Have you wanted to have smoother, more youthful skin, but were reluctant to go through painful or risky procedures? If so, then fractional resurfacing lasers may be a perfect fit for your skin. Many men and women benefit from removal of brown spots and fine to moderately deep lines, acne scars, traumatic/surgical scars, and stretch marks. Overall, fractionated lasers improve skin tone, color, and texture. These minimally ablative, short recovery procedures, in a series of 20-30 minute outpatient visits, can achieve all of these goals.
One of the unique advantages of both the Fraxel and Lumenis lasers is their ability to treat the face, as well as other areas of the body, including the neck, chest, arms, and hands. These lasers have been a tremendous breakthrough in the area of improving the quality of the skin. Now you can have beautiful skin virtually everywhere!
Patients have been thrilled with results of these lasers, and for the first time ever we are able to significantly improve skin tone, texture, wrinkles, and color with non-invasive procedures with minimal downtime. These devices represent a dramatic improvement in laser technology, and we are delighted to be able to offer them to our patients.
The Fraxel laser employs a unique concept, fractional resurfacing. Fractional resurfacing is just as it sounds, affecting only a small portion of the total surface (ranging anywhere from 15 to 25%) of the treated skin with any one treatment. Fraxel:Restore is a non-ablative laser that heats tiny columns of skin leaving the surrounding islands of skin untouched. This allows for faster healing and less downtime. It is used to improve overall skin color, tone and texture, and is especially useful for people who have brown discoloration from sun-induced freckling and who also wish to improve texture at the same time. The Fraxel laser is also one of the best treatment options available for acne scarring, traumatic/surgical scars, and stretch marks. This technology is unique in that it is safe for all skin colors.
Patients require between four to six treatments to attain desired results. Treatments are performed no more often than once every 3 weeks, but in most cases they are done 4 to 6 weeks apart. The treatment is somewhat uncomfortable and therefore, after arriving for the procedure, a topical anesthetic cream is applied to the treatment area and allowed to sit for an hour. In addition to the anesthetic cream, we also use a device called the Zimmer Cooler (a hand-held cool air device), which chills the skin and makes the procedure more comfortable.
There may be some slight stinging of the skin for about one hour following the procedure. Ice can be applied to reduce any discomfort. There is some redness and swelling following the procedure, which lasts an average of three to four days, and can be covered with makeup within a day or two. We ask all of our patients to ice the treated area as much as possible for several hours after the procedure. The entire visit lasts about 1 ½ hours.
Fractional CO2 Resurfacing (Active/Deep/Total FX)
Fractional CO2 resurfacing is a laser procedure, which utilizes new technology to safely improve the changes in color, texture, and tone of the skin caused by photodamage, acne, and scarring. In addition, fractionated CO2 laser treatments with Lumenis’ Active and Deep FX significantly tighten the skin. The laser vaporizes tiny columns of the skin, intentionally leaving islands of normal skin untouched. This reduces the risks of complications associated with traditional CO2resurfacing and speeds the healing time.
The treatment can be individualized to the patient, which allows your physician to gently wipe away layers of damaged or photoaged skin. Specifically, a superficial setting can be used to treat sun-induced freckling, whereas a deeper setting is used for improving skin texture, wrinkles, laxity, and acne scarring. As a result of the gentle ablation of the skin, new collagen is formed which leads to a reduction in fine lines, wrinkles, and improvement in the appearance of acne scars or other types of scars.
Patients usually require between 2 and 3 treatments typically spaced 2-3 months apart. We use modalities to make the procedure as comfortable as possible. After arriving for the procedure, a topical anesthetic cream will be applied to the area to be treated for 1 hour. Either, Ativan or Valium, an anti-anxiety medication, as well as Demerol, a pain medication, is given prior to the treatment. Other forms of local anesthesia will be utilized to make the procedure more comfortable. The entire visit is approximately two hours. Immediately following the procedure, the skin will appear pink and you will have a mild burning sensation. The burning will subside after a few hours. You will be asked to do cool soaks using wet gauze and apply Aquaphor Healing Ointment several times a day for one week following the procedure. Redness, swelling, and crusting will be present for one week.