If you’ve been researching how to reduce the appearance of certain skin conditions or the effects of aging, you have probably come across the Fraxel Laser. That’s because this laser has become one of the foremost ways that clinics like Le Beau Visage Medical Spa in Frisco, Texas are helping people regain their youthful appearance. This versatile, safe laser treatment can deliver excellent results with minimal downtime.
What Is the Fraxel Laser Used For?
What It Is and How It Works
Before we look at what conditions this laser is used to treat, let’s look briefly at what this laser is and how it works. The Fraxel laser is a non-invasive way of treating damaged skin by using microscopic laser columns to stimulate your body’s production of collagen. Collagen is the substance that your skin needs to rebuild and repair itself. The laser only penetrates a small area at a time, so it leaves the surrounding skin intact, thus, accelerating recovery.
Conditions It Treats
Since this laser stimulates the production of collagen, it is used to treat a variety of skin conditions, some of which have been notoriously difficult to treat using other means. Nearly 400,000 skin treatments have been performed using this laser, proving that it continues to be highly successful in treating various skin issues. Additionally, it has received more FDA clearances and physician recommendations than any other laser skin treatment currently available and has a stellar research record as well.
So, what are the skin conditions this laser treats? Let’s take a look at each one a little more deeply.
As you know, when you get older, you develop skin wrinkles, especially on your face because it’s exposed to the sun more than any other part of the body. Smoking and genetics also play a factor in wrinkle development, but the facts are that everyone will get them at some point in their lives. However, not everyone has to keep them. There’re many ways to smooth out wrinkles on your face, and this laser is one of the most successful.
Along with wrinkles, many people also get age spots as they get older. Age spots, which are also referred to as sun spots, occur when years of sun exposure cause the overproduction of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the natural pigment in the body that gives skin its color. Age spots appear when the melanin is clumped together in a certain area. This laser works below the skin to break up hyper-pigmentation and fade age spots.
This condition, also referred to as chloasma or “mask of pregnancy,” causes dark or discolored patches on your skin. They typically show up on the face and are more common in women than in men. While it is not fully clear what causes these dark spots, they do seem to be related to hormone levels and changes. The good thing, though, is that they can be treated with this laser, which breaks up the hyper-pigmentation under the skin.
Actinic keratosis, which is also known as solar keratosis, is the most prevalent type of precancerous skin spots that occur due to repeated exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or from indoor tanning devices. These spots appear as scaly, crusty, or dry patches on the face, ears, scalp, chest, neck, and arms. The Fraxel laser uses a skin resurfacing technique to remove these spots and stimulate the growth of healthy skin in its place.
Whether your skin has been blemished by surgical scars, injury scars, or acne scars, this laser can help smooth them out so they are not as visible. The laser essentially damages the scarred skin to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. This causes the body to produce collagen, which then is brought to the skin’s surface where the “injuries” occurred. This healing process actually uses your body’s defense response to lighten and smooth the scars.
The number one benefit of this laser treatment for skin conditions is that it’s safe. Unlike harsher lasers, this one can be used on people of all skin tones. Since it only targets tiny areas at any one time, you don’t have to worry about it lasering areas that don’t need treatment. This protects your skin better and, while you will see results on the damaged parts of your skin, you will not see any loss of pigmentation elsewhere.
The fact that this laser treatment is non-invasive means that you do not have to undergo general anesthesia to get the results you want. General anesthesia itself carries significant risks so avoiding that automatically makes laser treatment safer. Additionally, the laser only damages the surface of the skin and triggers the body’s natural healing response. Therefore, your body is actually using its own defense to treat your condition rather than relying on surgery, chemicals, or other harsh treatments.
Of course, the actual length of your treatment will depend on how many areas you need to be treated and how large those areas are. However, most treatment sessions are shorter than half an hour. A full-face treatment takes approximately 20 to 25 minutes, whereas the chest may take a little longer. However, you will need to plan to be in the clinic for about an hour and a half for preparation, treatment, and recovery.
