Fraxel® Laser FAQ

If you’re ready to improve the health and appearance of your skin, you may be wondering if Fraxel® Dual Laser resurfacing is right for you. Dr. Michele S. Green, a Board Certified Dermatologist, answers the most commonly asked questions about Fraxel® below. You can also request a consultation with Dr. Green, who has helped men and women from New York City and the surrounding areas to look and feel their best through a number of medical and cosmetic skincare procedures.

What is laser resurfacing?

Laser resurfacing is the process of using concentrated light energy to eliminate damaged cells from the outer layers of the skin. There are two approaches that may be taken:

  • Ablative laser resurfacing provides a deeper level of correction, removing the epidermis (outermost layer of the skin) and tightening the dermis (sub-layer of the skin). Recovery time often takes a period of several weeks or more.
  • Non-ablative laser resurfacing also removes sun-damaged skin cells but uses a shallower penetration of the epidermis. Because the intensity is less than an ablative laser, several sessions are typically required for best results. There is minimal downtime and recovery following non-ablative laser resurfacing.

Fraxel® has both ablative and non-ablative capabilities, both of which can improve skin tone and texture. Freckles, age spots or other pigmentation irregularities like melasma can be effectively minimized with laser resurfacing. Fine lines and wrinkles should become less noticeable, and even facial scars can be diminished.

Am I a candidate?

The best candidates for Fraxel® laser resurfacing are in general good health mentally and physically, yet may have complexion concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles, freckles/age spots, melasma, or acne scarring. Candidates should also have good soft tissue support throughout their facial structure, without excessively loose skin. It’s also important to maintain realistic expectations about what laser resurfacing can achieve.

How does laser resurfacing work?

Laser resurfacing uses microbeams of laser energy to create controlled damage in the target areas. This process simultaneously removes thin layers of damaged skin while promoting the natural healing processes of the body to create new, healthy tissue. The final result is skin that looks and feels smoother, more evenly pigmented, and younger. Because sun-damaged and pre-cancerous skin cells are removed during laser resurfacing, your skin’s health can actually improves as well.

What makes Fraxel® different?

Fraxel® is a fractionated carbon dioxide laser that treats the target areas while leaving untreated skin untouched, promoting faster healing and less downtime. This less aggressive approach toward laser resurfacing gives Dr. Green greater precision while minimizing the risk of complications.

Can I combine Fraxel® with other facial rejuvenation procedures?

It’s not unusual to combine Fraxel® with additional cosmetic procedures, although it’s common to stagger the appointments. For example, laser resurfacing may be performed first, then followed up with a combination of BOTOX® to control dynamic wrinkles and dermal fillers to diminish the appearance of deeper lines. It’s best to work closely with Dr. Green to determine the customized approach that will help meet your specific goals.

What should I expect during treatment?

Before treatment, your skin will be cleaned and prepared, and you’ll wear protective goggles for your eyes. A topical anesthetic may be applied, sometimes in combination with a sedative. The laser energy is delivered in pulses, which are repeated in passes until the appropriate level of correction is achieved. Your appointment length will vary depending on how large the treatment area is as well as the level of correction needed.

Is laser resurfacing painful?

Most patients say the sensation is like having a rubber band snapped against the skin: not pleasant, but not exactly painful either. Others feel little to no sensation during treatment, or may have intermittent periods of discomfort. An anesthetic may be recommended for those with more sensitive skin.

How soon until I see results?

Immediately after treatment, your skin will look red or pink. Over the next several days, this will fade to reveal smoother, more youthful looking skin with fewer age spots, freckles and acne scars. Several treatments are typically recommended for the most impressive results, and these should be spaced anywhere from six weeks to a few months apart.

For more information and to book an appointment, please contact Dr. Michele S. Green at 212 535 3088 or contact her online.