Are you wondering what fractionated laser really is? Dr Ingrid Tall from Cosmetic Image Clinics gives us the low down on what Fraxel can do for the skin and her tips and tricks on managing your skin pre/post-treatment.
What is Fraxel designed to treat?
‘Fraxel is designed to treat skin concerns such as pigmentation, age spots, acne scarring, melasma and minor fine lines and wrinkles. The treatment also helps with crepiness and thinning of the skin as collagen starts to deplete and the skin begins to age.’
How does Fraxel work on the skin?
‘It is a ‘non-ablative laser’ which works its magic by coagulating small columns of tissue underneath the skin called Microthermal injury zones instead of vaporising the skin layers away such as a Co2 laser, this makes the recovery a lot faster.
There are two laser wavelengths you can choose from – the erbium and thulium wavelengths – the thulium 1927 wavelength mainly targets the pigmentation in the skin. This can “magically” erase away significant amounts of your pigmentation. The other is the 1550 erbium wavelength, it grows new collagen and elastin which gives a radiant glow to the skin over time. You can use either one wavelength or a combination of both which gives you the best of both worlds.’
What does the treatment feel like?
‘The treatment can feel scratchy on the skin. We use numbing cream and “happy” gas which relieves any discomfort you may feel’
How long does the treatment take?
‘The full treatment takes approximately half an hour with an additional half an hour of numbing cream prior.’
How long does it take to see results?
‘There is approximately a week of recovery time and following this, you will notice considerable pigmentation results however collagen stimulation takes longer to notice and continues to improve for 6 to 9 months following the treatment.’
What skin types would Fraxel be suitable for?
‘All skin types are treatable with Fraxel dual laser – However, with darker toned skin, we take a gentler approach with the treatment. All age groups can utilise the treatment however more mature skin will benefit from the collagen stimulation as it is less vigorous the older we get. Pigmentation results are evident in all age groups.’
Why would you experience a Fraxel instead of an alternative laser resurfacing skin treatment?
‘There is less downtown than other ablative lasers and it can be personalised to target specific skin concerns. It is definitely one of my favourite treatments to gratify my clients.’
Are there any products I should use pre and post treatment?
‘Some clients may require a form of bleaching cream prior to the treatment if they are prone to hyperpigmentation or melasma. We also recommend a barrier like-cream and generous amounts of hydration post treatment.’
How long is the treatment downtime/recovery period?
‘Post Fraxel skin is easy to manage, however, the way you take care of your skin after Fraxel is crucial to the way it will heal. Following the treatment there is a slight redness to the skin. The pigmentation starts to lift up under the skin towards the surface and this causes a bronzing effect and sometimes looks like coffee grounds on the skin surface. This begins to peel off around day 3 or 4 and gradually improves after that.’
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