Fraxel is a non-invasive laser treatment that can help improve the appearance of aging and damaged skin with minimal discomfort and quick results.  Fraxel is non-ablative and uses fractionated laser technology working on two wavelengths to treat both superficial and deep conditions, resulting in smoother, fresher, younger-looking skin.  The Fraxel laser induces collagen renewal, improves tone and texture, reduces fine lines, wrinkles and brown spots and improves the appearance of acne scars. Results can last for several years depending on your age, skin condition, and how well after the treatment you protect your skin from UV exposure.

How does it work?

The main advantages of Fraxel over the traditional CO2 or Erbium resurfacing lasers is that Fraxel is non-ablative and fractional.

Non- ablative means non-wounding.  The Fraxel laser does not break or remove the surface of the skin and does not create a wound which would need a longer healing period.

Fractional means that the Fraxel laser treats only a fraction of skin tissue at a time.

The Fraxel laser uses fractional laser technology to target damaged skin with microscopic laser columns that penetrate deep into the skin leaving the surrounding tissue intact, which promotes rapid healing.  This stimulates your body’s own natural healing process, replacing the old and damaged cells with fresh, glowing, healthy-looking skin.

When do the results appear?

The results of treatment are both immediate and progressive.  Soon after the treatment, the surface of your skin will feel softer, look brighter and show more even tone.  The next few months will bring more improvement as the deeper layers of the skin continue to heal.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments you will need depends on your goals and desired outcomes as well as your lifestyle.  We will work with you to weigh the aggressiveness of treatment with the downtime associated.  Typically, patients receive their desired outcomes in 2-5 treatments.

Does it hurt?

Most patients describe a sensation of increased heat during the treatment.  We will apply a topical anesthetic ointment before the procedure, which helps to minimize discomfort.

How long is the treatment?

Treatment time can vary depending on the size and location of the area being treated.  We ask that you reserve at least 2 hours for your appointment.

What will I look like immediately after the procedure?

Fraxel treatment can be tailored to your desired outcomes.  Depending on the aggressiveness of the treatment, you may experience redness or swelling after the procedure which diminishes over the next several days.

During the first 24 hours after treatment, your skin will feel as though it is sunburned and may appear pink or red.  This is followed over the next 1-3 days by swelling and a darkening effect referred to as bronzing.  Once the skin has bronzed, it will then start to flake and peel. 

Are Fraxel laser results permanent?

Soon after the treatment, the surface of your skin will feel softer, look brighter and show more even tone. The next 3 to 6 months will bring additional improvement as the deeper layers of the skin continue to heal. Results can last for several years depending on your age, skin condition, and how well you protect your skin from further  UV damage.

Are there different types of Fraxel?

There are three types of Fraxel lasers. 

Fraxel Re:store 

  • This non-ablative laser treatment leaves most of the skin’s surface intact. 
  • It treats sun damage and early signs of aging, like fine lines around the eyes. 
  • Most patients need three to five gentle treatments to stimulate the growth of new cells and collagen—which can lead to smoother, fresher skin, with improved tone and texture. 
  • You will need about six days of healing time after each session. 

Fraxel Dual

  • The most common Fraxel laser found in dermatologists’ offices, Fraxel Dual is actually two lasers combined.  The 1927 wavelength, focuses on pigmentation, sun damage, and other types of skin discoloration. The 1550 wavelength is designed to improve acne scars, fine lines, skin texture, and wrinkles. 
  • This laser’s Erbium technology heats the dermal layer of the skin, stimulating new collagen and reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pores, scars, and stretch marks.

Fraxel Re:pair 

The most powerful laser of the three, Fraxel Re:pair is ablative, so it removes the top layer of skin.

  • It is intended to treat more severe skin damage, deep wrinkles, and surgical scars. 
  • Patients will experience longer downtimes but should be fully healed in about 10–12 days. You will typically see smoother texture and softened lines after just one treatment.  

The settings on each of these lasers can be adjusted according to what your doctor thinks you need and can tolerate.

Can you exfoliate after Fraxel laser?

You can exfoliate using a soft wash cloth, but don’t begin exfoliation until about a week after your treatment to avoid irritating the area.

Can you shave  or wear makeup after Fraxel?

You may shave or wear makeup soon after treatment much like you would after a sunburn. Keep the treated area clean; avoid smoking; excessive alcohol consumption, excessive exercise, perspiring, swimming, or exposing skin to heat and sun. All of your skin care products should be non-irritating and non-clogging for the first week or so after a Fraxel treatment.You must use sunscreen on your treated skin everyday during your treatment and avoid any unnecessary sun exposure.

Does Fraxel help hyperpigmentation?

Fraxel laser treatments are very effective for treating a number of skin conditions including lightening the brown spots and smoothening blotchy pigmentation that comes with sun damage.  

Does Fraxel help with acne?

Fraxel is a great treatment for improving acne scars, but it is not a good treatment for active acne breakouts. The treatment may actually trigger acne breakouts in people who are prone to acne.

Does Fraxel laser tighten skin?

The Fraxel laser is not intended to tighten the skin; it is best for patients with minimal skin laxity who are treating other signs of aging or scarring.

Does Fraxel remove freckles?

The Fraxel laser is attracted to the water in the skin and removes freckles by exfoliating the top surface layer of skin containing the freckles.

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about Fraxel Laser, schedule an appointment at West Sound Dermatology. Call our Poulsbo, Washington office at (360) 824-5474.

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