What is a Fraxel Laser and What Does It Do?
Have you ever heard of a Fraxel laser? If you don’t know what it is, it sounds like something out of a science fiction novel. However, Fraxel lasers are actually a tool that is used to help with a variety of different skin care concerns!
For those who are really struggling with loving their skin, and who may be increasingly concerned about age related issues, these more extreme options become a valid option. But what does the Fraxel laser actually do?
Miami Skin Institute has done the research for you, and we’d love to share what we’ve learned to help you make the most educated decision for yourself possible.
Fraxel Laser Basics
The Fraxel Laser is an officially trademarked treatment option created by Solta Medical, a leading skin care company, in 2004.
It promises the user “a noticeably younger look without surgery,” which is a large part of its allure. The laser was designed for people who are looking to reveal a younger appearance without having to go through extended downtime. However, the flipside of that is that Fraxel Lasers also do not create “dramatic” changes, which makes it somewhat of a middle ground between a normal skin care routine and plastic surgery options like face lifts.
The benefits of using the Fraxel Laser include improved tone, texture, and radiance in skin that is exhibiting age-related issues, scarring, or sun-damage. Results can be seen as soon as after just a single treatment which, when compared to other options like Botox (which involves multiple sessions of multiple injections), makes it very attractive. However, multiple treatments are often recommended for optimal results. The average is 3-5 sessions every 2-4 weeks.
The major concers that Fraxel Laser is FDA approved to treat are:
- -Fine lines and wrinkles (crow’s feet, brow lines, etc.)
- -Surface scarring (acne and surgical scars)
- -Pigmentation (age spots)
- -Sun damage
- –Actinic keratosis (a common skin condition where rough, scaly patches appear on the skin, often a result of sun damage)
- -Melasma (irregular patches of skin color on the face)
How Does The Fraxel Laser Work?
The Fraxel Laser is known as the “first non-ablative fractional skin resurfacing treatment,” but what exactly does that mean?
First and foremost, the Fraxel Laser is non-invasive, meaning it requires absolutely no cutting or needles. In a culture that is so used to the dramatic effects of major plastic surgery, the idea that something can improve the appearance without all of that work can be very hard to believe.
It can provide those benefits by using microscopic laser columns. Those lasers are directed into the skin and are able to penetrate deep enough to be able to expedite the remodeling of collagen by the body. Because the laser columns used are so small, it is able to impact very specific areas without affecting any of the surrounding tissue. That also means that the healing process is much quicker, because the results are literally happening from the inside out and not the other way around.
While there is some heat involved with the use of the laser, the Fraxel also includes an integrated cooling technique that helps the patient be as comfortable as possible during the treatment. Some practices also include use of a topical anesthesia.
The entire process takes around 20 to 25 minutes in total, with a full facial cleansing beforehand. If the facility uses topical anesthesia, that will also be applied around an hour prior. It should always be performed by a trained professional, because it requires precise application to avoid damaging the rest of the skin.
What Happens After a Fraxel Laser Treatment?
Once your treatment is done and you head home, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
For instance, because of how the laser impacts your skin, it is important to remember to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 (which you’re hopefully already doing). In addition, avoiding direct sunlight and wearing a wide-brimmed hat whenever possible can also help keep your skin safe while it’s healing.
You should expect your skin to feel like you’ve gotten a sunburn for a few hours after your treatment is complete. Results will be visible within about a week of the first treatment, and those results get better the more treatments that you have done. Just keep in mind that there will likely be some swelling, redness, itching, and even crusting initially. Don’t let this discourage you, because it is a normal part of the process. However, make sure that you let your provider know if it seems to last too long or be more intense than expected.
Are There Any Alternatives to the Fraxel Laser?
If there are no providers near you or if it is just out of your budget, Miami MD has alternatives that won’t empty your wallet.
If you’re looking into treatments that can help reduce pigmentation, we offer our Dark Spot Corrector. When you use it regularly, it can help to visibly reduce and correct DNA discoloration within just weeks. DNA discoloration is a catch-all term for things like dark spots, age spots, and freckles. It helps to even out the skin tone, so that you can trade in your dull, patchy complexion for a brighter, more youthful one.
After application, the top layer of the skin that has been damaged is painlessly and safely sloughed off. Without that layer sitting on the skin, making it look dull, the skin will naturally look brighter. It has a list of ingredients that are all beloved for providing different, but complimentary benefits – alpha-arbutin, resveratrol, vitamin C, glycolic acid, and kojic acid. When they work together, they are able to help slowly but surely brighten your skin.
If you’re more considered with fine lines and wrinkles, our Instant Wrinkle Eraser may be the right product for you. Similar to our Dark Spot Corrector, Instant Wrinkle Eraser lives up to its name by working within minutes of application. Using Matrixyl Synthe-6 and Acetyl Hexapeptide 30, it helps to blur the senior shadows that can worsen the appearance of those fine lines and wrinkles. The result is brighter, more even, smoother skin.
Make sure that you’re using either (or both) of those products as part of a curated skin care routine. Functional skin care products can only do too much, so a complete routine that includes cleansing, moisturizing, and sunscreen is essential. Focusing on monitoring your lifestyle, like drinking plenty of water, taking supportive supplements and multivitamins, and eating a healthy diet, can also help you look your best. Taking care of your entire body really is the key to living a longer, happier, and healthier life.
Fraxel Lasers have a definite part to play in improving skin without relying on invasive medical treatments. Miami Skin Institute understands that and believes that everyone deserves an opportunity to improve their skin without having to bear the uncomfortable side effects of outdated techniques and unwanted results. We offer various cosmetic laser procedures including Miami Skin Fraxel to restore your overall look in a natural and unobvious way.