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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

How much expenditure are in fractional laser for removing 5,6 scars cut marks on face.

MBBS, MD (Skin & V.D. MAMC) - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Delhi
Fractional Laser or any other laser won't completely remove the scar, it will soften them and ofcourse we can try or add some other treatment modality. It may be in the range of 2-3k per sitting.

I have deep acne scars my Dr. advice for fractional CO2 lasers how effective will it be or is there any other alternate more suitable.

B.Sc. - Dietitics / Nutrition, Nutrition Certification,Registered Dietitian
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Fractional CO2 laser is a great way to get rid of acne scars. Stick to your doctor's advice and let him help you with the problem.
1 person found this helpful

With fractional co2 laser treatment can Icepicks scars be fully removed or half removed.

MBBS, MCh - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, MS - General Surgery
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Pune
Good evening. Complete removal is not possible, but you can expect about 60-70% improvement. Thank you.
1 person found this helpful

Want to go for fractional co2 lasers I already had one session for acne scars can somebody suggest me a doctor in not good at this in affordable price.

MBBS, MD - Dermatology, venereology & Leprology, Fellowship in Cosmetology (MUHS)
Dermatologist, Kota
Dear lybrate-user. Affordability differs from person to person. I would just like to say that The best is always costlier. You compromise with anything else, you increase the probability of complications. I personally prefer LUMENIS or ALMA LASERS...
1 person found this helpful

With prp, co2 fractional laser treatment, does any results will be there for acne scars. If it has how many sessions?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MCh - Plastic Surgery
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Bangalore
Hello. The scars and the pigmentation on the face are treatable. It's better to get it examined first so that we can identify the type of skin, scars and if they are hyper pigmented, atrophic or ice pick scars. The treatment are of various kind li...
2 people found this helpful

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