What is Fraxel laser treatment like?August 20, 2015
Fraxel lasers are a revolutionary treatment for skin issues such as fine lines and wrinkles, scarring and brown pigmentation with a relatively short down time of just a few days. The laser creates microscopic wounds in the skin that trigger a healing response. Over time, as the skin heals, it produces new collagen at the points of treatment. This collagen remodeling rejuvenates the skin of the face and produces a smoother, more vibrant appearance.
How will I prepare for my treatment?
At The Aesthetic Wellness Center, Fraxel treatments begin with a consultation with Dr. Ahn to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure. Patients (especially those with darker skin tones) will pretreat their skin with hydroquinone for about 4 to 6 weeks prior to their laser appointment. If you are prone to cold sores, please let our staff know so we can prescribe you the proper medication.
What happens on the day of treatment?
On the day of your Fraxel treatment, our provider will apply a topical numbing cream for approximately 45-60 minutes. This will help to reduce any discomfort you may experience during your treatment. The treatment itself will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the area you are having treated. We recommend that you plan to be at our office for about 2 hours the day of your Fraxel appointment. Our patients describe the Fraxel treatment to feel “hot and prickly,” even with the application of the topical numbing cream. The majority of our patients can tolerate the treatment with just the use of the numbing cream. However, for those patients who are a little more sensitive, we do offer “Friendly Fraxel” treatments. These Fraxel treatments are performed under intravenous sedation in our Joint Commission accredited surgical suite. Please contact our office for more information.
What is Fraxel recovery like?
Immediately after the treatment, you will experience some slight redness and swelling – you may look like you have been at the beach all day without sunscreen. You may also feel a slight burning sensation, similar to sunburn, which can last for a few hours. Ice and cool compresses will help reduce the swelling and warm sensation. You may take Tylenol if necessary. Patients can wear makeup and be social immediately after the treatment, but we advise patients to wait at least five days before attending an important event.
On day two into day three, the face will continue to appear swollen. During this time, the treated area will bronze and flaking may begin. The flaking typically starts around the mouth and works its way out. Flaking can last until day four when your skin will start to look more radiant with improvements in pigmentation, pore size, texture and skin tone. We recommend using a good moisturizer throughout the flakey period. You can discuss your options with our nurse after your treatment. The wound response continues to remodel collagen for several months after the treatment. This will continue to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scarring.
How should you take care of your skin after treatment?
We advise patients to defend their skin from the sun on a normal basis, but it’s especially important to take measures to protect your skin after Fraxel treatments. When outside, patients should seek shade and wear broad-spectrum sunscreen and a large hat to help shield their skin from the sun’s rays.