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A Revolutionary Advanced Laser Treatment, Fraxel


Fraxel

By eating healthy, seeking regular medical treatment and being more consciously aware of their health, people of today are leading longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives. Unfortunately though no matter how well we age, our skin does not maintain its youthful appearance. Evidence of sun damage, unwanted brown spots, unsightly acne scars and lines and wrinkles associated with aging continue to plague us. Until recently, treatment options have been limited. Available treatments have been painful, had considerable side effects, required significant downtime and numerous follow-ups or have had little or no effect.

A revolutionary advanced laser treatment, Fraxel, has changed all of that. This treatment method is safe and effective and is not limited to use on the face. The greatest element of this unique procedure is that it completely improves the quality and appearance of your skin with minimal downtime or side effects. Fraxel Laser Treatment accomplishes this by affecting only a fraction of your skin at a time. Thousands of tiny but deep columns of treatments in the skin, known as microthermal treatment zones penetrate deep into the dermis and eliminate old epidermal pigmented cells. These microthermal zones target specific portions of tissue and damaged cells without affecting the surrounding tissue. This type of fragmentary, or fractional treatment provokes the natural healing process of the skin by accelerating the production of collagen and promoting the growth of new, healthy skin cells. Because a large surface area is not affected, healing time is significantly reduced. The treatment has been compared to the restoration of a photo or a painting, bit by bit, and pixel-by-pixel, the damaged area is transformed, just as the skin is revitalized.

Until Fraxel there were two types of laser treatments available. Ablative laser resurfacing is a process by which the upper layers of aged or damaged skin are vaporized by applying a controlled laser beam. This process has shown to be effective, though it is an invasive procedure, has significant side effects and requires a lengthy period of time for healing. Non-ablative laser procedures heat the deeper layers of the skin without removing the top layer so side effects and down time are minimal, but several frequent treatments are required and often produce little or no results. The Fraxel treatment combines the effectiveness of the ablative treatments with the minimal downtime of non-ablative treatments. To obtain maximum results, clinical research has shown that, on average the most effective treatment plan consists of 3-5 treatments over a 2-4 week period of time. The length of time between treatments may differ for a number of reasons. The physician will determine the best course of treatment based on the desired results and scheduling availability. The physician will also discuss the areas that are appropriate for treatment, what to expect from the procedure and the most likely outcome.

The Fraxel laser treatment procedure can be performed right in the doctor’s office and many are able to return to their normal activities the same day. In most cases the actual treatment, depending on the size of the area being treated will take about 30 minutes. Typically only the use of a topical anesthetic is required for pain management and will be applied approximately an hour before the treatment. Prior to the procedure, the area being treated will be thoroughly cleansed. A blue, water soluble tint, called Opti-Guide Blue and certified by the FDA is then applied to highlight the contours of the face and increase the contrast of the folds of the skin so that the areas to be treated are more precisely and accurately targeted by the laser. Patients do not usually describe the treatment as especially uncomfortable or painful. Most describe the treatment as a prickling sensation. When the treatment is over the blue tint and anesthetic ointment are immediately washed off. After the treatment a mild sunburn sensation will be felt for about an hour and then in essence no displeasure. The skin will appear to have a pinkish tone for anywhere from 4-7 days. Any swelling that occurs should be minimal and will resolve within 3 days. Since the outer layer of skin is not affected shaving and make up application can resume soon after treatment.

The results of Fraxel are immediate and progressive. Within 24 hours of treatment, new epidermal skin will develop. The process of skin repair then begins. This process includes bronzing; a bronze appearance of the skin, which depending on the level of treatment may be present anywhere from 3 to 14 days. Flaking then occurs. This is a natural exfoliating of the skin, similar to the flaking of sunburn. Using a moisturizer daily will help reduce the flaky appearance. It is especially important to avoid direct sun exposure during the healing process and for at least three months after treatment. It is recommended that a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 be applied daily. For added protection a wide brimmed hat should be worn when outdoors in the direct sunlight. The body will continue to heal itself; the damaged tissue will be replaced with collagen, elastin, and new healthy skin cells. Optimal improvement is usually most visible within 2 to 3 months.

Fraxel has been indicated to significantly reduce fine lines and wrinkles, rejuvenate the skin, reduce age spots and blotchy skin coloring, Improve fine to moderate lines found around the eyes, lips and forehead and reduce hyper pigmentation and improve melasma. It can also be used on other areas of the body such as the neck, chest, and hands to rejuvenate sun-damaged skin, reduce age spots and reduce stretch marks.

Very recently the FDA has approved the use of Fraxel to treat facial scars. Facial scarring has been very difficult, if not impossible to improve until now. Many adults have had to suffer from unsightly scars caused by acne that has been long gone. Several types of scars are caused by acne. A surgical scar is scar tissue that forms and leaves a mark in response to skin healing after a surgical incision and Fraxel offers the only comprehensive approach to repairing these epidermal abnormalities through the unique process of fractional resurfacing.

Freelance Writer

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August, 2018

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