What is Fraxel® Laser Treatment (FLT)?
Fraxel® Laser Treatment (FLT) is a “fractional” treatment that produces thousands of deep, tiny columns in your skin, called microscopic treatment zones. FLT is “fractional” in that it intensively treats old epidermal pigment cells without affecting any of the surrounding tissue, which reduces healing time and promotes the skin’s natural process for creating new, healthier tissue to replace the damaged cells.
How is Fraxel® Laser different from other treatments?
Before Fraxel® laser treatment, there were two types of available laser treatments. Bulk ablative laser treatment involves vaporization of entire layers of skin cells at very high temperature. This treatment is very effective but is associated with a high incidence of side effects and typically requires a lengthy healing period. The other previously available laser treatment, bulk non-ablative laser treatment, can have a lower incidence of side effects and little healing time, but requires numerous treatments over many months and has widely variable results. Fraxel® treatments strive to offer the effectiveness of ablative lasers with the benefits of the gentler, non-ablative lasers.
How does Fraxel® Laser work?
FLT is designed to target aging and sun damaged skin by targeting portions of specific damaged tissue. By creating microscopic “wounds” within the targeted areas well beneath the outer most epidermal layer of skin, Fraxel® Laser treatments trigger the body’s natural healing process accelerating the production of collagen and new, healthy skin cells.
What are the benefits of Fraxel® Laser Treatments?
FLT has the impact of ablative lasers but the gentler benefits of the non-ablative treatments. Healing time is significantly accelerated so there is minimal downtime. Because the Fraxel® Laser penetrates the non-living outer layer of skin leaving it completely intact, make-up can be worn immediately following the procedure. Some patients are able to return to routine activities, including work and social obligations, the same day of treatment. Others require a little more time, depending upon their skin condition and treatment. Please consult your physician to understand how Fraxel® Laser Treatment will fit into your schedule.
What are the risks of Fraxel® Laser Treatments?
Swelling and redness are the most common side effects from treatment. If swelling does occur, it is minimal and will subside within a day or two. Redness may occur and will fade within a few days. There is a very limited risk of infection or scarring.
How many treatments will I need?
Clinical studies suggest that on average, an effective treatment regimen is 3 to 5 sessions, spaced about 2 to 4 weeks apart. Depending upon your condition and schedule, you and your physician may choose to space treatment sessions even further apart. Results are immediate and progressive. Optimal improvement is usually visible in about 2 to 3 months. This time frame and treatment structure allows for complete healing and replacement of damaged tissue with new collagen and elastin, and viable healthy skin cell growth.
How are Fraxel® Laser Treatments performed?
To prepare your skin for treatment, it will be cleansed. A topical anesthetic ointment is applied to the treatment area approximately 60 minutes prior to treatment in order for the anesthetic to take full effect. The procedure takes between 20 to 25 minutes for a full face. The anesthetic ointment is washed off immediately after the treatment.
Is Fraxel® Laser Treatment painful?
Most patients describe the treatment as having a “prickling” sensation. The topical anesthetic ointment and air cooling alleviates most discomfort.
What should I expect after Fraxel® Laser Treatments?
During the first 24 hours after treatment, your skin may feel as though it is sunburned, and it will appear pink or red. Make-up can be worn to reduce the sunburned appearance. Your skin will naturally bronze over the next week or two. As you continue treatment, the sunburned to bronze conditions will repeat. Just like a natural sunburn, your skin will flake and exfoliate normally. Using a moisturizer will help reduce the appearance of dry flakes.
What precautions should I take after treatment?
Wearing sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher twice a day is especially important. Avoid direct sun exposure during the healing process and for at least 3 months after treatment. Wearing wide brimmed hats is highly recommended when out in the elements.
What is the Fraxel® skin ecology system and where can I purchase it?
The Fraxel® Skin Ecology System is a unique line of skincare products designed specifically to enhance and extend the benefits of Fraxel® treatment. Made with natural healing ingredients, this comprehensive regimen moisturizes, soothes and protects your skin – immediately following the procedure and long after. This is available exclusively from Fraxel® physicians.
