Over the years, the skin is damaged by both environmental (sun, pollution) and behavioral (stress, fatigue, smoking) factors, keeping people from looking their best and how they may feel inside. Today, Fraxel treatment offers the most advanced new microlaser restoration treatment — one that actually awakens the subsurface cells so they revitalize themselves naturally, returning skin to its original beauty. The Fraxel laser has been approved by the FDA to treat multiple skin conditions, including age/sun spots, acne scarring, melasma (the mask of pregnancy) and eye wrinkles (crow’s feet). It’s safe, easy, and delivers remarkable results. Fraxel treatment repairs damaged skin by treating only a small fraction of skin at a time, leaving the area surrounded by unaffected, healthy tissue. 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. Fraxel treatment is different. It is the only fractional laser system that safely penetrates the skin down to the dermis. The Fraxel laser has the ability to penetrate fractions of skin, spot by spot, without breaking the skin’s protective outer barrier. The result is natural stimulation of new collagen without the fear of downtime and risks associated with traditional ablative treatments. (See Diagram A).
Diagram shows penetration of microscopic columns of thermal zones called microscopic treatment zones which penetrate the skin leaving the epidermis intact. These thermal zones causes deep denaturization of collagen causing collagen remodeling. This new collagen growth thereby improves skin texture, lines and wrinkles, and scarring. The surrounding areas of untreated skin allow the skin to recovery quickly allowing for faster healing times.
This is a schemetic diagram illustrating the effects of the Fraxel Re:fine laser. Since this is non ablative laser, the stratum corneum (outermost layer of the skin) remains intact. The fractionated heat of the laser causes thousands of wounded islets of tissue which is surrounded by untreated skin. This treatment causes an extrusion of damaged tissue and pigment. The pigment is forced up where it surfaces on the skin. The damaged collagen is replaced by more robust collagen, improving the texture and quality of the skin. The untreated skin allows for rapid healing.
Histological Evidence of Fraxel Treatment at varying Depths of Penetration.
The product provides a highly effective, predictable, and safe non-ablative treatment for patients with acne scarring, melasma or hormonal skin discoloration, periorbital wrinkles and sun and age spots. The Fraxel laser passes through the top layer of skin like light through glass, reaching into the dermis below to create thousands of tiny, microscopic areas of thermal damage that stimulate the body’s own wound healing response, notably new collagen production and replacement of damaged skin surfaces with new epidermal skin (see Diagram B).
Before the Fraxel treatment, a topical anesthetic cream is applied for 30 minutes. A typical facial treatment is completed in about 30 minutes. While results vary from patient to patient, results are typically achieved in an average of 3 to 5 treatment sessions spaced about 2 to 4 weeks apart, and many patients notice a marked improvement sooner.
Acne scarring can have a profound impact on people’s self-esteem and life-outlook, particularly as adults enter work and social settings with these often painful memories of their teenage years. Today, Fraxel offers the most advanced new microlaser restoration treatment — one that actually awakens the subsurface cells so they revitalize themselves naturally, reducing the appearance of acne scars and returning skin to its original beauty. When acne advances to the point of injuring our tissue, it can result in a scar — a discolored fibrous tissue with abnormal collagen function that may appear as a red raised area or indented mark. To successfully treat this type of scar, the top layer of skin (epidermis) must be removed, and the production of new collagen must be stimulated to improve the skin’s overall tone and texture. Traditionally, topical agents, abrasion therapies, surgery and conventional lasers have been used to treat acne scarring. Unfortunately, most of these treatments achieve only moderate results or are very aggressive, resulting in a long, painful recovery period.
A monumental breakthrough came only recently when the FDA approved Fraxel treatment for acne scars after studies showed that the new laser could be far more effective than traditional therapies. The powerful, yet precise laser effectively encourages the skin to create new collagen to replace the scarred epidermis.
While nothing compares to the joy of motherhood, pregnancy can take a toll on women’s skin. Between stretch marks, melasma and hormonal changes, there are some lasting reminders that women would prefer to erase. Fraxel treatment can help to reverse the unsightly changes associated with Melasma and return skin to its original beauty. Melasma is a very common disorder that is estimated to affect about 6 million women in the United States. Melasma typically occurs as brown spots and darkened pigmentation on sun-exposed facial areas, notably the cheeks, forehead, upper lip and nose, and is most common in women of child-bearing age and among male and female adults of dark-skinned races.
