Author Bio: Dr. Sanusi Umar MD is the author of this article.
The Fraxel Laser, a revolutionary aesthetic laser treatment, provides real results for wrinkles, lines and more, all with minimal pain and no surgery. Fraxel® was the first fractional laser skin resurfacing device to come on the market. It is a non-invasive, non-surgical treatment for a variety of skin issues. Though it can be used elsewhere, the Fraxel Laser is most commonly utilized to treat facial skin. Fraxel Repair is a cosmetic laser. It is very effective for the treatment of common skin issues such as:
- Deep wrinkles, furrows and fine lines
- Mild to moderate skin laxity
- Enlarged pores
- Acne scars
- Pigmented lesions like age spots
- Vascular dyschromia
Fraxel Repair is a forward step among carbon dioxide lasers. These lasers are considered to be ablative, which means that they will destroy unwanted cells. In the end, this produces a tightening effect on the skin.
With older systems, the entire surface needed to be treated. However, Fraxel Repair is able to deliver energy in a pixilated fashion. This means that it can be applied to only treat specific problem areas without compromising the quality of the final outcome.
Healthy skin is left alone. As a result, patients are able to experience faster healing and the benefits of an ablative laser treatment without the need for extended downtime.
With older carbon dioxide lasers, typical downtime lasts between 2.5 to 4 weeks. However, with Fraxel laser, patients can usually plan on a one to two-week recovery period before resuming their normal activities.
What is Fraxel Laser
Fraxel Laser is a form of laser skin resurfacing. As the name implies, this treatment uses a fractional laser. Fractional lasers target only small areas at once, rather than the large areas of a traditional laser. This gives Fraxel Laser a number of benefits including reduced pain, shorter recovery time, and faster treatment time. During the procedure, a “smart scanning” hand piece directs consistent and safe fractional laser blasts to the affected area. These fractional lasers penetrate the top layer of the skin, which has the added benefit of stimulating collagen growth.
Types of Fraxel Lasers
There are two main types that are used for significant rejuvenation:
- Fraxel repair
- Fraxel Dual
About Fraxel Repair
Fraxel Repair is a very intense laser system which uses the 10,500nm wavelength. The hand piece used will deliver laser energy as tiny vertical columns. Tissue within these columns is vaporized due to the heat.
This heat energy will also inflict deliberate wounds beneath the surface. Skin cells in lower dermal layers will respond to this trauma by producing new collagen fibers. This collagen will help tighten the skin and even reduce the size of large pores, and the new tissue will also fill in the depressions of acne scars.
Fraxel Laser repair’s energy will also destroy cellular structures containing melanin. The body’s circulatory system will carry away the remains of this process. This mechanism is how age spots and melasma can be cleared away from the surface of the skin.
Because Fraxel Repair delivers a very intense procedure, patients often need only 1-2 sessions. However, it can only be safely performed on light-skinned individuals with very low levels of melanin.
What to Expect After a Fraxel Repair Procedure
The skin will be very red following a Fraxel Repair session. Daily sun protection will be essential, especially during the healing phase, to maintaining desired results.
Recommended Skin Types and Conditions that Can be Treated with Fraxel Repair
Fraxel Repair is only indicated for patients with very light colored skin who fall under the categories of Fitzpatrick levels I-III.
The energy emitted from this system is easily absorbed by melanin. Since individuals with warmer and darker skin tones have greater concentrations of this pigment, their skin will overheat. This can result in consequences such as:
- Facial muscle damage
- Breakouts of acne pimples
- Heightened sensitivity to makeup and skin care products
About Dual Fraxel Laser
Dual Fraxel laser treatment targets the skin with microscopic laser columns that penetrate deep into your skin to expedite your body’s remodeling of collagen. And since the laser treats only a fraction of tissue at a time, it leaves the surrounding tissue intact, which promotes very rapid healing. It has the most impressive results with the least amount of downtime. The Dual Fraxel laser is actually two lasers in one.
Skin Types and Conditions that Can be Treated by Using Fraxel Dual
Fraxel Dual is suitable for use in all skin types, including darker patients with black skin (Fitzpatrick type V and Vi)
Fraxel Dual is a non-ablative laser that is able to effectively treat unwanted skin issues such as:
- Textural irregularities
- Enlarged pores
- Acne scars
- Age spots
- Early to mid stages of skin laxity
- Mild to moderate forms of wrinkles (e.g. peri-orbital)
- Surgical scars
Why Is Fraxel Dual Unique?