HOW IT WORKS
Think of your skin as a family portrait or digital photograph in need of high-quality restoration or touch up.
Just as a damaged painting is delicately restored one small area at a time, or a photographic image is altered, pixel by pixel, Fraxel® Laser Treatment improves your appearance by affecting only a fraction of your skin at a time with thousands of tiny microscopic laser spots.
How Fraxel® Laser Treatment Works
Fraxel® Laser Treatment produces thousands of tiny but deep columns of treatment in your skin, known as microscopic treatment zones. This treatment eliminates old epidermal pigmented cells. It also penetrates deep into the dermis. Just as important, though, are the areas of skin the Fraxel® laser leaves untouched. For every microscopic zone the laser targets and treats intensively, it leaves the surrounding tissue unaffected and intact. This “fractional” treatment allows the skin to heal much faster than if the entire area were treated at once, using the body’s natural healing process to create new, healthy tighter tissue to replace skin imperfections.
At your initial consultation, your physician will determine the best treatment plan for your desired results. Clinical studies suggest that on average, an effective treatment regimen is 3 to 5 sessions, spaced about 2 to 4 weeks apart. Depending upon your condition and schedule, you and your physician may choose to space treatment sessions even further apart. Results are immediate and progressive. Optimal improvement is usually visible in about 2 to 3 months. Because Fraxel® Laser Treatment spares healthy tissue, it is effective even on delicate skin areas, such as the neck, chest and hands.
Preparing for Treatment
Fraxel® Laser Treatment can be performed right in your doctor’s office using only topical anesthesia in most cases. If you are having a significant area of your skin treated, your doctor will develop a pain management approach to maximize your comfort during the procedure.
The treatment area will be thoroughly washed prior to the procedure. A topical anesthetic ointment is applied to the treatment area approximately 60 minutes prior to treatment in order for the anesthetic to take full effect. The procedure takes between 20 to 25 minutes for a full face. The anesthetic ointment is washed off immediately after the treatment.
What Happens After Treatment?
You will experience a mild sunburn sensation for about an hour and then minimal discomfort. The skin will have a pinkish tone for 5 to 7 days. This is a normal sign that the skin is deeply healing. Swelling is minimal and generally resolves in 2 to 3 days.
Immediately after treatment and removal of any residual topically-applied ointment, cleanse skin with the Fraxel® foaming cleanser and water. Your doctor will apply the Antioxidant Infusion Serum and position the Deep Hydration Mask on your face after peeling off the protective plastic. The mask is in place for 15 minutes and after removing this, apply a thin layer of Fraxel® Daily Moisturizer (SPF 30). Ask your physician about Fraxel® treatment and the complete line of Fraxel® Skin Ecology products.
You may apply make-up or shave soon after treatment. Some patients are able to return to routine activities, including work and social obligations, the same day of treatment. Others require a little more time, depending upon their skin condition and treatment. Please consult your physician to understand how Fraxel® Laser Treatment will fit into your schedule.
New epidermal skin develops within 24 hours. The process of skin repair involves:
- Bronzing: Your skin will have a bronze appearance that lasts anywhere from 3 to 14 days, depending on your treatment level.
- Flaking: Your skin will naturally and vigorously exfoliate as new skin replaces dead tissue. Flaking is similar to that of minor sunburn, but without the associated pain. Use of a moisturizer will mask the appearance of flaking.
- Sunscreen: Be sure to use sunscreen at least twice daily to protect your skin from sun exposure during both the healing phase and for several months after treatment. Apply a moisturizing sun block with an SPF of at least 30-plus. For added protection, use wide-brimmed hats when in direct sunlight.
Over the following weeks and months, the body repairs the deeper dermal tissues that have been affected by the Fraxel® treatment, producing longer beneficial changes associated with a healthy, youthful appearance.
What Fraxel® Laser Treats
Anyone double-burdened with watching their teenage acne turn into adult acne scars knows the profound devastation this circumstance can have on self-esteem and life-outlook. Yet, every bit as profound is the utter transformation – physical and emotional – awaiting those who take advantage of a revolutionary change recently underway in cosmetic health.
