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Overview

Fractional Laser: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

What is Fractional Laser Procedure ? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment?(When is the treatment done ?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any Side Effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is Fractional Laser Procedure ?

Everyone dreams about nourished skin tone and wants it forever. The fractional laser also is known as fractional laser resurfacing is an anti aging treatment. This consists of multiple laser sessions which take care of wrinkles, fine lines in the skin, age spots, uneven skin tone and other skin damages. The skin problems start getting vanished with successive laser sessions. This is a non-invasive treatment where a laser beam is divided and delivered into thousands of microscopic zones of the target skin. The laser beams vaporize the microscopic zones leaving behind untreated tissues in the surrounding. New collagen is then created through natural healing which will replace the affected tissues. The affected tissues are replaced with new collagen and skin texture and softness starts improving with healing. These laser beams can activate collagen production, which is the main factor behind the elasticity and smoothness of the skin thus preserving the youth after the thirties. Fractional laser treatments have overcome the shortcomings of ablative and non-ablative laser treatment, which treats skin damages due to sunburns. Ablative treatment can work only on the surface skin cells (epidermis) and non-ablative can work on the middle layer of the skin (dermal layer). The advantage of the fractional laser is that it can work on both the epidermal and dermal layer of the skin. Reliant Technologies was the first to introduce the fractional laser device which used a non-ablative beam of 1550-nm wavelength.

How is the treatment done?

Different skin problems can be addressed using fractional laser treatment. The wavelength for the treatment can be set accordingly to the type of skin, color, and required results. Generally, the skin is composed of three layers. The epidermis is the uppermost layer, dermis being the mid layer and subcutis forming the lower fat layer. Melanocytes are pigment-producing cells in the epidermis. These works behind the skin coloring. The skin strength is decided by the dermis layer which is made of collagen and elastin fibers. The dermis is also responsible for elasticity, toughness, and pliability. Anesthetics is given to numb the patient’s skin. Quick pulses are sent from these lasers intended to create invisible microscopic wounds. The laser beam slowly destroys the epidermis(outer layer of skin). At the same time, collagen fibers shrink due to the heat generated in the dermis(underlying skin). Smoother and tighter new skin is formed during the healing process. The target area is intensively treated preserving the intactness of the surrounding healthy skin. The surrounding skin being unaffected helps in healing the wound. Fractional laser treatment is a faster healing process when compared with the other type of laser treatments.

Who is eligible for the treatment?(When is the treatment done ?)

Fractional laser treatment would be a perfect choice for those has wrinkles, lines, superficial facial scars; uneven pigmentation which doesn’t get cured by gentler treatments. An ideal candidate is the one who has elastic, non-oily skin that is not prone to scarring even after a minor injury. It would be perfect if the candidate is not undergoing any prescribed medications and not suffering from any health problems. One should understand the benefits, risk and recovery procedure before undergoing the treatment. The candidate would be perfect if he/she doesn’t have any unrealistic expectations. One who has a lighter skin can have better results than the ones having a darker skin tone.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Those who have minor skin imperfections cannot be an eligible candidate for fractional laser treatment. They can opt for gentler treatments. People having darker skin tone are also good candidates for laser treatment. They tend to absorb excessive laser energy because of thicker skin pigments. This can lead to skin discoloration and blistering. An experienced dermatologist can take sufficient steps to reduce the side effects but you need to have a proper consultation and understanding in how far this can benefit your skin. Candidates who are not eligible for this can opt for other alternatives which can reduce the damages, the appearance of lines and uneven skin coloration.

Are there any Side Effects?

Certain side effects tend to appear among some patients after the skin laser treatment. Most of them are minor effects and tend to fade away in a short time. Most common side effects are the appearance of reddish colour in skin and swelling in the treated area. Sometimes irritation persists for one or two days.

Change in pigmentation of skin, scarring, and burning occurs in very rare cases. Potential risks and complications associated with the treatment will be made clear during the discussion with the dermatologist prior to the laser treatment.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

  • Avoid direct sunlight and excessive heat.
  • Avoid irritants from environment (dust, dirt, aerosols, cleaning agents) during the recovery process. Stay away from vigorous exercises for two weeks.
  • Begin washing the face for 2-3 times a day using normal water and Cetaphil.
  • Avoid taking shower in hot water. Always use normal water.
  • Make sure that skin remains moist.
  • Follow the medications as prescribed by the dermatologist properly.
  • Sleep with head slightly elevated.
  • If you feel any irritations or discomfort consult your dermatologist.
  • Continue applying appropriate moisturizer upto 4 weeks so that skin hydrates back to normal level.
  • Continue following with the skin care programs as long as treated area is healed.
  • Apply non irritating sunblock and mineral make up powder as a protection to the treated areas.

