What is Fraxel?
Fraxel is a general term used to describe laser treatments that use thermal columns of heat to break down collagen in a fraction of an area to minimize downtime.
Fractional laser technology has become the new “gold” standard similar to the brand recognition we understand to imply luxury, quality, and results like that of Tiffany, Ferrari and Apple. Patients use the term fraxel interchangeably with many brand name specific lasers, so that fractional is the generic term. At our practice, we have four different types of ‘fraxel’ in Clear & Brilliant, Subaltive Fractional RF, C02 Fractional and brand new on the scene Pico Way Resolve 3-D Holographic Fractional.
What makes them fractional is that they are treating a “fraction” of the skin in any one treatment thereby allowing the healthy surrounding tissue to aid in swiftly healing. We are using heated thermal columns pixelated as opposed to a blanket of heat. Pico Way is the only technology to use sound, otherwise the rest of the devices on the market use thermal energy in the form of light.
Who is a good candidate for Fraxel?
One of the aspects of fraxel treatments I love is that there is a huge range of ages it is safe and effective on. Since devices like Clear & Brilliant have come about, we can offer minimal to NO downtime with a fractionated product to even young milennials who have a tight work schedule. Fractionated devices like C02 fit in the lineup may be more suited to older patients who need more dramatic collagen denaturization. Patients of color can use the C&B as well as the Sublative Fractional RF and Pico Way Resolve laser facials.
On the body treatments are super effective and work well on fraxel! Hands are amazing with C&B or Sublative Fractional RF as well as Cynosure Palomar IKON. I love decolletage with my Sublative or Pico Way Resolve. Creativity here is key and combining treatments is super fun. Using Botox for neck bands with Ulthera for skin tightening and topping off with three or four Sublatives is a homerun!
Our C02Re has an intimate wellness attachment for women called Intima. This is where we can dramatically improve the internal health and tightening of the vaginal wall with non-surgical tightening externally.
As a provider who is certified in six different fractional laser devices I can say that Pico Way Resolve treatments have a HUGE range of settings just within that model for all different skin types and conditions. It isn’t so much a radio dial like a volume setting, but more like an algorithm mixture of elements to customize for the best settings.
As an example, some Fraxel treatment I would recommend for patients seeking treatment for:
- Sun damage, dark spots (pigment) Pico Way and Pico Way Resolve 3-D Fractional or Clear & Brilliant
- Skin texture (sagging, crepy skin) Sublative Fractional RF and C02Fractional
- Wrinkles (fine lines) any or all of the four options we have
- Acne scarring (ice pick, box car scars, etc) C02 Fractional or Sublative Fractional RF for patients of color.
As a standard treatment plan, I always recommend a chemical peel like the Vitalize or Rejuvenize by Skin Medica or VI Peel or RevePeel to prep skin for laser treatments at the two week prior mark. Home care is essential. Home care regimens only enhance and protect any laser or peel investment.
My experience with Dr. S was outstanding. His staff was very nice and helpful.
Why are multiple treatments required?
If it’s only treating 25-30% of the area at given time multiple treatments are necessary. The great benefit being minimal downtime.
As for after care: simple is best post fraxel! I love our Skin Medica Post Procedure Kit and/or Senté makes a great little two piece kit for post procedure.
There are always risks involved with any elective surgical or non-surgical procedure. The key is to follow your physician or practitioners after care suggestions to the letter for best, safest results. And please, no skipping the mineral spf.
– Graceanne Svendsen LE, CME