At RENU Artful Medicine in Washington, D.C., Dr. Philip S. Schoenfeld provides ProFractional laser skin resurfacing to patients who are looking for effective, yet gentle, skin rejuvenation for improving signs of aging and other skin issues. Time can be cruel to us, and our skin holds the visual proof of what regular sun exposure, aging, and volume loss can do.
Luckily for patients in Chevy Chase, MD, Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas, RENU offers ProFractional Laser by Sciton, a skin resurfacing technology that boosts collagen production, addresses a variety of skin conditions, and promotes healthier, more youthful-looking skin. There are many lasers on the market, but Dr. Schoenfeld favors ProFractional for its many benefits, which include effectiveness, safety, and minimal downtime.
What is the ProFractional Laser?
The ProFractional Laser is a non-invasive skin resurfacing laser manufactured by Sciton that is used to treat many skin conditions with minimal downtime. This laser skin resurfacing method can be customized to treat any patient’s skin, regardless of color and skin type, to achieve their desired results. Sciton ProFractional Laser is widely considered a comfortable and overall painless treatment, though a topical numbing cream or an anesthetic can be used, depending on the specifics of the session(s).
While older laser skin treatments used to require general anesthesia and a drawn-out period of downtime that could last up to 6 weeks, Sciton’s ProFractional laser avoids most of these downsides by using fractional laser resurfacing technology.
Older ablative lasers, such as the carbon dioxide laser, work by destroying the top layer of skin in a controlled manner. During the healing process, the body renews the skin completely and creates dramatic skin rejuvenation results. Fractional lasers, on the other hand, heat the tissues without removing the top layers of skin to encourage collagen production and gradual skin rejuvenation with little to no downtime and few side effects.
ProFractional laser treatments can improve skin tone, smooth out fine lines, treat uneven skin pigmentation, and much more. Although many patients only get one fractional laser treatment and see satisfactory results, others choose to repeat the procedure several times to better improve certain skin conditions or to maintain more youthful skin long-term.
ProFractional Laser Treatment Areas and Treatable Skin Conditions
Unlike a traditional C02 laser treatment, ProFractional laser resurfacing can treat almost any area of the body, though you may need to discuss this more during your consultation with Dr. Schoenfeld at his Chevy Chase office. Though almost no area is off-limits, the most popular are:
- Hands & Arms
If you’re interested in treating several different areas, be sure to discuss this with Dr. Schoenfeld. The ProFractional laser skin resurfacing method can address many of the skin concerns and conditions our Maryland patients bring to us. These include:
- Fine lines & wrinkles
- Poor skin tone & texture
- Large pores
- Brown spots/age spots/sunspots
- Sun damage
- Actinic Keratosis
- Acne scars
- Surgical scars
ProFractional Laser Before-and-After Photos
How Fractional Laser Resurfacing Works
Prior to the procedure, the target areas will be cleaned thoroughly. Then, topical numbing cream or local anesthetic is used on the designated area to lessen any discomfort. This is done about an hour before the procedure to give the anesthetic time to work.
At RENU, Dr. Schoenfeld’s skin resurfacing method utilizes a small laser to target the designated skin area(s). The laser energy goes deep into the treatment area, penetrating layers of skin and heating the tissues to encourage skin renewal.
By creating tiny controlled injuries but leaving surrounding areas untouched, the body’s healing responses kick in without the need to destroy the top layers of skin. As the treated portion heals, it creates new healthy skin and collagen, resulting in self-renewal. The new collagen reduces laxity, gradually firming and tightening the skin.
While the laser is in use, patients often feel a prickling sensation and may hear snapping sounds. Aside from this, the ProFractional Laser involves no pain, but rather a tolerable discomfort. After treatment, it is not uncommon to see some mild redness or experience a “sunburn” feeling, but this is normal and typically fades quickly.
