Fractional–Resurfacing Laser Treatment

Fractional–Resurfacing treatment is a revolutionary laser treatment that helps you remove years from your appearance and regain a more youthful look. Fractional–Resurfacing laser treatments use pinpoint laser beams to rouse the body's natural healing process and stimulate collagen regeneration, resulting in new healthy and radiant skin.

Fractional–Resurfacing laser treatments are excellent for skin resurfacing, reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, freckles, melasma, and sun damage. Fractional–Resurfacing is safe for all skin types; effective on even delicate areas such as, neck, chest, and hands. Recovery is similar to dealing with a mild sunburn; redness and slight swelling diminish after one to two days.

Within a week of treatment, the surface of your skin will feel softer, look brighter, and have improved skin tone. Progressive results take place over three to six months as the deeper layers of skin continue healing. Fractional–Resurfacing laser technology is as remarkable as the result it delivers. Your doctor will select the energy level and number of passes of the laser to tailor the treatment to your specific needs.

Fractional–Resurfacing Family of Treatments

Regardless of the level of sun damage you have, or if you just want prevention and maintenance, there's a Fractional–Resurfacing treatment for you. The Fractional–Resurfacing family of treatments has multiple FDA clearances. Each type of Fractional–Resurfacing treatment offers increasing levels of intensity

How It Works

With Fractional–Resurfacing Technology, only a fraction of the skin receives the laser light. This preserves normal healthy skin between the laser spots—thus rapid healing following the laser treatment. The entire face can be treated in approximately 30 minutes. You and your physician will discuss the downtime and desired results to determine the best option that fits your skin condition and your lifestyle.

The Fractional–Resurfacing falls into two categories:

Non–ablative—gentle; little to no downtime laser treatment Fractional–Resurfacing re:store or Fractional–Resurfacing refine

These Fractional–Resurfacing treatments are less aggressive treatments. You will see significant results for mild to moderately damaged skin over the course of 3 to 6 treatments. Typically, there is no after treatment wound care with these treatments and downtime is minimal.

Ablative—more aggressive laser treatment Fractional–Resurfacing re:pair®

This fractional treatment CO2 laser is a treatment for moderate to severe photo skin damage.

Fractional–Resurfacing re:store treatment—The original and most popular Fractional–Resurfacing treatment for mild to severe skin damage; resurface damaged skin; uncover the skin of your youth; and minimal impact on your daily routine

What it treats:

  • Skin resurfacing
  • Fine lines around the eyes
  • Pigmented lesions (age/sun spots)
  • Discoloration and uneven pigmentation
  • Melasma (mask of pregnancy)
  • Acne scars
  • Surgical scars
  • Actinic Keratosis
  • Age spots/sunspots

Fractional–Resurfacing re:fine treatment—for prevention and maintenance, which treats minor skin damage; preventing the signs of aging; a preemptive strike against a facelift; tightens skin and corrects severe damage; and most return to routine activities the very same day.

What it treats:

  • Fine lines around the eyes
  • Age spots/sunspots
  • Pigment irregularities
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Rejuvenation and resurfacing

Fractional–Resurfacing re:pair treatment—the most aggressive treatment with dramatic improvement for severely damaged skin; a single treatment procedure; requires more downtime and after treatment wound care; FDA clearance for treatments on and off the face; and most return to routine activities after a week.

What it treats:

  • Wrinkles
  • Irregular texture
  • Age spots/sunspots (pigmented lesions)
  • Sun-induced redness (vascular dyschromia)
  • Fine lines
  • Furrows
  • Pigmented lesions (age/sun spots)
  • Laser blepharoplasty (eye lift)

FDA Approval

This new science was developed at Harvard University's Wellman Institute for Photo Medicine. This is the first laser FDA approved to treat all skin types on and off the face. FDA indications include skin resurfacing procedures and the treatment of periorbital wrinkles, acne scars, surgical scars, dyschromia and pigmented lesions, such as age spots, sun spots, actinic keratosis and melasma.

