reduction of rough skin texture, fine lines, and wrinkles on the surface. This is seen best when used around the eyes, but can make a great difference around the mouth, on the cheeks, and on most areas of the face.
This can also make some difference on the neck, although not great. The Fraxel is NOT a tightening laser like Thermage or Titan, rather it will improve the skin texture and fine lines/wrinkling instead of the more dramatic pulling of the skin as promised by those devices.
The traditional Fraxel is also used for mild acne scarring. It is best used for the mild rolling type of acne scarring, not for the "ice pick" or deeper rolling acne scars.
To get the best effects from Fraxel, you will need to do anywhere from 3-5 treatments. The effects are gradual and dermal collagen remodeling and tightening will continue even when you are finished with the last treatment, so you may see improvement continuing up to a year after you started. Fine lines will be less visible, skin texture will be improved, some pores may actually appear smaller (not guaranteed), and acne scars (if present) will be flatter. Your face will look younger and fresher.
In regards to downtime and side effects, the Fraxel will give you a "sunburn" appearance for anywhere from 2-7 days. There is no true crusting or oozing as the top layer of the skin is intact. It is safe for all skin types, but can lead to some hyperpigmentation in some patients.
It is best to avoid the sun 2 weeks before and after each treatment. Treatments can be spaced 4-6 weeks apart. Avoid makeup on the treated areas for 1 week after your treatment. You may need to go in once a year for a refresher treatment.
Hope this helps with all your questions!
Until recently I was not a big fan of fraxel laser, Most of my laser work was with the erbium laser which got me excellent results. However, aggressive erbium laser is difficult to do without reasonable anesthesia. Now I am using the new CO2 fraxel laser and the results are excellent. It is a one time laser than gets a real and significant result, and can be done with simple numbing cream anesthesia. Fine wrinkles are nearly totally eliminated, medium level wrinkles are greatly improved. I personally think it is one of the best advancements in laser aesthetics over the past decade
Fraxel laser treatment results depend on the problem you will be treating
There is no easy way or one way to answer this question. With the Fraxel re:store (which is the less invasive laser treatment) you can treat acne scars, sun spots and skin discoloration.
However, since this treatment does not have much downtime (slightly pink for a day or two), the results from one treatment are not that great. It usually requires 3-5 treatments to see lasting and very noticeable results.
What I mean by that is that acne pits improve but not go away, hyperpigmentation spots may completely go away and your skin texture and complexion is very improved. It is not great for skin tightening. Remember, that your skin type as well as how bad your starts out, plays a role in how good your results can be.
With the Fraxel re:pair (the more invasive one), you treat similar conditions except that it also significantly improves skin tightening. This is a one time (sometimes two times) treatment that can improve your skin by 50-70%.
However, there is a week of downtime and then another week where you look like you have gotten a bit too much sun. Acne pits really improve but not go away, spots improve by 70% and the skin is smoother and tighter in one treatment.
I hope this helps.
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As originally developed, the Fraxel laser (Re:store) uses columns of energy to stimulate remodelling of your skin's dermal collagen. The depth and density of the beam can be controlled depending on what condition is being treated. The wavelength used in the Fraxel is such that the outer layers of the skin are left relatively intact, which is why it is referred to as "non-ablative." It does induce some mild superficial resurfacing effects, but its forte is its effect in the deeper layers of the skin. The renewal of the dermal collagen leads to improvement in fine skin wrinkling and acne scars. The superficial effects induce improvement in skin texture and tone, and it can reduce "sun spots" and large pores. It is also one of the few alternative treatment options for melasma and can be used to reduce scars and stretch marks.
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Fraxel laser treats numerous skin conditions such as all levels of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. It can restore your skin’s texture and surface, refine the fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes, and treat discoloration or uneven pigmentation. It also reduces the appearance of acne scars and surgical scars. Fraxel laser will create smoother and healthier skin not only on your face, but on your neck, chest, hands, tec...
Fraxel Restore: Great results with little downtime and only topical anesthesia
Fraxel helps restore your skin and give it a more youthful appearance. In addition, it will soften fine lines and wrinkles. Fraxel is also very effective for the treatment of Acne scars, and can be used to diminish other types of scarring on the face or body. We have recently been doing Fraxel with great success on the hands to rejuvenate the skin and to give them a more youthful appearance appearance.
We recommend 5 treatments for the face, and usually at least 3 for the hands and other scars on the body.
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Fraxel re:store results
We have had approximately 5 years of experience with the Fraxel re:store laser. This laser offers a lot of benefits with few side effects. Because of its gentle nature, patients can undergo skin rejuvenation with little to no down-time. The Fraxel laser will improve fine lines, particularly around the eyes. Laser treatments will also improve sun spots, pigmented lesions, improve pore size and generally give the skin a more smooth complexion.
Because each laser treatment covers approximately 15% to 20% of the skin's surface, patients can vary their level of improvement based on the number of treatments they undergo.