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Until now, two varieties of laser treatment have been available for cosmetic enhancement-ablative and non-ablative. Traditional ablative, which literally means vaporization at a very high temperature, are very effective at destroying unwanted tissue but may have significant side-effects and require a lengthy healing period. Non-fractional non-ablative, on the other hand, have very few side-effects and require almost no healing time, but may involve numerous treatments over many months to achieve only modest results.
At long last, a laser with the potency of ablative treatments and the gentle safety of non-ablative lasers received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration to treat a variety of important cosmetic conditions: The Fraxel Laser.
Fraxel® Laser Treatment is designed to target aging and damaged skin by creating microscopic “wounds” within the targeted areas that penetrate well beneath the skin’s outermost layer. In this way, Fraxel® Laser treatments trigger the body’s own natural production of new collagen and skin cells.
And because Fraxel® Laser Treatment combines the impact of ablative lasers with the gentleness of non-ablative lasers, healing occurs so quickly that there is very little downtime for patients.
Fraxel in Los Angeles
Just as a damaged painting is delicately restored one small area at a time, or a photographic image is altered, pixel by pixel, Fraxel® Laser Treatment improves your appearance by affecting only a fraction of your skin at a time with thousands of tiny microscopic laser spots.
How Fraxel® Laser Treatment Works
Fraxel Laser Treatment produces thousands of tiny but deep columns of treatment in your skin, known as microscopic treatment zones. This treatment eliminates old epidermal pigmented cells. It also penetrates deep into the dermis. Just as important, though, are the areas of skin the Fraxel laser leaves untouched. For every microscopic zone the laser targets and treats intensively, it leaves the surrounding tissue unaffected and intact. This “fractional” treatment allows the skin to heal much faster than if the entire area were treated at once, using the body’s natural healing process to create new, healthy tighter tissue to replace skin imperfections.
At your initial consultation, your physician will determine the best treatment plan for your desired results. Clinical studies suggest that on average, an effective treatment regimen is 3 to 5 sessions, spaced about 2 to 4 weeks apart. Depending upon your condition and schedule, you and your physician may choose to space treatment sessions even further apart. Results are immediate and progressive. Optimal improvement is usually visible in about 2 to 3 months. Because Fraxel Laser Treatment spares healthy tissue, it is effective even on delicate skin areas, such as the neck, chest and hands.
Preparing for Treatment Fraxel Laser Treatment will be performed using only topical anesthesia in most cases. If you are having a significant area of your skin treated, your doctor will develop a pain management approach to maximize your comfort during the procedure.
The treatment area will be thoroughly washed prior to the procedure. A topical anesthetic ointment is applied to the treatment area approximately 60 minutes prior to treatment in order for the anesthetic to take full effect. The procedure takes between 20 to 25 minutes for a full face. The anesthetic ointment is washed off immediately after the treatment.
What Happens After Treatment
You will experience a mild sunburn sensation for about an hour and then minimal discomfort. The skin will have a pinkish tone for 5 to 7 days. This is a normal sign that the skin is deeply healing. Swelling is minimal and generally resolves in 2 to 3 days.
You may apply make-up or shave soon after treatment. Patients are able to return to routine activities, including work and social obligations, the same day of treatment.
New epidermal skin develops within 24 hours. The process of skin repair involves:
Bronzing: Your skin will have a bronze appearance that lasts anywhere from 3 to 14 days, depending on your treatment level.
Flaking: Your skin will naturally and vigorously exfoliate as new skin replaces dead tissue. Flaking is similar to that of minor sunburn, but without the associated pain. Use of a moisturizer will mask the appearance of flaking.
Sunscreen: Be sure to use sunscreen at least twice daily to protect your skin from sun exposure during both the healing phase and for several months after treatment. Apply a moisturizing sun block with an SPF of at least 30-plus. For added protection, use wide-brimmed hats when in direct sunlight.
Over the following weeks and months, the body repairs the deeper dermal tissues that have been affected by the Fraxel treatment, producing longer beneficial changes associated with a healthy, youthful appearance.
After several years of studies and mounting evidence of the Fraxel® Laser’s safety and effectiveness, the FDA has cleared this unique new laser to treat the following conditions:
- Acne Scars
- Age Spots/Brown Spots
- Melasma (Mask of Pregnancy)
- Wrinkles and Fine Lines
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