How long does it take to recover?

Depending upon the type of the fractional laser treatment, recovery time can vary. It also depends on the size of the area which is being treated. A recovery time of multiple weeks might be required for enormous improvements. Usually, for normal treatments, 4-5 days are needed for the recovery. A dermatologist can determine the appropriate treatment required depending upon the skin type and age. The healing time and results also depend on how well you follow the instructions given by the dermatologist after the laser treatment.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of the treatment depends on the person and the imperfections for one is being treated. The more severe your skin problem is, multiple session of laser treatment will be required. On an average, a person may undergo three laser treatments. It is advisable to consult a medical technician or an expert before undergoing laser treatments. In India, they are many treatment centres which offer treatment from Rs 50,000. On an average, it ranges from 55,000 to 1, 00,000. INR Always choose treatment centres which own a proper license and reputation.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Laser treatment is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get rid of skin damages such as acne, scars and other skin damages. The advantage and disadvantages of laser treatment are that the effects are precise. It would be unrealistic if we believe that laser treatment will cure our problems up to 100%. All the laser treatments can improve the skin condition but not perfectly cure it. They improve and brighten the skin texture thereby pimples and acne seems invisible. If you want to get consistent and long-lasting results, good diet and good skin care routine should be maintained.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Before taking a decision to undergo laser treatment, you can consult a dermatologist and can try using prescribed skin care products. All the skin care products are mainly the mixture of essential vitamins, proteins, and minerals which can improve the skin’s texture and condition. Including them in your morning routine may give better results. It can improve the way your skin feels and looks. There are many other anti-aging cosmetic treatments which are less invasive and need a short recovery time. Collagen injection and fat transfer treatments can also achieve the same results.

Popular Questions & Answers

I have developed dermatosis papulosa nigra on my face and neck. How to cure that without laser treatment? Can I use glyceric acid or lactic acid or any other acid for lightening the dpn marks? Suggest me some medications.

MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Cuttack
Dpn lesions can only be removed by rfc or laser. No topical preparation is not indicated. Hence it is advised not to use anything without consulting a dermatologist.

I have pcod .unwanted facial hair cover all over my face and chin. Doctor prescribed me aldactone 25 mg .is it effective on my unwanted hair? My facial hair colour white soft ,it is visible. I am very depressed.

BHMS, DHI
Homeopathy Doctor, Trichy
Pcod and unwanted hair may occur due to harmonal imbalance homeopathic medicines internally will help you to cure pcod and reduce unwanted hairs share your detailed case history.

Hello doctor! I work on computer all the day due to that my eye sight is affecting too much. Now I use spectacles of power -4.5 for both eyes. I want to go for lasik laser treatment. I want to know after lasik laser will my eye sight decrease due to working on computer/screen or not because I usually spend 10 to 12 hours on screen. Thank you!

MBBS, MS - Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist, Ahmedabad
Hello. First of all, -4.5 dioptre of refractory error (glasses) do not result from excessive computer work. It is just simple myopia. Yes you can go for lasik or other more advanced similar laser procedures. No need to worry. After surgery eye sig...
1 person found this helpful

I'm 60 years old. Few days back my diabetes report came as 280 (after meal) but today I went for checkup and report came as 318. I'm already keeping eye on my diet. Can you please suggest any medication to control it?

MBBS, MS - Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist, Ahmedabad
Hello sir. First of all I suggest you to develop a basic habit of getting your blood sugar checked by the same machine at a lab or the same device at home with the same company strips. This will minimise any machine or technical error. As we can s...
2 people found this helpful

I have my acne scars, acne pits, rolling scars on my cheeks. My doctor recommended azelaic acid 20%. But results are zero. Can I use mederma scar gel to my face? Is it helpful? Or please recommend another one.

Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (B.U.M.S)
Unani Specialist, Kanpur
If that doesn't work please follow these herbal combinations sootshekhar ras 1 tablet twice a day chandanadi avleh 10 gm twice a day chandanadi lepam relief in 3-4 days and for complete cure take it for 60 days only avoid spicy and oily food.

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Written By
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery,FRCS (UK),FRCS,MS General Surgery,Mch (Plastic Surgery)
Cosmetology
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