Dr. Michele Green is thrilled to provide the innovative Fraxel laser treatment to her private patients in her New York City dermatology practice. The Fraxel laser is a state-of-the-art, non-ablative skin resurfacing treatment that utilizes fractional laser technology to address various skin concerns with minimal discomfort and downtime. Fraxel laser treatment is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that enables patients to achieve long-lasting cosmetic results with significant improvement in the overall health of their skin and the appearance of their complexion. Fraxel laser skin resurfacing is an FDA-approved non-ablative fractional laser technology that restores uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, and texture to reveal clear, beautiful skin.
The Fraxel Dual laser treatment stimulates new collagen production in the dermal layers of skin while leaving the outermost layer intact. Fraxel is commonly used to rejuvenate the face, neck, décolletage, back, hands, arms, and legs. The Fraxel Dual laser operates on two different wavelengths of light, giving it the unique ability to target many skin conditions. Fraxel treats overall pigmentation, brown spots, sun spots, sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, skin texture, enlarged pore size, acne scars, and surgical scars. Dr. Green refers to the Fraxel laser as “the magic eraser” due to the amazing results she achieves with Fraxel laser treatment for skin rejuvenation in her private Upper East Side practice.
Dr. Michele Green is an internationally renowned board-certified dermatologist with over 25 years of experience providing her patients from around the globe with the best non-invasive rejuvenation treatments available, including fractional laser skin resurfacing. Dr. Green uses cutting-edge laser technology and innovative treatment techniques and embraces a ‘less is more’ philosophy regarding cosmetic rejuvenation. She is consistently voted one of NYC’s best dermatologists by Castle Connolly, Super Doctors, and New York Magazine for her dedication to her patients and expertise. When you consult with Dr. Green at her private dermatology office in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood, she will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that best suits your particular skin concerns and overall aesthetic goals for clear, smooth, radiant, healthy skin.
What is the Fraxel Laser?
There are several fractionated lasers on the market, but only one Fraxel laser exists. Many companies may refer to their laser devices as a “Fraxel” type laser. The original Fraxel, manufactured by Solta Medical, was the first fractionated laser of its kind and has its own unique technology. The technology behind Fraxel is revolutionary in that it can accurately treat thousands of microscopic areas of the skin with pinpoint laser precision. The controlled, targeted micro-injuries in the skin created by Fraxel induce the natural wound-healing process of the skin, resulting in the production of new collagen. The precision of the Fraxel laser allows for minimal downtime or discomfort and enhances the observed cosmetic results. One of the greatest benefits associated with Fraxel laser treatment is that there are both immediate and long-term results. Within days of treatment, the skin tone and texture will immediately improve. Over the course of the next months following your treatment session with Fraxel, you will see increased improvement in your skin rejuvenation as new collagen is formed over time. Multiple treatments are often required to achieve optimal cosmetic results when treating acne scars or wrinkles.
What does Fraxel Laser do?
Fraxel laser is FDA-approved to treat the following skin conditions:
- Acne Scars, especially atrophic scars, such as ice pick and boxcar scars.
- Surgical scars, post-op scars, scars from injuries
- Fine lines
- Enlarged pores
- Sun spots, age spots, and freckles
- Uneven pigmentation and discoloration
- Sun damage
- Skin tone and texture
- Perioral lines, which are fine lines around the mouth
- Periocular lines are fine lines around the eyes
- Stretch marks
- Actinic Keratosis
- It is not, however, used for Melasma
What is Fraxel laser resurfacing?
In the past, laser skin resurfacing treatments primarily relied on ablative laser technology. Ablative laser treatments are associated with an extremely long recovery time and discomfort. Thanks to the innovative Fraxel laser treatment, patients can enjoy the skin-rejuvenating benefits of a laser resurfacing treatment without discomfort or extensive downtime. The Fraxel uses a non-ablative laser technology that employs microscopic columns that penetrate deep into the skin, only treating a fraction of the skin tissue at a time, which leaves the surrounding tissue unaffected. This fractional laser technology promotes a faster and more effective healing process. Fraxel laser was the first fractionated laser approved by the FDA for non-ablative laser skin resurfacing. The result of treatment with Fraxel laser is observable rejuvenation and the production of new skin with healthier skin cells. The Fraxel laser treatment will restore your skin’s natural beauty by improving the skin’s surface and stimulating the production of new collagen and elastin. This increased collagen stimulation results in younger-looking, more radiant skin.
