The Fraxel Laser Treatment Decoded
Doctors and surgeons disagree on many issues. But, one thing they can all agree on is the quality and effectiveness of Fraxel technology. Fraxel is safe and effective. It is one of the few time tested laser treatments used to resurface the skin, stimulate collagen production and speed up the process of cell turnover to reveal fresh, youthful-looking skin. Fraxel works by creating micro-wounds in the skin, what we in the biz like to call “controlled injury”, so that the skin repairs itself safely and effectively. Skin Bar offers the latest generation of Fraxel technology called the Fraxel Dual. Fraxel Dual is the only fractionated laser that offers two independent wavelengths.
Does Wavelength Matter?
Sure it does! You might expect the difference to be marginal, but that would be a misguided assumption. Fraxel Dual is appropriately named. Dual stands for the two wavelengths that determine the depth of the treatment. Or in this case the depth the laser energy travels to create the tiny controlled injury that makes the treatment work. Two wavelengths, the 1550 and the 1927 can be switched with the push of a button. But, how does your skin care specialist know which one is right for your skin condition. The Fraxel Dual 1927 resurfaces and helps with discoloration and hyperpigmentation, and the Fraxel Restore 1550 penetrates deeper into the skin to help resurface lines/wrinkles, scars and texture.
Let’s Talk Safety
Fraxel is color blind, which means it is safe for all skin types. A popular celebrity treatment, Fraxel is said to have been done by the likes of, Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington. But, as safe as Fraxel is- caution should be exercised before and after treatment. Hyperpigmentation is one of the biggest risks post Fraxel. Always refrain from sun exposure for a few weeks before your treatment. Post treatment, SPF, sunglasses and hats should be worn no matter what skin type you are to prevent hyperpigmentation.
Let’s Take a Walk (steps of treatment)
1. We apply a topical numbing cream to the area being treated. We numb the area for a full hour before treatment.
2. Next, we remove the numbing cream, select the wavelength for treatment and begin. The treatment consists of 8 passes with a cross hatch method to ensure full coverage. Treatment time is generally 15-20 minutes. Clients feel a buildup of heat and prickling sensation during the treatment. Clients treating acne scarring and deep wrinkles may feel more of these effects because the laser is penetrating deeper into the layers of skin.
3. Congratulations the treatment is over! It’s time to cool the skin down with a blower that forces cold air onto the treatment area. This soothes the skin and keeps the client comfortable.
4. Then we add the finishing touches by applying Epidermal Repair from Skin Ceuticals and Elta MD SPF 46 to protect the skin for the trip home.
Tips To Prepare For Fraxel
No sun exposure (sunburn or tan) for 3 weeks prior to treatment
No anti-biotics for 14 days prior to treatment
No use of retinol, aha/bha acids, or harsh exfoliation 2 weeks before treatment
SPF of 30 or higher needs to be used daily, rain or shine, inside or outside.
Avoid the sun! SPF 40-50 must be worn daily, inside or outside, rain or shine.
Wear a hat. A wide brimmed hat and sunglasses should be worn post laser. In some cases the skin can be sensitive to sun exposure for months after the treatment. We suggest Fraxel treatments in the fall and winter.
No retinol, aha/bha acids or harsh exfoliation should be used for 3 weeks post treatment.
Gentle products should be used such as Gentle Cleanser and Epidermal Repair from Skin Ceuticals.
Fraxel is a serious treatment. If you are considering having Fraxel you should prepare for some downtime. Downtime varies from person to person as well as the wavelength you are treated with.
You Deserve a Break
Fraxel Dual (1927)
Because treatment focuses more on surface damage and repair, evidence of treatment is typically more obvious. Within a day or two your skin may reveal a “bronze mask” similar to a tan. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? After another day or two peeling begins. Peeling can be patchy and this is when clients typically feel a little self-conscious. On the other hand, heat, redness and swelling is significantly less with the Dual than the Re:store making it a more comfortable physical recovery. Bottom line: You can go back to work the next day, but If your vain, (we’re not judging) be conservative and prepare for 5 days off. Consider scheduling your treatment on a Thursday evening or Friday evening. Keep in mind that it can take a couple of weeks for complete healing.
Fraxel Re:store (1550)
Re:store sends energy deeper into the skin to correct deeper damage and rebuild collagen. That means your skin absorbs more heat. That heats lingers in the skin, creating redness and swelling. These are the most significant side effects associated with Re:store. Usually the swelling lasts a couple of days but is most pronounced 24 hours post treatment. Redness can linger in some lighter skin tone clients. Wearing sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are critical in controlling redness. Bottom line: You’re more likely to be a little uncomfortable for the first 24 hours after Fraxel than clients having Dual. But, the overall recovery time tends to be much shorter, because there is not as much flaking and peeling going on.
Fraxel is without a doubt the best option for true skin resurfacing. But, beware the need for proper analysis and the experience of your skin care specialist is critical for a safe, effective result.
Look no further. Skin Bar NYC has the technology, skill and expertise to ensure your results are as gold standard as the lasers we use. If you’re considering Fraxel, take a minute today to schedule a complimentary Fit-Skin-Analysis to determine if Fraxel is right for you.