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What is Fraxel Fractional Laser Resurfacing?

Fraxel fractional laser resurfacing involves the use of the latest in skin care laser technology to stimulate the restorative processes of the body through controlled damage done to the epidermis (skin) and the dermis (second layer of the skin).  Reaching deep into the tissue of the skin, Fraxel stimulates the production of new collagen (fibrous protein) and new skin is formed. This process of controlled skin damage in small areas allows for minimal healing time and highly effective rejuvenation of the skin.

How is Fractional Laser Resurfacing different than other laser treatments?

Prior to fractional laser resurfacing systems such as Fraxel there were only two types of laser treatments available. One was ablative (affecting the surface of the skin) the other was non-ablative (not affecting the surface of the skin but acting on the deep tissue). Ablative laser treatments use vapor at extremely high temperatures, which are very effective and cause minimal side effects but requires a fairly lengthy healing time.

Non-ablative laser treatment has minimal side effects and virtually no healing time but does require a number of treatments over many months with limited results each treatment. The fractional laser treatment offers the effectiveness of ablative treatments coupled with the benefits of the more non-ablative laser systems.

Who are the optimum candidates for the Fraxel Laser Treatment?

Fraxel laser systems utilize three types of lasers: Fraxel re:fine, Fraxel re:store and Fraxel re:pair. Each of these Fraxel lasers are designed to treat various types of dermatological issues making the Fraxel laser treatment an appropriate treatment for individuals who have skin damage from age spots, sun damage, acne scars, crow’s feet (wrinkles around the eyes) and melasma (blotchy skin caused by hormones at pregnancy) and pigmentation issues.

Where on the body may Fraxel treatments be performed?

Fraxel may be safely and effectively used on several regions of the body to include the face, neck, chest and hands. Other regions of the body may be possible for treatment and the matter may be addressed during a consultation with the attending cosmetic dermatologist.

What happens during a Fraxel Laser Treatment?

Fraxel laser treatment is a system where microscopic laser beams are introduced into the epidermis (skin) in a specific pattern of application. Approximately 20% of the skin area is treated per session, leaving intact skin surface around each miniscule beam to preserve the integrity of the skin, avoid infection, minimize uncomfortable healing, and discourage blistering.

How many Fraxel Laser Treatments are necessary to facilitate maximum results?

Treatment for each individual patient is considered on a case-by-case basis. The consulting dermatologist will make a diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan that is specific to the needs of the patient.

Are the results of Fraxel Laser Treatments permanent?

The longevity of the results of the Fraxel laser treatment depends on a number of variables including the health of the patient, the maintenance program of the patient and if the patient continues or discontinues Fraxel laser treatments.

Are there side effects associated with Fraxel Laser Treatment?

Post procedural side effects of the Fraxel laser treatment typically results in a mild sunburn sensation lasting for approximately 1-2 hours post treatment. For the first 2-3 days following treatment the skin may be slightly swollen and red in color. The patient may also notice that the skin may appear redder or darker for between 3 to 14 days.

All patients experience a sloughing of dead skin from the treatment area, which is the natural exfoliation process that occurs for approximately 7-10 days. It is recommended to use both moisturizer and sunscreen during the healing process and for several months after the treatment.

When may the results of the Fraxel Laser Treatment maximize?

Results typically tend to maximize at approximately three to six months post treatment. The actual time for maximum results to occur is exclusive to the patient.

Is the Fraxel Laser Treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Fraxel for specific dermatological conditions such as age-spots, acne scars, melasma and crow’s feet. Other medical conditions are pending approval by the government at this time.

Is Fraxel Laser Treatment covered under a traditional or self-funded insurance health care plan?

Nearly all cosmetic surgical procedures are not covered by traditional or self funded insurance carriers unless the procedure can be demonstrated to be medically necessary to the patient.

What is the cost of a Fraxel Laser Treatment?

Fraxel laser treatments are typically $800-$1000 per treatment. Costs are determined by a number of factors including the needs of the patient, the skill of the dermatologist and the geographical location where the procedure is to be performed.

Disclaimer: This information is intended only as an introduction to this procedure. This information should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor does it guarantee results of your elective surgery. Further details regarding surgical standards and procedures should be discussed with your physician.

By Anti-Aging Staff
Updated: November 20, 2008

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