Both Fraxel and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) are used for treatments dealing with moderate to severe sun damage. However, there are differences between the two. The Fraxel Dual Laser treatment is an FDA-approved fractional laser that is used for a range of treatments. It can be used for restoring your skin’s natural texture and skin tone or reducing fine lines and wrinkles. The Fraxel Dual Laser is also used for the removal of any unwanted brown spots, surgical scars, acne scars, leaving you with smoother, fresher looking skin.
How the Fraxel Dual Laser Works
The Fraxel Dual Laser is termed “fractional” because only a fraction of the skin is treated in a single session; this treatment is performed as a series of procedures, typically around involving one to three treatments. The Fraxel Laser actually has a dual setting, in other words, it’s composed of two lasers in one: the 1927nm wavelength is used for superficial treatment, typically for improving pigmentation, whereas the other, 1550nm wavelength laser, focuses on targeting skin texture; deep lines and acne scars. The dual setting can be used together or separately, depending upon your specific needs and what your goals are for your overall skin.
Because the Fraxel utlizes the 1927nm wavelength, it is the best treatment for hyperpigmentation and superficial sun damage. There is minimal downtime for the Fraxel, a patient can expect 48 hours of redness after the procedure and minimal swelling that will subside within 1 – 2 days. Peeling can also occur which is completely normal. This common side effect will wear off within a week after treatment.
The 1550nm wavelength is best used for wrinkles around the mouth (“smokers lines”), acne scars, superficial tone, texture and wrinkles throughout the entire face.
How the IPL Laser Works
IPL (intense pulsed light) treatment is slightly different than most lasers, in fact IPL is not a laser, but utilizes intense pulsed light. IPL can releases light of various wavelengths that are much more scattered than lasers. The IPL uses light to penetrate the dermis layer of the skin (second layer) without harming the epidermis (top layer), causing little irritation.
IPL targets the skin cells that contain excess pigment. The pigmented cells absorb the light energy over the ones and are converted into heat. The heat is what destroys the unwanted pigmentation. IPL works well for people who have freckles and other types of spots, such as sunspots, caused by sun damage. When it comes to sun damage, preventative measures are the best cause of action so you should always try to avoid sun exposure and use a high factor SPF sunscreen where possible.
IPL can also be used to treat vascular lesions, such as rosacea and redness on the face. The 560nm wavelength is utilized to treat facial redness. In addition, IPL has both hair reduction wavelengths and skin tightening capabilities. The IPL can destroy the hair follicles and prevents hair from re-growing in the treated area. IPL also has the BBL (skin tight) function and is very successful at tightening the skin as well.
Both IPL and Fraxel treat similar skin conditions with minimal downtime. To best understand which treatment is right for you an in-patient consultation with Dr. Green would be best. Contact us online today or call our NYC based offices at 212-535-3088 to learn more about how Fraxel laser treatments or the IPL laser can potentially help with skin rejuvenation and achieve the desired results you would like.