35-44 year old female, Fraxel before and after (3 weeks)
How Does Fraxel® Laser Work?
The Fraxel® Dual laser is equipped with two distinct settings, or laser beams, which means there are actually two lasers in one. The 1927 nm wavelength is a state–of–the–art Thulium laser which allows us to remove pigmentation, skin discoloration, age spots, and sun damage from the top layer of the skin quickly, evenly, and with almost no downtime. This specific wavelength of energy targets specific chromophores, or colored elements within skin cells, to create a controlled, local thermal reaction to diminish pigmented spots. The Fraxel Dual is equipped with a Zimmer, which allows cold air to be emitted simultaneously with the laser, designed to minimize any discomfort.
The Erbium component of the Fraxel® Dual laser utilizes the 1550 nm wavelength to improve skin texture, fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars. The Erbium technology focuses the energy in the deeper areas of the skin, stimulating new collagen production. The new collagen that is produced ultimately improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, skin texture, acne scars, pore size, stretch marks, and surgical scars.
Fraxel Dual utilizes fractionated light energy that is delivered to the skin at in a precise and targeted manner. Fraxel creates microscopic injuries to the skin to stimulate the natural healing process, which allows for new collagen production. The fractionated energy is beneficial because the areas of the skin where the energy does not penetrate are unharmed, leading to faster recovery time than traditional skin resurfacing lasers.
How is the Fraxel Treatment Procedure Performed?
Typically, a patient will first consult with Dr. Michele Green to discuss the various skin conditions they seek to treat, from acne scars to rosacea, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, or stretch marks. Once it is determined that the Fraxel laser is the best course of treatment, the procedure may be performed on the same day or scheduled for a later date, depending on preference and time allowance. On the day of the treatment, a topical numbing cream is applied to the entire area for one hour before treatment. This step helps to eliminate any potential discomfort that could be experienced. The Fraxel Dual 1550/1927 treatment session takes approximately 15 minutes to complete when performed on the face. Larger body areas, such as legs and arms, may take up to 30 minutes or longer to perform.
Immediately after the procedure, your skin will feel warm as if it had a mild sunburn. Cold-water compresses will be applied to the skin after treatment, which can be repeated at home if necessary. Afterward, patients can apply moisturizer but must practice strict sun avoidance.
Many patients choose to combine their Fraxel laser treatment with other skin rejuvenating procedures to achieve their ideal cosmetic results. The V-Beam laser can be performed simultaneously with the Fraxel laser for patients who struggle with facial redness or rosacea. V-Beam is a non-invasive laser treatment that operates on a wavelength that exclusively targets the red pigment in the skin. V-Beam efficiently reduces the appearance of pigmented acne scars, broken capillaries, stretch marks, rosacea, and other forms of facial redness. In addition, cosmetic injectables such as Botox and Juvederm can easily be combined with the Fraxel Laser treatment to achieve your best cosmetic results.
Depending on your needs, whether it be overall sun damage, acne scars, or wrinkles, Dr. Green can customize a treatment protocol just for you. We can use either the 100% Thulium laser to treat brown pigmentation or the 100% Erbium to treat primarily fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and textures. Dr. Green often uses a combined treatment with both Thulium and Erbium for more comprehensive results. The beauty of the Fraxel® Dual is that it can be tailor-made for each individual treatment for your unique needs.
Fraxel® delivers amazing results with almost no downtime. Depending on the degree of pigmentation and the number of age spots, an area can be treated with as little as two or three treatments. The result is beautiful, luminous skin. Treating fine lines, scars, and wrinkles, generally requires four to five treatments monthly. The results are an overall improvement in skin tone, texture, fine lines, and a healthier and younger-looking appearance.
How to care for skin after Fraxel laser treatment
After the Fraxel treatment, patients should use a mild cleanser and a gentle moisturizer, such as MGSKINLABS Gentle Cleanser and Absolute Recovery Anti-Wrinkle Cream. All skincare products should be non-irritating and non-comedogenic for the first week after the Fraxel treatment. Brands like Cetaphil, CeraVe, and Aveeno offer gentle over-the-counter products catered to sensitive skin. Avoid picking and scratching at the skin while the treated skin is sloughing off. Avoid products that can potentially irritate the skin, like retinol, Retin-A, hydroquinone, AHAs, BHAs, and exfoliating scrubs. You can resume your normal skincare regimen when the treated skin is fully healed. Keeping the treated area clean while your skin is healing is essential, so avoid smoking, excessive sweating, and swimming.