ProFractional Laser Vs. Fraxel
Due to so many lasers offering similar benefits, it can be hard to gauge which one is best suited to your needs. However, Sciton ProFractional Laser is often more beneficial to most patient’s needs over Fraxel and other C02 laser treatments. This is because ProFractional Laser skin resurfacing:
- Offers less downtime than Fraxel due to its specific-area approach
- Can treat different areas on the body, whereas C02 lasers work only on the face
- Requires fewer sessions than other non-invasive treatments, in general
- Doesn’t leave lighter-pigmented borders around the skin it treats, unlike Fraxel
- Is far less painful than Fraxel and C02 options
Treatment Time and Number of Sessions Required
At RENU in Washington, DC, our ProFractional Laser skin resurfacing treatments are usually quick but can vary depending on the extent of the session. Not counting the hour for preparation and for the numbing cream to settle in, laser skin treatment can be completed in 15-30 minutes.
The number of sessions may also vary. In general, one session is enough, but some skin conditions may require multiple treatments spaced 4 weeks apart to achieve optimal results. Examples include:
Unwanted Pigmentation: 1-2 sessions
Wrinkles or Acne scarring: 3-5 sessions
Since ProFractional Laser resurfacing only targets designated areas and does not destroy the upper layers of skin, downtime and recovery are considerably shorter than with ablative lasers, (which can take up to 6 weeks). The quick healing process allows patients to go back to normal activities almost immediately.
It is generally safe to apply makeup to cover the slight redness and swelling left behind by the laser, which usually fades quickly in any case. These minor side effects should not interfere with normal activities and usually fade within a few days after treatment.
Caring for the Skin After Fractional Laser Resurfacing
When undergoing laser skin resurfacing at RENU, patients will be given guidelines for how to care for their skin after a ProFractional treatment. These guidelines may be covered both during the consultation and post-treatment. However, the most important aftercare instructions following each ProFractional Laser session is to protect the skin from the sun. Patients should:
- Avoid sun exposure until the skin has fully healed
- Use sun protection like sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors
- Never use tanning booths or self-tanners
Results from ProFractional Laser skin resurfacing can often be seen immediately, with noticeable improvements visible after treatment. As healthier skin begins to form, new collagen is produced and even better results emerge. Patients should see improved tone, texture, and overall younger-looking skin.
The initial healing process takes 3-7 days, though patients will get to enjoy the full results of the treatment around 4-6 months after their last session, once the body has had a chance to produce new collagen. If multiple sessions are performed for wrinkle or acne scar treatment, patients will start to see the real effects in as soon as 1-3 months.
Though the results are long-lasting (depending on the patient’s lifestyle and skincare regimen), the ProFractional laser skin treatment can typically be repeated until the patient’s individual aesthetic goals are reached.
FAQs about Laser Skin Resurfacing
Does ProFractional laser skin resurfacing hurt?
Prior to the skin resurfacing session, we apply a topical anesthetic or numbing cream to guarantee that any possible discomfort is kept to a minimum. Patients should arrive an hour ahead of time to give the cream/injection time to work. Patients may feel a prickling sensation during the treatment, but the sensation is usually very tolerable.
Does ProFractional Laser tighten the skin?
While collagen production during the healing process does tighten the skin, Sciton ProFractional laser isn’t designed for significant skin tightening results. Treatments like SkinTyte by Sciton or more invasive surgical alternatives are ideal options for addressing sagging and loose skin.
Are there any risks associated with laser skin resurfacing?
Aside from the minor side effects that often occur from ProFractional 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.
Why choose Dr. Schoenfeld?
Dr. Philip S. Schoenfeld, founder and medical director of RENU, is a double board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in performing facial plastic and reconstructive surgery since 1998. He was voted one of America’s Top Doctors in 2013 by Castle Connolly and holds many other awards showcasing his proven results. Dr. Schoenfeld:
- Is double board-certified in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery and in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Received his medical degree from New York Medical College
- Is a recipient of the MINDBODY Visionary Award
To schedule a ProFractional laser skin resurfacing consultation so you can find out if you are a good candidate for the procedure, call our Washington, D.C. area office today at 301-652-7368 or set an appointment with Dr. Schoenfeld online by filling out our contact form.