While everyone has good intentions for skin health, sometimes it has trouble recovering from the effects of time and the toxins that we’re exposed to regularly. Fortunately, there are treatments that can help repair the skin and boost the body’s production of collagen, which is a structural protein that keeps skin firm, smooth and youthful. Fraxel Laser by Sciton is a revolutionary skin resurfacing method we offer in Chevy Chase that can address many different skin concerns and improve the overall look and feel of your skin.
What is Fraxel Laser Resurfacing?
While many traditional laser skin treatments once required general anesthesia and a lengthy period of downtime, Fraxel laser bypasses many of the downsides of other lasers by using fractional laser technology. This means that the laser does not treat every area of the skin, but instead leaves tiny areas of healthy tissue in between the treated areas, which allow the skin to heal quickly while still promoting collagen production and rejuvenation. Patients experience less downtime and discomfort with Erbium fraxel laser by Sciton than they would from C02 laser treatments, while still receiving the resurfacing benefits.
What Fraxel Can Treat
Fraxel laser by Sciton is a versatile procedure that can address many different skin issues, ranging from pigmentation and skin texture issues, to signs of aging. Some of the issues Fraxel laser resurfacing can treat include:
- Lines and wrinkles
- Poor skin tone and texture
- Pore size
- Brown spots
- Acne scarring
- Melasma (a type of hyperpigmentation)
- Actinic keratoses
Individual results will vary, but your provider should be able to advise you on whether fraxel laser is a good option for you and your skin type. Taking a look at some fraxel laser before and after photos can give you an idea of what kind of results can be expected following a treatment series.
Are You a Candidate for Fraxel?
Because fraxel laser resurfacing with the Sciton laser is minimally invasive, the procedure is safe for many patients with different skin types. However, as with all laser treatments, there may be a concern for pigmentation problems in patients with darker skin, which will be discussed during your consultation. Fractional lasers are typically less likely to cause pigmentation problems, but there are no guarantees. Good candidates for the procedure are in general good health and have realistic expectations for the results of the treatment.
Your Sciton Fraxel Laser Consultation
If you are interested in Fraxel Laser treatments, you’ll want to learn more from an expert during a one-on-one consultation. At Renu, Dr. Schoenfeld uses this appointment to tell you more about the treatment and to get to know you and your goals. During your consultation, Dr. Schoenfeld and his staff will evaluate your skin and provide recommendations for your next steps, whether that includes Fraxel Laser treatments or some other skin rejuvenation procedure. Some patients even benefit from a combination of treatments. Your consultation is a perfect opportunity to ask questions you have about the procedure, so come prepared to learn and solidify your goals.
The Fraxel Procedure
Before the Fraxel Laser treatment begins, patients will be treated with a topical numbing ointment to minimize discomfort during the treatment. Using a special hand piece, the provider will carefully deliver laser energy into the area to be treated. The laser will penetrate beneath the skin to stimulate collagen production, while leaving some areas of the skin untouched for faster healing. The treatment process typically takes under an hour.
Recovery and Downtime
Because Fraxel Laser treatments like leave much of the skin undisturbed, there is very little downtime or recovery associated with the treatment. Patients can usually return to normal activities right away, and can even use makeup to camouflage any redness and swelling from each session. These side effects are generally mild, and should fade within a few days of treatment. Patients should not see any oozing or crusting from the skin, a common side effect when using ablative laser therapy.
Before the treatment begins, a topical anesthesia is applied to ensure that discomfort from the procedure is kept to a minimum. Patients will need to arrive an hour before their treatments to give this ointment time to work. Patients often notice a prickling sensation during the treatment, but this is mild and tolerable.
As much of the improvement comes from the skin’s natural healing processes, patients can expect modest improvement at first, with better results emerging gradually as the skin produces more collagen. Most patients start to see real improvement in 1-3 months, assuming a regular treatment schedule is established. Everyone is different, however, and results make become apparent slower or more quickly than the average.
While laser face treatments do produce subtle tightening effects from the collagen production, Fraxel laser by Sciton is not designed for significant skin-tightening results. Other treatments like Skin Tyte by Sciton or plastic surgical intervention are more common for treating sagging and loose skin.
Aside from the minor side effects that often occur from Fraxel Laser treatments (redness and mild swelling), there is a very small risk of infection or scarring from the treatment. These issues are extremely rare, however, especially when the procedure is performed by an expert plastic surgeon.
While each laser treatment will produce improvement in your skin, several treatments are generally required to attain good results. Clinical studies of Fraxel laser treatments suggest that 3-5 treatments are usually needed to produce desired results. These treatments are spaced 3-4 weeks apart, and improvement occurs gradually over time as the treatment series is completed and the skin renews itself.
It is very important to keep your skin protected from the sun following your treatment sessions. Some patients experience spots of hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) following Fraxel Laser treatments when the skin is exposed to the UV rays from the sun. Self-tanners and tanning booths should also be avoided, as these can cause similar problems. UV exposure will also damage your skin and prevent your treatment from lasting as long as it could. Aside from sun protection, there is little you have to do to care for your skin—you will be given any specific instructions you’ll need during your appointment.
Though fractional laser treatments are most commonly performed as a laser facial treatment, the procedure is typically safe for other areas of the body. Some people have brown spots or poor skin condition on the hands or the décolletage area, which could benefit from Fraxel Laser restore. If you are interested in treating more than one area, be sure to discuss those goals with your plastic surgeon early on.
Fraxel Laser at Renu by Dr. Schoenfeld
If Fraxel Laser treatments sound like a good option for you, then it may be time to schedule a consultation with an expert. Dr. Schoenfeld can help you plan your treatments and set you up for success—beautiful, rejuvenated skin with very little downtime or discomfort. For more information or to schedule your consultation, contact Renu by Dr. Schoenfeld at [email protected] or call Renu in Chevy Chase, MD, at 301-652-RENU (7368) today.