OK, so you weren’t the biggest fan of fractions back in your days of high school math. That doesn’t mean your skin now isn’t a big fan of fractional treatments, the Fraxel Laser II skin resurfacing treatments, to be exact.
Dr. Kearney uses the Fraxel Laser II as a gentle, non-invasive skin rejuvenation method that addresses a number of skin issues: brown spots, Actinic Keratosis, fine lines and wrinkles, surface scarring, pigmentation issues, and sun damage.
The Fraxel Laser II bridges the gap between non-ablative and ablative laser techniques. Ablative laser treatments work mainly on the epidermis (surface skin cells) and non-ablative laser treatments work solely on dermal collagen (middle layer of the skin), fractional laser treatment works at both the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin.
How Fraxel works
Fractional lasers work by targeting both the epidermis and the dermis layers of the skin. They deliver a laser beam that is divided into thousands of tiny but penetrating columns of treatment into the skin. The laser energy vaporizes these microscopic columns through the epidermis and down into the dermis. These are called microthermal treatment zones (MTXs). Within each MTZ old epidermal pigmented cells are expelled and penetration of collagen in the dermis causes a reaction that leads to collagen remodeling and the production of new collagen from the body. In effect, the tiny wounds trigger healthy tissue production on the surface, and the heat in the dermis layer triggers a wound response where the body reacts by building new collagen to heal the perceived wound. The fractional name comes form the fact that just a “fraction” of the surface skin was wounded with the microscopic holes. This leaves ample healthy, untouched surrounding tissue to help heal the wounds and create new healthier surface skin.
A Fraxel session with Dr. Kearney only lasts between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on the area being targeted. We place a topical anesthetic on the target areas prior to treatment to keep you comfortable. Afterwards, you’ll feel the sensation of having a light sunburn for about an hour or so. Any swelling doesn’t last beyond two days or so. Your skin will have a pinkish tone for 3-5 days after treatment.
Within 24 hours, new epidermal skin develops. There may be some flaking as the new skin replaces dead skin cells. Next, the dermis gets to work building new collagen. This process continues to improve your skin for months after your session. Optimum results should show themselves in two to three months.
We usually recommend 3-4 Fraxel treatments spaced about one month apart for the best results. After each session, downtime is minimal; most people immediately return to work or their normal activities.
Want to become friendlier with fractions? Call Dr. Kearney at (858) 677-9352 and ask about Fraxel.