Protecting your skin from the sun after Fraxel laser treatment is important to prevent sun damage. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and reapply every 90 minutes. Avoid direct sun exposure for at least three months after the laser treatment, and wear sun-protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat if you are in the sun.
Fraxel Laser FAQs
Am I a candidate for Fraxel laser treatment?
The best candidates for Fraxel® laser resurfacing are individuals that are in good general health, mentally and physically, and have the desire to address specific skin concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles, freckles, age spots, stretch marks, pore size, or acne scarring. To be safely and effectively treated with Fraxel, patients should fall somewhere between the Fitzpatrick skin type I and III skin tones. Patients with darker skin tones are at higher risk for developing unwanted side effects or undesirable cosmetic results if treated with the Fraxel laser treatment due to the interaction between the laser and the skin pigment. Dr. Green offers several excellent alternatives to Fraxel treatment for patients with pigmented skin that are safe, effective, and produce optimal cosmetic results. Targeted chemical peels and the eMatrix sublative rejuvenation laser treatment are just two examples of such treatments. It is always recommended that patients who are struggling with active acne breakouts that are moderate to severe first treat the acne. Once the breakouts are under control, other skin conditions may be effectively addressed with Fraxel laser treatment.
Should the Fraxel laser treat melasma?
No! Patients with melasma should do their best to avoid having any laser skin resurfacing treatment, including the Fraxel laser. The reason is that laser treatment can actually worsen the appearance of hyperpigmentation associated with melasma. Melasma can still be treated if a patient has been treated with a laser, though it is often much more challenging to diminish. Treating melasma through topical treatments such as chemical peels or Cosmelan is best. If melasma is a skin concern that you would like to address, or if you are unsure whether the hyperpigmentation that you are experiencing is, in fact, melasma, consult with Dr. Michele Green in NYC. Dr. Green has over 25 years of experience treating patients around the globe for many skin conditions, including melasma and other forms of hyperpigmentation. It is also important to maintain realistic expectations about the cosmetic results of any laser, including Fraxel.
How many Fraxel treatment sessions do you need?
When treating facial pigmentation, if you suffer from a great deal of sun damage and sun spots, it generally takes 3 Fraxel laser treatments, spaced one month apart, to achieve the best results. Since each Fraxel laser session treats approximately 25 to 40 percent of the area at a time, it makes sense that you will need multiple sessions to have the best cosmetic results.
Depending on the severity of the condition, patients with fine lines, wrinkles, or acne scars generally recommend five treatments scheduled at least one month apart. While there is immediate improvement after the laser treatment, new collagen is formed for months after each Fraxel laser treatment for continued rejuvenation.
28 year old female, Fraxel & 1 syringe of Juvederm on lips – 4 weeks
Does Fraxel treatment tighten the skin?
Fraxel is an excellent laser for improving skin tone and texture, reducing lines and wrinkles around the face, especially lines around the eyes and mouth. It also improves the appearance of acne scars and surgical scars. Fraxel laser treats sun damage and sun spots. Fraxel does produce some skin tightening when new collagen is formed, using the 1550 setting. However, a proper skin-tightening laser, such as Thermage, can provide much greater skin-tightening results. Thermage utilizes radiofrequency technology to tighten the skin on the face and body, producing new collagen and providing a more youthful appearance. Many patients combine Thermage and Fraxel treatments into their treatment plans to maximize their rejuvenation results.
What are the side effects of Fraxel?
Fraxel is a non-ablative laser, so there are not the same risk factors that are involved with an ablative laser treatment. However, there is still the potential that laser treatment can result in side effects such as scarring, hyperpigmentation, and infection. If there is a history of acne breakouts, Dr. Green may prescribe an oral antibiotic to be used immediately after your laser treatment. If there is a history of herpes simplex (cold sores), you may be advised to take Valtrex on the day of the procedure to prevent an outbreak.