Fraxel Dual uses two energy wavelengths, the 1927 and 1550nm. Due to their longer lengths, both of these energies are safe enough for all skin types. Other laser wavelengths tend to scatter and become absorbed by general areas of melanin surrounding the treatment area. Patients with darker skin tend to have a higher melanin content. Therefore, they face a significant risk of absorbing a large amount of heat, which may result in permanent scars and discoloration.
The advent of Fraxel Dual makes it possible for patients with darker skin to receive the benefits of cosmetic laser treatments without facing long-term damage.
Because of its unique wavelengths, this technology is able to specifically address the problem areas, leaving healthy skin untouched. Therefore, patients are able to experience excellent results with very minimal downtime.
How Does Fraxel Dual Work?
The Fraxel Dual system has two laser wavelength treatment modes to create a more comprehensive outcome for the patient’s final appearance.
The 1550nm Erbium wavelength targets the collagen and elastin producing cells within the deeper skin layers.
The 1927 nm Thulium wavelength is used to refine issues closer to the skin’s surface such as superficial lines and pigmentation issues.
Being a non-ablative laser, Fraxel Dual does not vaporize tissue to get rid of unwanted cells. However, it’s laser energy will create deliberate heat wounds in the dermis layer. This will trigger the production of new collagen and elastin fibers. This new collagen improves the texture and firmness of the skin for general anti-aging purposes. It can also reduce the size of skin pores and help to diminish the depth and appearance of acne scars.
Fraxel Dual’s energy also destroys cellular structures that contain melanin. The circulatory system carries away the fragments of this process, clearing away the pigment responsible for age spots and melasma.
Fraxel Laser Services in Los Angeles
If you are interested in improving your complexion and skin texture, we offer free consultations to prospective patients. This is an excellent opportunity to ask learn more about our Fraxel laser procedure based on your needs. You will be able to have your questions answered and learn which cosmetic procedure would be best for achieving your goals. You may fill out our consultation form at the top of the page. To get started, fill out our consultation form at https://dru.com/skin-clinic/consultation/ Or you may call us at 1800-499-DRUCLINIC (3782) to schedule an appointment.
Fraxel Laser – Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Are Fraxel Dual Sessions?
Patients can expect Fraxel Dual sessions to last about half an hour.
Are Fraxel Dual Procedures Painful?
Most patients will feel a strong heat sensation during their session. Each individual will have different thresholds for experiencing pain. However, lidocaine cream is applied to the surface of the skin to help maximize the patient’s comfort during their treatment.
How Much Downtime Is Needed After A Fraxel Dual Treatment?
Typically, most patients can expect to take off 6-10 days for their skin to recover before resuming work and other activities. However, the exact time frame will depend on the requirements and goals of the procedure. Some individuals will require a more aggressive approach compared to others.
Are There Any Side Effects of Fraxel Dual?
The side effects of Fraxel Dual are usually temporary. After a session, the skin will be very red, much like a sunburn. And it will gradually develop into a bronze coloration within the first to second week. After this phase, the outer layer will shed to reveal younger looking skin.
Other side effects may include dryness of the skin and itching.
Sun Protection Following A Fraxel Dual Procedure
After a Fraxel Dual treatment, patients will need to be very consistent about applying sunscreen (SPF 30+) on a daily basis. This will need to continue for at least three months following the session.
Protective clothing is also recommended as an added measure.
How Many Fraxel Dual Treatments Should Patients Receive?
Some patients may only require a single treatment. But this will depend on what they are trying to achieve. Usually, three to five sessions are needed by most people.
How Much Do Fraxel Dual Treatments Cost?
The cost of individual Fraxel Dual sessions range from $750-$1500
How Much Time Should Be Scheduled In Between Sessions?
Since the skin will require time to heal and regenerate, it is generally recommended to allocate two to four weeks in between treatments.
Can Fraxel Dual Be Used in Conjunction With Other Lasers?
Yes. In fact, Dr. U often combines the Spectra laser with Fraxel Dual as part of the same treatment series. Spectra’s laser energy produces a mild exfoliation effect. Since the depth of laser energy can be controlled, this offers a safer alternative to chemical peels.
Fraxel Dual can be used to improve the firmness of the skin’s deeper layers. Likewise, it is also very effective at clearing away pigmentation for a greatly improved complexion. Many patients are astounded by their skin’s improvements from using both lasers.
Fraxal laser treatment is a versatile and effective means of restoring the appearance of the skin. If you’ve got questions regarding the procedure that were not answered above, use the button below to ask Dr. Umar himself: