Fractional laser, also known as fraxel, is a technology that delivers microscopic beams of laser light into the skin in a controlled tiny-dot pattern leaving some skin intact. In doing so it allows the physician to achieve superb results without injuring the whole surface of the skin. The tiny columns of laser energy can penetrate deep into the skin and stimulate collagen production in a very predictable way.
There are two main types of fractional lasers/fraxel:
- Ablative. As the terminology indicates, it is more aggressive and will peel off the surface of the skin. There is some downtime involved with it, but, once the skin has healed, the results can be very pleasing. It is indicated for mature skin, skin with sun damage, wrinkles, sun spots, and scars.
- Non-Ablative. This procedure has little or no downtime and works well for moderate skin damage, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and melasma.
Although the vast majority of patients are pleased with fractional laser, some might not have the expected results. That is because lasers have many adjustable settings with them. There are different energy levels, pulse duration, time between pulses, and so on. The physician sets these parameters, depending on the skin type and the particular damage to be corrected. As an example, melasma requires very little energy, while wrinkles need much stronger settings to achieve the desired result.
With that in mind it is very important to consult with a qualified physician with proven expertise in lasers and laser treatments. This can make the difference between satisfied results and an unhappy outcome.
With any cosmetic procedure the patient’s own expectation is also very important in determining the level of satisfaction. Fractional laser has the ability to refresh and correct the skin texture, but one cannot expect it will deliver a non-surgical facelift.
Love your skin.