When you have your Fraxel laser treatment with a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Michele Green in NYC, the risk of experiencing unwanted side effects or poor results is extremely low. It is imperative to research the provider performing your laser resurfacing treatment before undergoing a procedure to get the best cosmetic results. Dr. Green is an internationally renowned expert in the field of dermatology with over 25 years of experience providing patients with optimal facial rejuvenation results and will help you determine which unique combination of non-invasive treatments will cater best to your situation.
It is very important to use proper sun protection after your Fraxel laser treatment. Dr. Green recommends using sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, which should be repeated when outside throughout the day. Use a gentle, non-comedogenic moisturizer after the Fraxel treatment several times a day, such as MGSKINLABS, Inc Recovery Cream, and avoid the sun to prevent any skin damage from occurring.
Although Fraxel is approved for the treatment of melasma, Dr. Green does not recommend the Fraxel laser for patients suffering from melasma. Patients of lighter skin types, skin types I to III, can be safely treated with the Fraxel laser. Patients with darker skin types, greater than type III, should avoid being treated with the Fraxel laser.
What should I expect during treatment?
One hour before your treatment with Fraxel, a topical anesthetic is applied to the skin to eliminate any potential that may be experienced during the procedure itself. After the numbing cream has been on the treatment area for about one hour, the cream will be removed, and your skin will be sterilized. Throughout the duration of the treatment, you’ll wear protective goggles for your eyes. The laser energy is delivered in passes, which are repeated in passes until the appropriate level of correction is achieved. You will feel a little stinging or heat during your treatment. Your appointment length will vary depending on how large the treatment area is and the level of correction needed.
What should I expect after Fraxel treatment?
If you have the Fraxel laser for acne scars alone, the 1550 nm setting is used, and you will only have some redness and swelling for 48 hours. Proper skin care, including moisturizer and sunscreen, is essential post-treatment.
When Fraxel laser treatment is designed for hyperpigmentation and sun spots, the 1927 nm wavelength is utilized, and there are about 5 to 7 days of peeling. The first two days, there is some redness like a sunburn, and by days 3 to 7, the skin peels off like rough sandpaper. Using lotion and avoiding sun exposure to your new skin is important.
It is essential not to use hydroquinone, retinoids, or exfoliating products during this post-treatment period to avoid skin damage. The best skin care products to use now are gentle cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. If you have acne breakouts, you should contact Dr. Green, who may prescribe an oral antibiotic for you.
One of the great benefits of fractional laser resurfacing is that there is no significant amount of downtime with either setting you choose. After the Fraxel laser, you can still do all the normal things you did before the laser. Only on the day of the procedure will you have some immediate discomfort after the numbing cream wears off, which dissipates after a few hours.
1 treatment of Fraxel – 2 weeks later
How soon can I see the results from Fraxel?
Immediately after treatment, your skin will look red or pink. Over the next few 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 four to six weeks apart.
How long does Fraxel last?
Fraxel’s results last at least one year for hyperpigmentation or sun spots. If you avoid the sun and do not get new sun damage, the positive effect of Fraxel can last for years. Some patients come periodically for a touch-up with the Clear + Brilliant laser. The Clear + Brilliant laser is a “Mini Fraxel” favored by celebrities like Drew Barrymore, with no downtime whatsoever.
What is Fraxel laser good for?
Fraxel is a fantastic skin resurfacing laser designed to address skin texture, dullness, sun damage (sun spots), age spots, brown spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and acne or surgical scars. This revolutionary laser will diminish the appearance of crow’s feet and brown spots, improve stubborn acne scars, and create a rejuvenated, healthy-looking complexion. Fraxel laser can be used on various areas of the body. Popular treatment areas include the face, neck, chest, hands, and arms. Fraxel treatment is also well known to effectively treat acne scars, as the laser treatment will stimulate new collagen production.
Can Fraxel laser treat my acne scars?
Yes! Fraxel laser is amazing at treating many different types of acne scars. It best treats atrophic acne scars like ice pick, rolling, and boxcar scars. It is not as successful at treating hypertrophic scars. Fraxel is also designed to treat light skin types, not patients with acne scars with darker skin tones. Patients with acne scars often have low self-esteem due to these scars, and Fraxel can help treat these scars and improve their appearance.
Does Fraxel help with acne?
Fraxel is great for treating acne scars, whether they are atrophic scars or hyperpigmentation, but it is not recommended for treating active acne breakouts. Fraxel is an excellent option for treating acne scars after the acne is under control. In addition to active acne, patients should not be treated with Fraxel if there is an open wound or other form of skin irritation in the treatment area.