Before Fractional–Resurfacing Therapy:

  • First, your skin will be cleansed. Then, about 60 minutes prior to treatment, a topical anesthetic ointment will be applied to the treatment area.
  • Do not tan for two weeks and do not use exfoliating treatments, retinoids and all glycolic acid products.
  • If you have a history of cold sores it is recommended to take Valtrex as a preventative treatment. Get your Valtrex prescription filled and start taking it the day before your treatment.
  • If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic or pain medication, get this prescription filled and make sure you understand the instructions

After Fractional–Resurfacing Therapy:

  • Your physician should give you detailed instructions on what to expect and how to care for your skin after your treatment depending on the Fractional–Resurfacing treatment you choose.
  • Patients may experience 1-2 days of swelling, 2-4 days of redness and 4-7 days of flaking – all depending on the type of Fractional–Resurfacing you choose
  • There is minimal discomfort after treatment and moisturizer, sun protection and cosmetics may be applied as instructed.
  • Wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, avoid direct sun exposure for at least 3 months after your last treatment, and war a wide-brimmed hat when in the sun.
  • Optimum results are generally achieved by a series of 4 to 5 treatment sessions spaced three to four weeks apart.

Fequently Asked Questions

Fractional–Resurfacing Laser Cosmetic Procedure

Fractional–Resurfacing Laser is used to treat age spots, sunspots, wrinkles around the eyes, upper lip lines ("smoker's lines"), sun–damaged skin, and acne scars. Today, it is the gold standard for the treatment of acne scars in patients who want to minimize their downtime.

How is Fractional–Resurfacing technology different?

Fractional–Resurfacing uses a laser to resurface damaged skin. With this new technology, there are now two laser treatment modes: one specifically treats concerns such as wrinkles or acne scarring that are deeper in the skin layers. The second treatment mode is new and effectively targets sun spots, age spots and tone and texture, which are more superficial.

What are the benefits of the new technology?

This new technology has all the benefits that we love about Fractional–Resurfacing, faster treatment times, increased comfort and an additional treatment mode for pigmentation. The results are comparable to superficial CO2 resurfacing results but without the degree of downtime or wound care. By combining the two treatment modes, patients can get more effective resurfacing, treating both deep and superficial conditions.

Is the Fractional–Resurfacing Laser FDA approved?

Yes. The Fractional–Resurfacing Laser is FDA approved for use in skin resurfacing. It is also FDA approved for use in the correction of pigmented lesions, such as age spots, sun spots, and discolored skin, the treatment of wrinkles around the eyes, and melasma.

Who performs the Fractional–Resurfacing Laser procedure?

Only board certified physicians may perform Fractional–Resurfacing Laser treatments, not a nurse. The treatment is usually multiple passes (six to eight passes) over the skin to be certain that the patient receives excellent Fractional–Resurfacing results. A treatment may be a full hour to ensure that the treatment is thorough, even, and uniform.

How many Fractional–Resurfacing Laser treatments will I need?

With each Fractional–Resurfacing Laser treatment, approximately 17%-25% of the skin's surface is treated. Therefore, a series of four or five Fractional–Resurfacing Laser treatments is recommended to achieve the optimum result. Sometimes a patient may purchase one Fractional–Resurfacing Laser treatment as a trial to see if they are pleased with the results. Fractional–Resurfacing Laser treatments are performed at three to four week intervals.

What can I expect after a Fractional–Resurfacing Laser treatment?

Fractional–Resurfacing Laser treatments offer rapid healing and minimal downtime. Patients typically have some swelling and redness. The swelling generally subsides in a day or so, and the redness usually fades over a few days. As your skin heals, you may see bronzing and peeling as with a sunburn. There is no wound care, but you may apply moisturizer and sun protection as instructed. Patients can apply make–up shortly after their treatment and generally return to normal activity the following day. Patients do not have any oozing or crusting after Fractional–Resurfacing Laser treatments.

