San Diego residents trust La Jolla Plastic Surgery & Dermatology™ for treatments that get maximum results with minimum downtime.The Fraxel re:store® DUAL laser is an extremely popular and effective technology that corrects sun damage, uneven skin coloring, fine wrinkles, and rough texture — without significant discomfort or downtime.
In the hands of Dr. Susan Stuart, a board-certified dermatologist and laser specialist, Fraxel treatments can help you to have skin that looks radiant and feels like new. If you are interested in laser skin resurfacing and live in the greater San Diego area, request a complimentary consultation using our online form or call our office at (858) 304-7139.
What Can It Do?
Fraxel laser treatments may be used on most areas of exposed skin, which commonly include the face, neck, chest, and hands. Fraxel safely and effectively treats a range of skin concerns including:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Age spots, freckles, sunspots
- Superficial scars and stretchmarks
- Actinic keratoses
- Rough texture
How Does It Work?
While traditional lasers have a solid beam of laser energy that treats the entire surface of the skin, the Fraxel laser emits thousands of pinpoint columns of laser energy. This fractional approach means that a fine grid of skin is treated while surrounding pinpoint dots of skin are untreated. Because the entire surface of the skin is not ablated, downtime is reduced and the skin repairs and renews itself more quickly.
The Fraxel DUAL is actually 2 lasers in one:
- For radiant, uniform skin coloring: the 1927 wavelength treats the outermost layers of the skin to target excess pigment, fine lines, uneven texture, enlarged pores, and even pre-cancerous skin cells (actinic keratosis).
- For smooth, firmer, thicker skin: the 1550 wavelength penetrates deeper to renew collagen production, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and acne scars, smoothing the skin’s surface, and enhancing the skin’s thickness.
Because it is easy to switch between wavelengths, we can treat both the surface of the skin and deeper layers in a single session. In either mode, the Fraxel laser provides non-ablative fractional resurfacing, which means the surface of the skin is not removed.
Your Fraxel Treatment
We perform Fraxel treatments in our office. The entire process takes about an hour and a half to complete. First your skin will be cleansed and dried, followed by a topical numbing cream. Once the skin is numb, which usually takes an hour, the Fraxel handpiece is glided over the skin until all target areas are covered. As the laser energy is emitted, you may feel heat or tingling on your skin, but you shouldn’t feel pain.
Many patients choose to complement their Fraxel results with other cosmetic dermatology treatments such as BOTOX or dermal fillers. During your complimentary consultation, Dr. Stuart will create a specific treatment plan with you to give you the improvements you want.
After your treatment your skin will feel warm to the touch and look pink or red, similar to a sunburn. Some patients return to their daily activities; others choose to go home and rest for the remainder of the day. Tips for the first week or 2 after treatment include:
- Apply cool compresses or ice packs as directed, especially for the first day
- Drink plenty of water
- Use a non-comedogenic moisturizer with sunscreen; apply liberally
- Resist squeezing or picking any bumps or pimples that form
- Do not pull off peeling skin
You may apply concealer to reduce redness beginning the day after treatment if desired. Your skin will gradually turn a bronze color and then peel and flake (again, similar to a sunburn). Expect your skin to feel tight, dry, and itchy as it heals. Gradually the treated skin will peel off and your fresh, new skin will be revealed.
Avoid direct sun exposure for at least 3 months after your treatments, and consistently apply sunscreen of at least 30 SPF, as the new skin is highly sensitive.
It is likely you will notice improvement after your first Fraxel treatment; as collagen rebuilds in the skin your skin will look and feel even better. We recommend a series of 4 to 8 sessions spaced 2 to 4 weeks apart for optimal results.
What Are The Risks Of Fraxel Laser Treatments?
It is essential you have a medical expert like Dr. Stuart to perform your Fraxel sessions. Inexperienced providers could cause burns, scars, or cause pigmentation issues that result from aggressive Fraxel treatments.
Is Fraxel Safe For All Skin Tones?
Fraxel laser treatments work best to treat sun-damaged skin, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. However, patients with medium to deep skin tones may develop melasma or hyperpigmentation issues. Discuss your skin concerns with Dr. Stuart to develop your optimal skin care treatment plan.
How Many Fraxel Sessions Will I Need To See Results?
Depending on your aesthetic goals, Fraxel has shown skin improvement with as little as one session. However, many patients need a second or third treatment to achieve optimal results.