Numerous acne treatments are available to eliminate all types of acne, whether they are comedones (whiteheads and blackheads), papules, pustules, cysts, or nodules. Prescription acne treatments include oral antibiotics (doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline), topical antibiotics (erythromycin, clindamycin), spironolactone, and Accutane. In-office acne treatments include HydraFacials, acne surgery, VBeam, and photodynamic therapy.
Various skincare products on the market are specifically formulated to treat acne. Common acne-fighting ingredients include salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and benzoyl peroxide. If you want to get your acne under control finally, consult with Dr. Michele Green, who will thoroughly assess your skin and medical history to create the best treatment protocol.
Does Fraxel hurt?
No. Dr. Green prescribes a topical numbing cream to her patients that should be applied to the treatment area one hour before your Fraxel treatment to minimize any discomfort. Most patients feel minor stinging or heat, with no pain associated with the procedure.
Are there different types of Fraxel lasers?
There are three types of Fraxel laser treatments currently available. The most popular type of Fraxel, which is typically found in a dermatologist’s office, like Dr. Green, is the Fraxel dual laser. Fraxel Dual is the newest version of Fraxel lasers that combines the benefits of both of its predecessors, Fraxel Repair and Fraxel Restore. Fraxel Dual produces comparable results of ablative lasers with the gentler benefits of non-ablative lasers. Fraxel Dual is a nonablative laser that utilizes two different wavelengths: 1550 nm and 1927 nm. The 1550 nm wavelength Erbium effectively treats acne scars, surgical scars, fine lines, pore size, and uneven skin texture. The Thulium 1927 nm works superficially, precisely targeting pigmented spots without affecting the surrounding skin. Due to its dual-wavelength and fractionated laser technology, it can treat the skin non-ablatively with little downtime.
The Fraxel Re: pair is an ablative laser that uses fractional CO2 to rejuvenate the skin. Fraxel Repair delivers an intense wavelength of light, breaking up small columns in the outer layer of the skin to stimulate new collagen and elastin production. Fraxel Repair can be used to treat sunspots, uneven skin tone and texture, deep wrinkles, and scarring to produce a rejuvenating effect. Because Fraxel Repair is an ablative laser, significant downtime is associated with the treatment, usually lasting about one week. This more aggressive laser is suitable for skin with severe damage.
The Fraxel Re: store is a nonablative laser that uses the Erbium 1550 nm wavelength energy to heat the skin and stimulate collagen synthesis. It is a gentler alternative to Fraxel Re: pair, so it is effective in treating moderate damage to the skin, such as fine lines, pigmentation, and uneven texture. There is little downtime associated with Fraxel Restore, usually lasting 1-2 days.
Is Fraxel worth it?
Yes! Fraxel is a fantastic cosmetic laser treatment. Many celebrities and actors have had Fraxel treatments to rejuvenate their skin to prepare for high-definition cameras. Fraxel has proven results for sun damage, acne scars, fine lines, and sunspots. Commitment to the series of treatments yields outstanding results. Replaces aging, damaged skin with new, healthy skin cells for a more youthful, radiant complexion that lasts.
Who should perform Fraxel laser skin resurfacing?
When considering cosmetic dermatology procedures on your face, it is best to consult a board-certified dermatologist with the experience and skills to perform Fraxel laser treatment. A board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon will have advanced training in lasers and skin care that technicians at a spa do not have. Be sure to research your treating physician to ensure they are certified in Fraxel and have years of experience treating cosmetic patients with lasers.
How much is Fraxel laser treatment?
Fraxel laser costs vary based on the area of the body treated and if multiple areas are being treated simultaneously. Generally, prices also depend on the geographic area of the office or clinic. The price for Fraxel laser treatment varies if you have an expert in Fraxel performing your laser treatment or if you have a MedSpa or clinic technician treat you. Fraxel laser is approximately $1500 per session for the face. Generally, an experienced board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon will be more expensive than an uncertified technician who Solta is not trained to perform this laser.
Additional Fraxel & Laser Resurfacing FAQs
What is laser skin resurfacing?
