It is that time of year we have all been waiting for! Cool weather, sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes and FRAXEL!
Fall and winter are the absolute best seasons to remove unwanted pigment and sun damage from our skin. If you have overindulged in the summer sun, fear not. We have your solution. Fraxel!
What is Fraxel? Fraxel is a brand of laser that delivers fractional skin resurfacing. Fraxel Dual in particular, features two wavelengths of 1927 and 1550 to treat sun damage, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles and acne scars. It can completely change the overall tone and texture of a person’s skin. Fraxel delivers tiny dots of laser, only treating a fraction of the skin, leaving healthy skin in between the treated areas, which speeds healing and minimizes downtime. It is the “Gold Standard” in laser skin resurfacing. Compared to other more invasive treatments, the downtime for Fraxel is way more desirable considering the dramatic results it can deliver. Patients receiving Fraxel are back to a normal routine within a week.
Things you should know before you schedule your Fraxel…
- A consultation is always recommended before scheduling any laser treatment. Not everyone is a suitable candidate for laser treatments.
- Avoid direct sun exposure for at least one month prior to (and after) your treatment
- Let our office know if you are prone to getting cold sores. You will need to prep with a prescription of an antiviral to prevent an outbreak in the treated area.
- You will need to discontinue use of all exfoliating products (retinols, glycolics, salicylic) 10 days prior to treatment.
- Some patients prone to hyperpigmentation will need to prep with a product containing hydroquinone or another brightening agent to suppress their melanin (pigment) for a few weeks prior to treatment and post treatment.
What to expect the day of a Fraxel Treatment…
- Your provider will cleanse your skin and take before pictures.
- Numbing cream will be applied for approximately one hour prior to treatment
- Our office offers the option to add nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to any Fraxel treatment for an additional charge. This is a favorite, especially for those who tend to get a little anxious with treatments! It gives a more carefree experience, and it wears off in minutes, making it completely safe to drive home afterwards. We recommend eating some food prior to nitrous use.
- Fraxel in our office always includes PRP (platelet rich plasma). PRP is such a fantastic way to increase your results! In case you are new to PRP, it is simple. Your blood will be drawn during the numbing process and spun down to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. Plasma contains platelets which contain growth factors. These growth factors will help to stimulate your own collagen and help healthy cells reproduce. The result is thicker, more elastic skin! Applying PRP after Fraxel will help calm skin quicker and speed up the healing process. Basically, a no brainer! One of our experienced injectors can also inject the PRP underneath the skin. Injecting it under the eyes for example can improve crepiness and hollowness. It is also a wonderful way to improve “smoker lines” around the mouth.
- A post care kit will be sent home after the first treatment and your provider will go over all post care with you.
- Immediately after treatment, the skin will feel sunburned and will be intense for about 3 hours. After 3 hours, intensity subsides greatly and will be very tolerable.
- Swelling is expected post Fraxel. In fact, the swelling is what creates the collagen we all want and need.
Downtime with Fraxel varies from patient to patient, depending on treatment parameters and settings. The deeper the treatment, the more swelling expected. Usually by day 3, the skin will feel rough and have a sandpaper like texture. These are all microscopic scabs that will appear dark and eventually slough away, leaving fresh new skin. Gentle products only for the week following, and a good physical sunscreen are important. Avoid sweating for approximately 72 hours and make sure to wear a hat when outdoors. You are generating new baby skin and it is VERY susceptible to sun damage.
A series of 3 is always a good rule of thumb when planning Fraxel. Spacing the treatments 4 to 6 weeks apart will maximize outcome. Results will last longer with a proper at home regimen, including a retinol, sunscreen, and antioxidants. Your aesthetician will be happy to recommend some great products to get the most from your Fraxel.