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Fractional laser or Fraxel as it is commonly known in cosmetic surgery terms, is a non-invasive technique to treat various skin problems. A beam of laser is divided into thousands of treatment zones, which are focused on a particular spot on the skin, giving it the name fractional laser.
Conventionally, ablative laser works on the epidermis while non-ablative laser works on the collagen or the dermis layer. Fractional laser is unique in that it works on both these layers. Therefore, in problems involving both these layers, Fraxel works extremely well.
How does it work?
The skin has two layers – epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the protective layer and has the melanin-producing melanocytes, which gives the skin, its color. The dermis has collagen and elastic fibers, which gives it skin the elasticity. With age, the skin loses its elasticity and becomes pale, as the collagen degenerates. Less of new collagen is formed, and so aged appearance including sagging, fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, etc. appear.
What Fraxel does is produce 1000s of columns of laser which act on both the dermis and the epidermis and improve collagen formation and removing old cells. The surrounding skin remains intact, and only the area of focus is treated.
What to expect?
- Before the procedure, the doctor will validate if you are a candidate for the procedure.
- Photos will be taken of the area and in people with darker complexion, bleaching or chemical peel may be used
- With face cleaned with soap and water, an anesthetic cream is applied to the skin.
- The laser beam is then applied, usually about 30 minutes.
- The procedure could be painful if the laser beam is strong which makes the use of anesthetic essential
- A cooling device is applied at the end of the procedure, and the area is then washed off
- One may experience redness, swelling, and tenderness for about a week
- New skin will develop in about a week’s time
- Skin peeling can happen in some people, which can be easily removed off without pain
- Adequate use of moisturizer and sunscreen is advised
- Clothing should be protective, include sunglasses, wide hat, and scarf
- Most people require a repeat of 3 to 4 sessions to complete the treatment, with a gap of a month usually.
- Unlike with other skin treatments, the effect from Fraxel takes time. It may take up to 3 to 4 months for the complete effect to show, as it involves complete collagen formation.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.