You will see immediate results after undergoing laser skin treatment. Additionally, results are progressive, meaning you’ll see improvement in your skin condition every time you have a treatment. Clinical studies have shown that maximum results are achieved after a treatment regimen of three-to-five sessions that are spaced about a month apart. However, your provider may recommend more or fewer sessions and at a different frequency for you based on your condition and response to the treatment.
One of the best benefits of this laser treatment is there is a quick recovery period. You won’t need to alter your daily activities in any way following the treatment, so you can continue working or going to school. You will need to wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher after you leave the clinic, but other than that, you will not have to worry about any type of hard recovery that might come with surgery or other procedures.
The results from this laser treatment are long-lasting, but the actual results will vary for each person and are dependent on the initial severity of the skin condition, the number of treatments, your skin type, and the condition you have treated. For example, the positive effects of laser treatment for age spots and melasma last, on average, for a year. Scar treatment results, though, can last much longer. You may need to have touch-up treatments to achieve full results.
The greatest benefit of undergoing Fraxel laser treatment is your improved appearance. Your skin will be smoother and fresher, making you look younger. Your wrinkles, dark spots, and scars will all be reduced in appearance, giving you renewed confidence that you may not have had before your treatment. You’ll probably even walk out of the clinic after your very first session eager to show off your results since you’ll see improvement immediately and progressively.
Only a qualified technician can determine whether you’re an ideal candidate for this type of laser treatment because they actually need to examine your condition and understand your medical history. However, people who are good candidates typically are those who have minor skin blemishes and wrinkles that are on the surface of the skin. It is not meant for people with active acne breakouts or open wounds in the treatment area, so you should postpone your treatment in these cases.
Otherwise, there are no restrictions with regard to gender, skin type, skin tone, or age. It has been approved by the FDA to treat surface skin conditions on the face, neck hands, and chest. You should also be in good overall health, and if you smoke, your provider may recommend that you quit smoking about four weeks prior to your first laser treatment. Since smoking ages your skin, this is probably something good to do anyway.
Preparation for Treatment
There won’t be too many instructions given by your provider to prepare for this laser skin treatment, but there are some general guidelines you’ll want to adhere to in order to make the sessions as beneficial as possible. First, you’ll need to stop using any retinoid-based medications and any glycolic acid treatments about three weeks before your first treatment. Next, you’ll also want to avoid sun exposure on your treatment area for two weeks leading up to your appointment.
Additionally, your provider will recommend that you refrain from waxing or using a scrub on the treatment area for about 14 days prior to your session. On the day of your treatment, do not consume any caffeine, wear comfortable clothing, do not wear any makeup, and be sure to bring a wide-brimmed hat to wear after you’re done, especially if it’s a sunny day. However, those UV rays can be a problem even when it’s cloudy.
Why Choose This Treatment?
If the above-mentioned benefits of this laser skin treatment weren’t enough to convince you to try it, then here are a few other reasons to give this treatment a shot at clearing up your skin. The main reason is that no other treatment, including creams and surgery, can provide the type of results you’ll get from laser treatment without significant drawbacks. This is because your body is fixing your skin naturally, not through any artificial means.
With laser treatment, your skin will not look plastic or fake, which can happen with other skin treatments, so you won’t have to worry that anyone will think you’ve had surgery afterward. Plus, with the minimal downtime required, you’ll be able to show off your results quickly, so people will know you haven’t had time for surgery. You’ll just look amazing and will leave people wondering how you did it. There’s nothing better than keeping them guessing!
Prior to scheduling your treatments, you will have a consultation with your provider to determine whether you’re a good candidate for this laser treatment and to answer any questions you might have. Your provider will examine your desired treatment areas and make a recommendation about using the laser to obtain the results you want. Remember to be realistic with your goals and explain what you expect from the treatment to your provider.
If your provider determines you are a good candidate for this treatment, which most people are, you will then discuss your individual treatment plan. This will include the number of expected treatments for your condition, the price, and any other information your provider wants you to know. Finally, you’ll get your pre-treatment instructions and schedule your first session!
Now that you know all about the Fraxel laser skin treatment, you’re ready to schedule your consultation. Contact our expert technicians at Le Beau Visage Medical Spa in Frisco, Texas to get the process started today!