Fractionated Lasers (Fraxel)
Fractionated lasers can be used to improve skin pigmentation and texture. They are an effective way to manage aging and sun damaged skin, certain types of pigmentary problems and scarring.
Types of Fractionated Laser
There are two main types of fractionated laser, each serving a slightly different purpose.
Fractionated Erbium Lasers (Fraxel Re:store)
The 1927nm wavelength is mostly used for pigmentation and brown sun damage, whilst the 1550nm wavelength is primarily used for the treatment of scarring and the improvement of skin quality, tone and texture.
Fractionated CO2 Lasers (Fraxel Re:pair)
The CO2 system is used for patients with deeper wrinkles and scars, who may require more skin tightening. Fewer treatments are generally required compared to the fractionated Erbium lasers.
How do fractionated lasers work?
Fractionated lasers work by heating up the dermis in columns, rather than diffusely. They do not remove the whole of the epidermis (the top layer of the skin), like some other lasers, but only affect 5-40% of the skin surface. These tiny treatment zones trigger growth and remodelling of collagen and the proliferation of new, healthy skin cells, leaving the skin looking younger and smoother.
This method of working on the skin allows for quicker healing times, less pigment risk and the ability to be used on more skin types and body areas.
Usually, we don’t see immediate results after any individual treatment (apart from a temporary plumping of the skin due to swelling), because the collagen remodelling and wound healing immune response can take several months to complete. Therefore, it can take some time for the full breadth of successful results to appear.
What conditions do fractionated lasers treat?
Fractionated lasers have been used to successfully treat :
- Skin texture and tone
- Sun damage, fine wrinkles, aging on the face, neck, chest and hands
- Acne/chickenpox scarring and surgical scars
- Crepiness and fine lines around the eyes and lips
- Some types of melasma
Before and after treatment with fractionated laser
Before being treated with fractionated laser, patients are advised to avoid sun exposure as much as possible. Patients should avoid scrubs and skin irritants to the area being treated for several days before treatment. We also request that patient advise us if a cold sore develops in the days before treatment.
On the day of treatment, patients should eat a small meal before coming in to the clinic, as it is generally more comfortable if you are not hungry during treatment. Patients should wear comfortable, machine-washable clothing, as creams and other substances may accidentally brush up against clothing. Patients should not wear make-up or eye contact lenses to the clinic.
Patients will be advised to arrive early in order that numbing cream be applied to the area being treated, to provide optimal pain relief.
Following treatment, cooling ice packs will be applied to the treated area. Patients are advised to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, whenever outdoors, following treatment, as well as using strict sun protection. Patients should avoid any active ingredient topicals for two weeks, though mild moisturisers, such as Cetaphil, can be used. It is suggested that patients who have had their face treated, sleep on several pillows, to elevate the treated area. Patients should avoid rubbing, picking or scratching the area until it has healed properly.
If you are interested in finding out whether treatment with fractionated laser is right for you, please contact our clinic on (02) 9953 9522 and book an initial appointment with our Dermatologist.
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