Once you reach your thirties, you start noticing even the finest signs of wrinkles on your face. You analyze the slightest new freckle or scar to see if it affects your overall skin appearance. Many treatments and techniques are available to fade them and make your face look as young as you feel. One such intensive treatment is Fraxel laser treatment.
From correcting dark spots and reducing wrinkles to fade acne scarring – Fraxel lasers can do it all. However, before you book an appointment for it, find out what to expect from the treatment, the cost, downtime, and recovery. Keep reading to know more.
In This Article
What Is Fraxel Laser? What Is It Used For?
Fraxel treatment is a skin resurfacing treatment that aims to improve the skin tone, texture, and radiance and minimize sun damage and scarring to give you younger-looking skin. This intensive and aggressive laser treatment can fade deep wrinkles and scars (like pockmarks, boxcar, and icepick scars)and reduce hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and patches to brighten the skin.
The name Fraxel comes from the word “fraction.” Fraxel is the device that uses fractional lasers for targeted treatment to encourage the body to produce more collagen and heal the area.
The Fraxel line of treatment offers different types of laser resurfacing treatment for specific results. It has a mix of ablative and non-ablative laser treatments. Let’s take a deeper look.
Different Types Of Fraxel Lasers
1. Fraxel Re:pair
Fraxel re:pair is the most aggressive of all Fraxel treatments and uses fractional CO2 or ablative laser. Ablative lasers wound the skin and remove the outermost layer to stimulate the growth of collagen fibers. When the skin regrows, you will notice a tighter and smoother appearance.
Fraxel re:pair can treat irregularities like:
- Age spots
- Deep wrinkles and lines
- Deep acne scars
- Surgical scars and other types of deep scar
Since it is a wounding treatment, your body needs time to heal before you can resume normal activities. Patients may experience redness, crusting of the skin, swelling, and even slight bleeding after the procedure. The healing skin should also be kept away from the sun rays.
2. Fraxel Restore
Fraxel Restore is a non-ablative laser procedure and uses Erbium laser at a wavelength of 1550 nm to heat the skin and stimulate collagen production. Unlike Fraxel re:pair, Fraxel restore does not remove the outer layer, making it a gentle option with minimal downtime.
Fraxel Restore is best for issues like:
- Brown spots
- Acne scars and rosacea
- Fine to moderate wrinkles
- Sun-damaged skin and discoloration
This treatment is suitable for the face, neck, chest, and hands. Once the procedure is done, you should see a clear visible difference in the appearance of wrinkles, acne scars, or any unevenness in skin tone. Since the Fraxel restore treatment is gentle, normal activities can be resumed within 2-3 days.
3. Fraxel Dual
Fraxel Dual is the latest in Fraxel treatments that combine the benefits of both ablative and non-ablative lasers. Fraxel Dual uses two wavelengths (1550 nm and 1927 nm) – one targets the issues on the surface level, while the other goes deeper to target deep wrinkles and scars.
Fraxel Dual can address issues like:
- Acne scarring (including deep scars)
- Fine lines and deep wrinkles
- Poor skin texture
- Age spots
- Signs of photoaging and UV damage
Fraxel Dual can be used on the face, neck, chest, arms, back, and legs. Here is a comparative overview of the three laser treatments to help you get a clear picture.
Comparison Of Fraxel Laser Treatments
|Laser Treatments||Fraxel Re:pair||Fraxel Restore||Fraxel Dual|
|Type||Ablative||Non-ablative||Mix of non-ablative and ablative|
|A week||1-2 days||A week|
Targeted Skin Issues
Duration Of Treatment
If you plan to undergo Fraxel treatment, consult a dermatologist to learn if you are an ideal candidate and what type of laser treatment you may need. Depending on that, you may start preparing for the procedure.
Preparations For Fraxel Laser Treatment
There are specific steps involved before you go for a Fraxel laser treatment:
- Discuss the outcomes of the treatment and your expectations.
- Avoid smoking for a few weeks before the treatment.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure without adequate sun protection.
- Avoid using retinol and topical products containing active ingredients like AHAs and BHA.
- Avoid waxing or shaving your face a few days before the procedure.
Your dermatologist may give you a list of general dos and don’ts and specific instructions to follow depending on your skin condition, type, and any medication that you use (topical and oral). Follow them religiously. In the next sections, we have answered some common questions regarding the treatment, costs, recovery, and other aspects of Fraxel treatments. Take a look.
What Is The Cost Of Fraxel Laser Treatment?
The cost of a single sitting of ablative Fraxel laser treatment is about $2,000, and non-ablative treatment is $1144. However, this may change as per the location, clinic, and experience of the medical esthetician performing the treatment.
Is Fraxel Laser Treatment Painful?
It depends on your pain tolerance level. You may feel a mild pricking sensation. However, the medical practitioner will apply a numbing cream to the target area to prevent any discomfort.
What Are The Side Effects Of Fraxel Laser Treatment?
Immediately after the treatment, you may experience:
- Purging and whiteheads (the doctor may give antibiotics)
Rare side effects include:
- Changes in skin texture
- Uneven bumps and depression
- Cold sores and infection
How Long Does The Effect Of A Fraxel Treatment Last?
One session may last about a year. However, the time may vary, depending on your skin condition and age. With 1550 nm wavelength lasers, you may need three to five sessions in a gap of four weeks. You may continue to see improvements for the next three to six months after the treatment.
How Many Sessions Of Fraxel Laser Do You Need?
Most people require at least two to four sessions to see the ideal results. However, the number of touch-up sessions may vary, depending on your age and skin condition.
How To Heal Faster From Fraxel Laser Treatment
The aftercare is crucial for proper healing. Here are a few dos and don’ts:
- Clean the treated area.
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
- Avoid exercising and activities that may cause sweating.
- Avoid swimming as the pool water contains chlorine.
- Avoid UV exposure.
- Use non-irritating and non-comedogenic skin care products.
- Avoid abrasive products and active ingredients like AHAs, BHA, toners, and retinol.
- Use mild moisturizing creams and lotions.
- Use SPF every day.
- Avoid bleaching, shaving, and waxing the treated area.
Follow all these until the skin heals completely. After that, you can go back to your normal skin care and makeup routine.
To Sum Up
Fraxel laser treatment can improve scarring, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles to make your skin appear smoother, tighter, and younger. However, it requires patience and commitment to care for your skin to see the benefits in the long run. Moreover, just one session may not be enough – you may have to undergo multiple sessions. Therefore, we strongly recommend consulting a cosmetologist to fully understand the implications of Fraxel laser treatment and then go for it.
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