Acne scars form wherever acne advances to the point of injuring our tissue. These injuries arise as an inflammatory response to sebaceous follicles becoming plugged with oils, bacteria and dead cells. The result is the formation of a scar – that discolored fibrous tissue with abnormal collagen function that replaces our healthy skin. Successful treatment of a scar requires both the removal of damaged epidermal tissue and the stimulation of new collagen to improve the region’s tone and texture.
Traditional approaches – topical agents, abrasion therapies, surgery and conventional lasers – either achieve only moderate results, or else destroy unacceptable amounts of healthy tissue along with the scar. The more effective techniques can also require a great deal of recovery time.
A monumental breakthrough came only recently when the FDA cleared Fraxel® Laser Treatment for acne scars after studies showed that the new laser could be far more effective than traditional therapies at both removing damaged tissue and inducing the formation of new collagen.
Age Spots/Brown Spots
Although the appearance of age spots might seem like an obvious indication of aging skin, they are instead our body’s attempt to protect itself from sun exposure by overproducing melanin. Also called liver spots or sun spots, age spots are blemishes that range in color from dark yellow to black and locate themselves in exposed areas of the body, such as the face, hands, shoulders, arms or forehead.
Only occasionally do age spots pose a serious medical risk. They sometimes obscure detection of skin cancer, and, rarely, can indicate accumulated wastes or a bodily dysfunction.
Even when harmless, these blotchy brownish patches pose a tough cosmetic challenge that can make us look and feel much older than our years.
Conventional strategies for eliminating age spots include cryotherapy, acid washes, bleaches, pulsed light or traditional laser treatment. Too often such techniques will fade but not completely remove age spots.
The real breakthrough came recently when the FDA cleared Fraxel® Laser Treatment® for age spots after studies showed that the new laser could be highly effective.
Melasma is a skin condition in which patches of brown or tan discoloration appear on the forehead, cheeks, lips, nose or forearms as a result of the body’s sudden overproduction of pigment. Sometimes called the “mask of pregnancy,” melasma can afflict anyone, but is most often triggered in women—especially during the hormonal fluctuations associated with pregnancy, oral contraceptive use or hormone replacement therapy.
Melasma affects an estimated six million people in the US alone. Though not dangerous, the condition can cause embarrassment and undermine self-confidence.
Conventional remedies for melasma include enzyme inhibitors, depigmenting agents, bleaches, steroids, pulsed light, acid facial peels and aggressive dermabrasion techniques. Seldom are such strategies effective. Traditional laser treatments can also produce lackluster results. No wonder so many people give up and simply hide themselves behind heavy makeup.
A breakthrough finally came when the FDA cleared Fraxel® Laser Treatment for melasma after studies showed that the new laser could be highly effective even in cases where traditional therapies had failed.
Wrinkles Around the Eyes
Wrinkles around the eyes, often called crow’s feet, are categorized by doctors as dynamic wrinkles because they develop largely from years of contracting the muscles that display our emotions when we smile, squint, deeply consider, show surprise or laugh. If you’ve developed such wrinkles yourself, we’re happy to hear that life has dealt you so many rich emotional experiences! Now, about those wrinkles.
There are countless cosmetic strategies for reducing crow’s feet-including acid peels, injectable fillers, collagen, dermabrasion or traditional laser treatment. These techniques can achieve moderately successful results for many patients.
The real breakthrough came recently when the FDA approved Fraxel® Laser Treatment for wrinkles around the eyes after studies showed that the new laser could be far more effective than traditional therapies.
Our practice serves consumers from the following areas of : Washington DC, and the cities of Virginia like Winchester, Frederick County, Clarke County including Berryville, Warren County including Front Royal, Shenandoah County including Strasburg and Woodstock and Northern Virginia including Landsdowne, Leesburg, Purcellville, Ashburn, Manassas, Alexandria, Arlington, Manassas, Landsdowne, Leesburg ,Loudon, Purcellville, Reston, Stafford, Sterling, Fairfax, Vienna, and Woodbridge. This also includes cities in Maryland such as Chevy Chase, Bethesda , Silver Spring, MD and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia including Martinsburg and Charles Town