When it comes to the top skin concerns that dermatologists hear from patients, wrinkles and scars are among the most commonly reported. And it makes sense – these indicators of aging can cause quite a bit of self consciousness. While there are many cosmetic treatments out there to combat these concerns (with varying results), one of the most effective is Fraxel laser skin rejuvenation.
Lasers, or focused beams of light energy, can accomplish myriad outcomes in the world of cosmetic dermatology. Ablative lasers, like CO2 lasers and Erbium: YAG lasers, are considered very high-intensity and are used to destroy skin cells responsible for sun damage, age spots, and more. By destroying these cells, new skin cell growth is encouraged.
On the other hand, non-ablative lasers are gentler and less intense on the skin. Instead of destroying skin cells, their purpose is to stimulate the skin’s natural processes – like collagen production. Collagen is the substance responsible for skin’s elasticity, firmness, and flexibility. By way of focused heat, these non-ablative cosmetic laser treatments can help promote more collagen in the epidermis.
Fraxel is actually a line of different ablative and non-ablative fractional lasers. It can be used on wrinkles, age spots, acne, and other scars, stretch marks, and even skin blotchiness.
This type of FDA-approved laser skin surgery is highly effective with minimal risks and side effects. It requires no scalpels, stitches, or needles and is tolerated with a topical anesthetic rather than requiring a general anesthetic. Best of all, there’s little to no downtime, and results can be seen after one resurfacing session (although multiple sessions are typically needed for the best results).
Fraxel can be used on the face, neck, chest, shoulders, hands, and other areas of the body. There are three types of Fraxel lasers: Fraxel Re:pair, Fraxel Re:store, and Fraxel Dual.
Fraxel Re:pair is the most aggressive in the Fraxel line, but it is still a relatively low-risk cosmetic laser treatment. It utilizes an ablative laser to reduce the appearance of more severe acne scars, wrinkles, broken blood vessels, and prominent age spots.
Fraxel Re:store is the line’s non-ablative option. It’s primarily used on overall skin tone, color, and texture. So if you’re struggling with blotchiness or stretch marks, this route could be the best option for you.
Fraxel® Dual combines the best of both worlds. It’s the newest laser in the Fraxel line, combining ablative and non-ablative features for optimal results. It’s typically used on aging concerns like wrinkles, as well as sun-damaged skin.
If you’re interested in exploring the Fraxel line to see if it’s right for you and you’re located in the greater Washington, D.C. area, contact The Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery for an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists. We can tell you more about this cosmetic laser treatment and perform it in our offices.