How long do Fractional–Resurfacing treatments last?

Fractional–Resurfacing treatment results lasts for years. However, you should do certain things after you finish your series of treatments. You should be on a rejuvenation skin care program to maintain your results in addition to daily use of sunscreen. Some patients do a maintenance Fractional–Resurfacing treatment 1–2 times per year to maintain their results and keep your skin looking fresh.

How many treatments does Fractional–Resurfacing require?

Fractional–Resurfacing treatments will reverse the effects of aging like sun damage and fine wrinkles. The Fractional–Resurfacing:restore will take between five to eight years off of your complexion. Followed with good skin care (30+ SPF sunscreen, glycolic or Vitamin C based creams, etc.), the results should last five to eight years. After the initial four treatments with Fractional–Resurfacing, review your pictures to determine if you are happy with the results and wish to continue treatment.

How long until I see the results?

You may see some results immediately after treatment and after the healing process is complete. Results continue to improve over time and throughout your series of treatments.

What should I expect as far as side effects?

Reactions that everyone gets, which can be referred to as common side effects, are redness and swelling and a warm feeling to the skin that can last 2–3 days. Day 2 usually has the most redness and swelling. You can manage this by keeping your head elevated, using cold compresses, and taking antihistamines. You may feel a little itchy, but there should not be any pain or discomfort at any time after treatment. Day 3 you may see some skin flaking or peeling, similar to very dry skin, windburn, or sunburn. Some people, usually those with darker skin tones, may notice that the skin looks a little darker before it begins to peel. The intensity of your reaction may also depend on the strength of your treatment. Your physician should give you detailed instructions on what to expect and how to care for your skin after your treatment, and don't hesitate to ask questions.

Some people with a history of acne will have a flare of their acne, but even if you do not usually have a problem with acne, you may notice the appearance of acne–like bumps. This is temporary, and you should tell your physician so that she or he can prescribe a medication for you to use.

Uncommon side effects include a darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation) in people with darker skin types, which may last several weeks. It is seen more in Asians and darker skinned individuals.

What should I do to prepare for Fractional–Resurfacing?

Before Fractional–Resurfacing do not tan for two weeks and stay off of all exfoliating treatments, retinoids and all glycolic acid products. If you have a history of cold sores it is recommended to take Valtrex as a preventative treatment. Get your Valtrex prescription filled and start taking it the day before your treatment. If your doctor wants you to take an antibiotic as well, check with her/him as to when to begin this. If you are going to be taking a prescription pain medicine or anxiety medicine, get this prescription filled and make sure you understand when to take it.

Can Fractional–Resurfacing treat loose neck skin?

Resurfacing laser and fractional devices like the Fractional–Resurfacing can help tighten skin on the face, but there are other factors that may be causing your problems like fat loss. When the underlying structure of the face (bone, fat and muscle) atrophy or recede then products like Sculptra® and fillers may help build those areas back up. Laser used in conjunction with Sculptra® injections to replace facial volume can make a huge difference in someone with facial sagging. Please visit our website and read the article on What Causes Facial Aging? I recommend consulting with a specialist to determine what approach or combination of treatments would give you the best result.

Can I have Fractional–Resurfacing if I have a pre-existing skin condition?

Fractional–Resurfacing should never be done on any lesions or any active skin problems such herpes, skin infections, eczema or other forms of dermatitis.

Does Fractional-resurfacing work on stretch marks?

Yes. Fractional Laser (also trademarked as Fractional–Resurfacing) has recently been FDA approved for the treatment of stretch marks. It has been shown to get rid of stretch marks, and it's also been shown to treat many types of scars.

Can Fractional–Resurfacing remove tattoos?

Fractional–Resurfacing does not remove tattoos. It is not the right wavelength.

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