Laser skin resurfacing is the process of using concentrated light energy to remove damaged cells from the outer layers of the skin. 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 removes sun-damaged skin cells but uses a shallower epidermis penetration. 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 can be effectively minimized with fractional laser skin resurfacing. Fine lines and wrinkles will become less noticeable, and acne scars can be diminished.
How does laser skin resurfacing work?
Laser skin resurfacing treatments use laser energy microbeams to create controlled damage in the treatment areas. This process simultaneously removes thin layers of damaged skin while promoting the body’s natural healing processes to create new, healthy skin cells. 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 improve as well.
74 year old with AlexTrivantage & Fraxel
What is the difference between Fraxel laser treatment and other skin resurfacing lasers?
The Fraxel laser uses nonablative, fractionated laser technology. Other skin resurfacing lasers, in the past, primarily used ablative laser technology. Ablative laser treatments essentially create an open wound by removing the thin outermost layer of skin (epidermis) and heating the underlying skin (dermis). This ablation creates a controlled thermal injury to the skin. As the top layer of skin regrows, new collagen fibers are generated, and the treated skin becomes smoother. However, due to the thermal injury created with ablative lasers like carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers, there is significant downtime as the skin takes time to heal. Nonablative lasers, like Fraxel laser, can stimulate new collagen and improve skin tone and texture with minimal recovery time because of the revolutionary fractionated laser technology. Non-ablative lasers stimulate new collagen production in the dermis while the epidermis remains intact, allowing for minimal downtime and optimal rejuvenation results.
What makes Fraxel® different?
Fraxel® is a nonablative fractionated laser that treats the target areas while leaving untreated skin untouched, promoting faster healing and less downtime. This less aggressive approach to laser skin resurfacing gives Dr. Green greater precision while minimizing the risk of complications and unwanted side effects. The minimal downtime associated with Fraxel is also convenient for patients with busy lives who cannot set aside many days to heal.
Is Fraxel a CO2 laser? Is Fraxel the same as CO2 laser?
Fractional CO2 laser and Fraxel laser are two different types of skin-resurfacing treatments. The Fractional CO2 laser uses ablative laser technology and removes the outermost layer of the skin. The Fraxel laser uses non-ablative laser technology and stimulates new collagen production in the dermal layers of the skin. Both laser treatments can be used to target various skin concerns, including sun damage, acne scars, stretch marks, and fine lines, among others. As an ablative laser treatment, the CO2 laser is associated with a longer amount of downtime and more discomfort than the non-ablative Fraxel laser treatment.
Which is better, Fraxel or CO2 laser?
Fraxel and CO2 lasers are different skin resurfacing treatment options that can be used to address various signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, and sun spots or age spots. CO2 lasers emit energy with a 10,600 nm wavelength that is absorbed by the water in the skin cells, leading to the removal of the superficial layer of the skin. This is called skin resurfacing. This controlled heat injury to the skin stimulates collagen synthesis in the deeper layer of the skin, resulting in smoother, tighter, and more elastic skin. Ablative CO2 lasers are more aggressive than nonablative lasers, involving the vaporization of the skin tissue to produce more dramatic effects and improvements. Fractional CO2 lasers are milder with faster recovery time. It utilizes many microbeams that create columns of ablation in the skin without damaging the surrounding skin. This minimizes the risk of encountering unwanted side effects because it is more targeted. Fraxel Dual uses fractionated light energy that is broken up into thousands of microscopic beams. Fraxel uses two different wavelengths to tackle specific needs: 1550 nm Erbium for fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and surgical scars, and Thulium 1927 nm for pigmentation. Fraxel creates controlled, microscopic injuries on the skin to promote healing and collagen production. Because of the fractionated technology, Fraxel treatment allows rapid healing, minimal side effects, and short downtime.
The CO2 laser is an ablative skin resurfacing treatment where the entire top layer of the skin is sloughed off. This requires extensive downtime of about two weeks as your skin fully heals. The aggressive approach of the CO2 laser also contributes to an increased risk of adverse side effects, like hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation. Both lasers are not recommended for darker skin tones, including Asian and olive skin. It is up to your aesthetic goals, time available for downtime, and physician’s discretion whether Fraxel or CO2 is recommended. Consult with expert, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green to learn more about the different skin resurfacing lasers and which is right for you.
Is Halo better than Fraxel?
