Fraxel® Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a Fraxel® Laser Treatment?
A Fraxel® laser treatment is a cosmetic procedure that is designed to treat facial skin problems such as lines, wrinkles, damage caused by over-exposure to the sun, and scarring from acne. Fraxel® laser treatments not only treat superficial problems of the skin, they also trigger the mechanisms within the skin that naturally fight the signs of aging. When projected into the skin, the laser helps rejuvenate the cells in the tissue stimulating the body to produce more collagen, which is responsible for giving the skin its youthful, resilient appearance.
How does Fraxel® work?
Fraxel® treats a fraction of tissue at a time with thousands of microscopic laser columns before your own body completes the process by healing from the inside out replacing damaged tissue with healthy skin.
What results can I expect after a Fraxel® treatment?
You can expect two levels from your Fraxel® treatment that include immediate and progressive results. Immediately after the initial healing is complete, the surface of your skin will feel softer and the tone will become more even and progressive results occur over the next 3-6 months as the deeper layers of skin continue to heal.
What is recovery after a Fraxel® treatment like?
New epidermal skin will develop immediately (within 24 hours) after your Fraxel® procedure and during this process mild bronzing of the skin and some exfoliation can be expected. Moisturizing the skin will help alleviate any discomfort and using a sunscreen is strongly recommended.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments you need will depend on your goals and desired outcomes as well as your lifestyle. This varies from person-to-person and in most cases, 3-6 treatments are required for optimal results. Additional treatments can be scheduled monthly or spaced at longer or shorter intervals depending on the patient’s needs.
How many people have used Fraxel®?
In the decade since Fraxel® first pioneered true fractional laser technology, physicians around the world have treated more than 800,000 men and women from all walks of life including all ethnicities.
What makes Fraxel® different from traditional laser treatments?
Unlike traditional laser devices, Fraxel® brand laser systems treat microscopic volumes of skin with each unique pulse, leaving the surrounding area intact stimulating the body’s own capacity to heal quickly.
Have Fraxel® treatments been approved by the FDA?
Fraxel® lasers have received multiple FDA clearances and have been found safe and effective in treating many areas of the face and body.
How long do Fraxel® treatments take?
The length of a Fraxel® procedure depends on the size, location, and condition of the area to be treated. Sixty minutes prior to a Fraxel® treatment, your skin will be cleansed and numbed with a topical anesthetic ointment and typically the procedure takes 20-30 minutes for a full face.
What precautions will I need to take after my Fraxel® treatment?
You will be instructed to wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and avoid direct sun exposure while you are healing (at least three months).
Do Fraxel® treatments hurt?
A topical anesthesia will be applied before the procedure and cold air will be used on the treatment area during the procedure to minimize discomfort. After treatment, most patients report a tingling sensation similar to a sunburn and this usually subsides in 1-3 hours.
What are some of the side effects involved with a Fraxel® treatment?
As with any laser skin procedure, there is the possibility of side effects and the most common involves the reddening of the treated area often described as having a sunburn. This will lessen and take on a bronzed appearance after a few days and the skin may begin to peel. Rarely, infection occurs which can be treated with antibiotics.
How long will it take before I can return to work?
Recovery time for a Fraxel® treatment is minimal and patients usually resume their normal activities the next day. More aggressive Fraxel® treatments may require up to ten days recovery time.
If I want a Fraxel® treatment, what is my first step?
The first step in deciding if Fraxel® is right for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. V at The Virginia Institute of Surgical Arts. She will thoroughly evaluate your skin and prescribe a treatment plan designed for the corrections that need to be made.
Who is a candidate for a Fraxel® treatment?
You are a candidate for Fraxel® if you have wrinkles, fine lines, irregular skin texture, pigmented lesions, sun spots, age spots, and vascular dyschromia (sun-induced redness).
With so many different Fraxel® treatments, how do I know which one is right for me?
All Fraxel® laser treatments use fractional technology to heal your skin from the inside out but they have different levels of intensity. The range of Fraxel® procedures vary in aggressiveness, downtime, results, and the number of treatments needed. The most aggressive procedure is Fraxel® re:pair, which produces dramatic improvement for severely damaged skin. Less aggressive treatments, like Fraxel® re:store, can produce significant results for mild to moderately damaged skin over the course of 3-6 treatments. When considering which Fraxel® option is best for you, Dr. V will evaluate your skin conditions and tailor a plan to meet your circumstances and lifestyle.
Contact The Virginia Institute of Surgical Arts by clicking here or calling 703-327-8200.