The Fraxel® Laser uses a 1927nm wavelength of light which is highly absorbed by the epidermal (outer layer) of the skin.
It penetrates to a depth of 0.2mm. This allows complete replacement of the full thickness of the epidermis. The outermost layer of skin is what people see every day. Poor skin quality due to sun damage and ageing results in a dull, thickened and irregularly pigmented epidermis with fine lines, the Fraxel® laser removes the old epidermis and replaces it with a new one.
The change in appearance is quite dramatic. The new epidermis is uniform, smooth and pigment-free and immediately rejuvenates the face.
The procedure requires a mild local anaesthetic cream to be applied to the face for 30-45 minutes.
Following this, the Fraxel® laser procedure is performed and lasts for about 30 minutes. Protective eyewear is worn during the procedure so you will not be able to see what is going on around you. Most clients will complain of a mild prickly heat sensation at most.
Following treatment clients will feel a sunburn sensation for the first 24 hours.
The face will be red and puffy for the first 24-48 hrs.
Darkening and shedding of the outer layer of the skin occurs from days 3-6.
Complete recovery is usually after 7 days. There may be mild residual redness that will take a few more days to settle but this can be easily hidden with makeup.
During the 7-day recovery period, you will have to follow a simple skincare routine which will be issued to you in written format. The skin products you require for this are issued to you during your treatment visit. It is normal to take antiviral tablets to prevent cold sore virus infection whilst healing.
Potential complications of Fraxel® treatment
Fraxel® laser is a very safe treatment. However, with any laser resurfacing treatment complications are possible.
In Fraxel laser these include the following:
· Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (skin darkening)
This is the most common side effect. It is most common on darker skin types. Thankfully it usually spontaneously improves.
Improvement can be sped up by the addition of topical treatment such as hydroquinone 4% cream. Duration usually depends on the severity of the inflammation that created it in the first place. Complete resolution can take anything from a few weeks to 6 months depending on severity.
Sun exposure is the most common aggravating factor and this is why strict sun avoidance is important in the first few weeks following treatment.