Halo is a hybrid fractional laser that combines ablative and non-ablative laser technology. Fraxel relies exclusively on non-ablative fractional laser technology to stimulate new collagen production in the dermal layers of the treatment area. Both laser treatments offer a host of skin rejuvenation benefits and can be used to address skin concerns such as fine lines, pigmentation, acne scars, sun damage, and more. When you consult with a board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green in NYC, they will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that incorporates the skin resurfacing laser treatments best suited to your skin type, the skin conditions you would like to address, skin tone, and overall cosmetic goals.
Can I combine Fraxel® with other facial rejuvenation procedures?
Yes! Most patients see a significant improvement in their skin texture and tone after just one Fraxel laser treatment session. However, combining Fraxel with additional cosmetic procedures to achieve ultimate skin rejuvenation is common. For example, laser skin resurfacing may be performed first, followed by a combination of Botox® to control dynamic fine lines and dermal fillers like Restylane® and Juvederm® to diminish the appearance of deeper wrinkles and replenish age-related volume loss. Microneedling with PRP is a popular treatment following Fraxel to maintain the best results. The idea of Microneedling with PRP is similar to that of Fraxel, except it works superficially to cause skin micro-injuries and stimulate collagen synthesis. The VBeam laser, which uses a specific wavelength to target red pigment in the skin, can be performed before Fraxel to treat facial redness, broken blood vessels, and red acne scars. It’s best to work closely with Dr. Green to determine the customized approach that will help meet your specific goals.
Thermage radiofrequency laser treatment is one of the most common procedures to be combined with Fraxel skin resurfacing treatment. Thermage is considered the gold standard for non-invasive skin tightening. Thermage tightens the skin by heating the dermal layers with radiofrequency energy, producing new collagen. There is no downtime associated with Thermage, so patients can easily schedule a treatment session. As another added bonus, patients can often enjoy the long-lasting rejuvenation effects of Thermage for up to two years in duration. The skin tightening effects of Thermage combined with the rejuvenating effects of Fraxel produce ideal cosmetic results.
Is Fraxel ablative?
Fraxel is a non-ablative laser treatment. Ablative lasers remove the entire surface layer of the skin. Non-ablative lasers like Fraxel stimulate new collagen production in the dermal layers of skin, leaving the outermost layer intact. This feature allows Fraxel to provide optimal cosmetic results with minimal downtime, making it an ideal treatment option for rejuvenation.
When to exfoliate after Fraxel
Waiting one week before exfoliating after a Fraxel laser treatment session is recommended. During the few days of downtime associated with the Fraxel, one of the common side effects that patients encounter is skin flaking. To guarantee the best cosmetic results, allowing the skin to heal independently rather than attempting to exfoliate away the flakes is essential. When you have your Fraxel laser skin resurfacing treatment with Dr. Green in NYC, she will provide you with all the pertinent aftercare information required for achieving and maintaining the best rejuvenation results. In addition to using gentle skincare products for the week following your Fraxel laser treatment, it is critical to avoid sun exposure. Following Fraxel laser treatment, skin photosensitivity is increased in the treatment area, making it more susceptible to UV damage. Avoiding sun exposure protects the skin during healing and prevents any skin concerns from worsening.
How do I get started with Fraxel laser treatments today?
If you’re frustrated with the appearance of an uneven skin tone, an irregular skin texture, spent too much time in the sun as a young adult, or want to minimize signs of aging, Dr. Michele Green is here to help. Dr. Green often refers to the Fraxel laser as the “magic eraser” because it is a safe and effective treatment option for many skin concerns, including acne scars, sun damage, fine lines, stretch marks, and hyperpigmentation. Whether your problem area is the face, neck, décolletage, hands, arms, or chest, Fraxel may be the perfect skin resurfacing laser treatment to revitalize your complexion with minimal downtime.
Dr. Michele Green is an internationally renowned board-certified dermatologist with over two and a half decades of experience providing some of the world’s most discerning individuals with the best non-invasive treatment options for rejuvenation. She is consistently identified as one of New York City’s best dermatologists by Castle Connolly, New York Magazine, Super Doctors, and the New York Times. When you consult with Dr. Green at her private dermatology office in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood, she will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that best suits your particular skin concerns and aesthetic goals. To learn more about Fraxel’s benefits and create your personalized rejuvenation treatment plan, schedule a consultation with Dr. Green today by contacting us online or calling 212-535-3088.