What Is Fraxel?

What if you could wave a magic wand over your face and practically eliminate acne scars, age spots, pigment issues, fine lines, and wrinkles? Would you do it? The good news is you don’t need a magic wand. That’s the power of Fraxel, a non-invasive laser treatment used to minimize and reduce the appearance of blemishes on the skin.

Alina Benitez, board-certified nurse practitioner at Primera Plastic Surgery, says that, for her patients, “Fraxel smooths out the skin, tones it, and tightens the skin to improve its appearance.” Combining these benefits, Fraxel technology offers a convenient and low-risk procedure to eliminate stubborn blemishes, restoring youthful skin for those who struggle with scarring and fine lines, as well as a host of other skin conditions. 

How does Fraxel work? How long does it take for results to show? We sat down with Alina, NP to learn more about Fraxel and what it can do for individuals who struggle with skin blemishes. 

Is Fraxel right for you? In this article, we go over what you should know before considering Fraxel laser skin treatment.  

What Is Fraxel?

Fraxel is a proprietary fractionated laser treatment used to improve the appearance of skin. With a wide range of applications, the procedure can treat a variety of skin conditions, including:

  • Acne Scars
  • Age Spots
  • Fine Lines and Wrinkles
  • Sun Damage

To reduce and treat these conditions, the Fraxel laser projects microthermal light into  the skin to stimulate collagen production and promote the growth of new dermal cells. The treatment improves the texture, tone, and overall appearance of the skin, triggering a natural response in the body to repair the damaged tissues.

For best results, Fraxel treatments require several sessions. The number of treatments depends on your skin condition and your goals for cosmetic results. Alina, NP says, “Pretty much anybody could do one of these treatments and they’ll see great improvements in their skin tone and texture. Fraxel does a little bit of everything.”

How Does Fraxel Work?

During a Fraxel treatment, the laser focuses microthermal light into  the skin, making direct passes over the affected tissue. Each pass of the Fraxel wand precisely delivers small quantities of laser energy to specific sections of skin. The thermal light is then absorbed by the water in the skin cells, which causes the cells to heat up and break down. This process then triggers the body to produce collagen and promotes the growth of new skin cells. 

Alina, NP says, “Fraxel is a CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser. The procedure is very safe, since the laser beams are fractionated (pixelated ), so it does not cause any harm or irritation to the surface of the skin.”

There are two kinds of resurfacing skin lasers commonly used by plastic surgeons, dermatologists and medical spas:

  • Ablative Lasers (remove the upper layer of skin and heat the underlying tissue to promote cell growth)
  • Non-Ablative Lasers (this includes Fraxel, which focuses microthermal light in  the tissue of  the skin without serious irritation  to  top layer)

Alina, NP says, “Fraxel sends heat underneath the skin to stimulate collagen to reform and start growing again and smooth out the skin.” The benefit of Fraxel is that it requires much less downtime than procedures that use ablative laser treatments. Ablative laser treatments can take years off your face, but it requires significant downtime as the skin peels and heals. Fraxel offers the same rejuvenating  properties as an ablative laser without requiring a lengthy recovery period.

Why Would I Need Fraxel?

There are several reasons why you might consider Fraxel treatment. For many patients, Fraxel helps to treat and reduce:

  • Acne Scars (improves the appearance of scarring by breaking down old scar tissue and promoting collagen growth)
  • Sun/Age Spots (reduces the appearance of discolored skin)
  • Fine Lines (smooths wrinkles by increasing collagen production)
  • Skin Texture (improves overall skin smoothness  by stimulating  new cell growth)

Alina, NP says, “Fraxel is great for acne scarring on the face. It’s great for sun damage, it can remove that. It is great for melasma (skin pigment irregularities) and overall texture.”

It’s important to note that Fraxel isn’t a miracle treatment and will not completely eliminate all skin imperfections. However, it can help improve the overall appearance of many common skin concerns, helping many patients overcome blemishes, wrinkles and scarring.

Does Fraxel Hurt?

Fraxel treatments can sometimes cause discomfort, but most people find the treatment tolerable. Some describe the sensation as feeling like a sunburn, while others say it feels like a scratching  or stinging sensation.

To minimize discomfort during treatment, your provider will  apply a topical numbing cream to your skin. Your provider may also prescribe a mild pain medication to ease any discomfort for  your skin during treatment.

After Fraxel treatment, you may experience some redness and swelling, which usually goes away within a few days. Your provider will share instructions on how to care for your skin after Fraxel treatment to minimize discomfort and promote skin healing, for optimal results

Is There Any Downtime After Fraxel Treatment?

Compared to ablative laser treatment, the non-invasive Fraxel treatment requires limited downtime to recover. After the procedure, it’s normal to experience some skin sensitivity. You may notice some itching, flaking, or dryness. These are all normal side effects of the treatment and are generally mild.

To help minimize discomfort and promote healing, your provider will give you instructions on how to care for your skin after Fraxel. This includes the  use of our medical grade skin care post kit and to avoid sun exposure. 

Most people can return to their normal activities shortly after Fraxel treatment—however, be sure to follow your provider’s instructions to protect your skin from the sun until it has fully healed.

Fraxel treatments are usually performed through multiple sessions. The exact number of treatments needed to eliminate skin imperfections will vary depending on the individual patient and the specific conditions being treated. To aid the healing process, Fraxel treatments are usually spaced out over several weeks or months to allow time for the skin to recover. This means there may be some downtime between treatments, but the total amount of downtime will depend on your specific treatment plan. 

Should You Consider Fraxel Treatment?

There are many skin treatment options that patients have to choose from. However, while many procedures only focus on one or two specific goals, such as reducing wrinkles or erasing acne scars, Fraxel treatments target multiple skin issues at once, addressing many of your concerns in one treatment.

For Alina,NP- Fraxel is “a workhorse laser that I love using at our office.” As many of her patients attest, the laser offers reliable results with minimal downtime and produces less discomfort than many lasers on the market.  

Is Fraxel right for you? Call 407-559-6496 today to speak with one of our Fraxel specialists to learn more about how this treatment can help you achieve happier, healthier skin.

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