Fraxel Laser Resurfacing in Washington, DC
Fraxel is a rejuvenative laser treatment which is considered a gold standard low to no downtime treatment for sun damage, enlarged pores, wrinkles, and skin discoloration, as well as certain textural acne scars and melasma. Fraxel is a unique approach to repairing aging and sun-damaged skin that provides substantial results with minimal downtime. The Fraxel Dual Laser Represents the most recent iteration of this laser, with both the original 1550nm wavelength and the newer 1927nm wavelength which allows dual wavelength treatments (discussed in the Fraxel Dual Treatment section below). Often imitated but never copied, Fraxel remains the gold standard in non-ablative fractional rejuvenation.
How Fraxel Laser Works
The Fraxel Laser utilizes the concept of fractional photothermolysis, creating thousands of precise treatment columns in the skin known as microthermal treatment zones (MTZ). The treatment columns act as shuttles for excess pigment in the skin during the healing process, resulting in significant evening of skin tone and complexion and a reduction in freckles, age spots, and sun spots. Laser energy delivered deeper into the skin leads to new collagen formation over the weeks and months after each treatment, which produces long lasting improvement in skin texture and a reduction in fine lines, wrinkles, crepe skin, and enlarged pores. Equally important are the areas of skin the Fraxel laser leaves untouched. While each MTZ represents and intensely treated focal area of skin, the skin around it is left completely untouched and intact. This “fractional” aspect of the treatment allows for far faster healing than treatment of the entire skin surface, while also using the body’s natural healing process to create new, healthy, tighter tissue to improve skin tone and texture.
Fraxel Treatment Plan
Before treatment, Dr. Adrian or your CLS provider will discuss whether you are a good candidate for Fraxel or Fraxel Dual treatment, which area(s) of your skin is appropriate for treatment, what kind of results you can expect, what to look for after treatment, and how often treatment will be scheduled. Because Fraxel Laser treatment spares healthy tissue, it is effective even on delicate skin areas such as the neck, chest, and hands.
Fraxel Dual Treatment
The Fraxel Dual treatment utilizes both wavelengths of the Fraxel Dual Laser (1550nm/1927nm). This provides the benefit of the original 1550nm wavelength for textural improvements and adds the more superficial 1927nm wavelength which is highly effective for the treatment of superficial pigmentation abnormalities such as sunspots, freckles, and lentigos. This treatment has slightly more swelling and post-treatment peeling than treatment with the 1550nm wavelength alone, however for patients who can tolerate more downtime this produces a more rapid improvement in skin tone and complexion than traditional single wavelength Fraxel treatment.
Preparing for Treatment
Fraxel Laser Treatment can be performed using only a topical anesthetic. The treatment area will be thoroughly cleansed prior to the procedure. We recommend avoiding blood thinners including aspirin and ibuprofen, alcohol, and makeup application for the 24 hours prior to treatment,
What Happens After Treatment
You will experience a mild sunburn sensation for about an hour followed by minimal to no discomfort. The Fraxel laser treatment stimulates a large scale skin renewal process. Components of this process are detailed below:
Bronzing – Your skin will have a bronze appearance that lasts anywhere from three to fourteen days, depending on the treatment level.
Erythema– Your skin may have a pinkish tone for 1-2 weeks due to the inflammation caused by the laser
Swelling – You may experience swelling for 1-3 days after treatment. This is more common with higher energy settings used for significant photodamage, wrinkles, and the treatment of textural acne scars and surgical scars.
Flaking – Your skin will naturally and vigorously exfoliate as the reorganized epidermal skin replaces dead tissue. Flaking is similar to that of minor sunburn without the associated pain. Use of a moisturizer will mask the appearance of flaking. To reduce the longevity of the flanking process we recommend a microdermabrasion treatment 3-4 days after each Fraxel treatment, however this is completely optional.
Sun Protection – Use broad spectrum SPF 30 or above mineral based sunscreen at least twice daily to protect your skin from sun exposure during the healing phase and for several months after treatment. For added protection from sunlight, use wide-brimmed hats when exposed to direct sunlight for several weeks after treatment.
If you would like to schedule a consultation to see if you are a candidate for Fraxel Laser Skin Rejuvenation please click here or call 202-966-8814.