The Fraxel® laser is a very versatile laser that can treat a variety of conditions without a lot of down time. In our practice, it has taken over as the treatment of choice for skin rejuvenation not only on the face, but also other areas of the body, which could not be done with many of the previous lasers that were used for facial resurfacing. It is common for patients to have Fraxel® laser treatments on their neck, chest and hands as well as the face. Advanced Aesthetic & Laser Surgery is the first office in Columbus, Ohio to perform the Fraxel® Laser.
Most patients who seek Fraxel® laser treatments are concerned about aging skin and the effect of excessive sun exposure. They complain of fine lines on their face, sunspots, irregular tone and texture of their skin. A series of Fraxel® laser treatments can help with all of these problems.
The Fractional Concept
Depending on the concerns of the patient, the laser can be adjusted to accomplish the most for each patient. The laser works by firing tiny dots of the laser into the skin causing micro-plugs of skin to come out. The area around each plug is untreated so that the skin heals very rapidly, which is the concept of fractional laser treatments. By firing tiny columns of laser light into the skin, we can safely treat deeper than lasers which cover the entire skin surface with much lower risk and faster recovery.
Fraxel® Laser Treatment Options
Adjustments that can be made for laser treatment include the depth of penetration of the laser, percentage of the surface area that is covered (concentration of the dots), the number of passes of the laser can be varied (standard is 8) and, of course, the number of treatments. Treating fine lines and hyperpigmentation generally requires fewer treatments and less laser penetration depth than when treating deeper wrinkles, more severe sun damage and acne scars with less recovery.
Benefits that patients find after a series of Fraxel® laser treatments include elimination or reduction of facial lines, a smoother texture of the skin surface, fewer and less severe pigment spots and some skin tightening. Laser treatments are not a replacement for a facelift or mini-facelift. Many patients comment that they are able to use less makeup after their Fraxel® treatments and that it is easier to apply.
Acne scarring has always been one of the most difficult conditions to treat. Dermabrasion (not microdermabrasion) was the gold standard to treat acne until lasers cam along, however it was a lot to go through, had significant risk of scarring and demarcation lines and could not be performed on patients with dark skin because of the concern for hypopigmentation. The Fraxel® laser has become our treatment of choice for acne scars because of the safety and less recovery needed. As the skin damage caused by acne scars tends to be relatively deep, a higher treatment level with respect to the depth of penetration of the laser is necessary resulting in a little longer recovery period.