Fraxel treatment has been shown to be very effective in treating persistent melasma that has otherwise been unresponsive to traditional therapies, such as bleaching creams, microdermabrasion, selective photothermolysis laser and light therapies, and laser ablation. To understand the Fraxel laser’s unique mechanism of action, think of your skin as a wall made up of tiny tiles. If a patient has melasma, every third tile on this wall would be brown in color, representing the brown splotches that are characteristic of this condition. With fractional resurfacing, many of these brown tiles are “zapped” and eliminated making the appearance more uniform.
Wrinkles around the Eyes
While wrinkles around the eyes may signify a life rich with laughter and emotional experiences, many people would prefer to keep the memories but lose the crow’s feet! Fraxel laser works to rebuild and restore the skin naturally in the area around the eye, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and returning skin to its original beauty. The skin around your eyes is much more delicate than other areas of the body and tends to age more rapidly. The tiny wrinkles that develop, often called crow’s feet, develop largely from years of contracting the muscles that display our emotions when we smile, squint, deeply consider, show surprise or laugh. There are countless cosmetic strategies for reducing crow’s feet, including acid peels, injectable fillers, collagen, dermabrasion or traditional laser treatment. However, in many cases, the results are unsatisfactory, painful, or too expensive, as the process must be repeated a number of times each year in order to be effective.
The real breakthrough came recently when the FDA approved Fraxel treatment for wrinkles around the eyes after studies showed that the new laser was extremely effective in improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
What is Fraxel re:fine treatment?
Fraxel re:fine treatment, which uses a fractional non-ablative fiber laser, is the most gentle option in the Fraxel family of products. The laser’s 1410 nm wavelength is optimized for superficial treatments at lower energy levels, while still enabling treatment up to 650 µm deep into the dermis. The treatment improves skin texture, tone, pigmentation, and periorbital fine lines — with almost no downtime or discomfort
What FDA clearances has Fraxel re:fine treatment received?
• Pigmented lesions
• Periorbital fine lines
• Skin resurfacing
• Soft tissue coagulation
What kind of skin can I treat?
With Fraxel re:fine, you can treat all skin types and all areas of the body, as the laser targets water, not melanin. There’s no need to adjust for tanning.
What is the treatment procedure?
First, the skin is cleansed. A topical anesthetic is then applied to the treatment area for 60 minutes. A thin layer of the tracking gel is applied right before the treatment. During the treatment, cold air is used for patient comfort. After treatment, an after care topical is applied to help soothe the skin.
How long does Fraxel re:fine treatment take?
The Fraxel re:fine procedure takes 20 to 25 minutes for a full face.
How many Fraxel re:fine treatments are in the typical treatment regimen?
Clinical studies suggest that on average, an effective treatment regimen is 4 to 6 sessions spaced about 2 to 4 weeks apart. Depending on your patient’s condition and schedule, treatment sessions may be spaced further apart. Results are both immediate and progressive, with optimal improvement usually visible in 2 to 3 months. This time frame and treatment structure allow for complete healing and the production of new collagen and elastin to replace damaged tissue.
Does Fraxel re:fine treatment hurt?
Most patients describe a “prickling” sensation during the treatment. To minimize discomfort, a topical anesthesia is applied before the procedure and cold air during the procedure. After the treatment, most patients feel like they have a sunburn, which usually diminishes in 1 to 3 hours.
What should patients expect after a Fraxel re:fine treatment?
During the first 24 hours after treatment, the skin may feel like sunburned, and it will appear pink or red. Patients can wear makeup to reduce the sunburned appearance. The skin will naturally bronze over the next week or two, and as treatment continues, the sunburned-to-bronzed appearance will repeat. As with any sunburn, the skin will flake and exfoliate normally. A moisturizer may be necessary to reduce the appearance of dry flakes.
What are the risks?
Edema (swelling) and erythema (redness) are the most common side effects from Fraxel re:fine treatment. Any edema is typically minimal and subsides within a day or two, and any erythema typically fades within a few days. Other temporary side effects may include minor itching, dry skin, peeling or flaking, and a bronzed skin appearance. There is a very limited risk of infection or scarring.
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