Fraxel is one of the best-known lasers on the market, and at Palo Alto Laser and Skin Care we exclusively offer Fraxel Dual. What makes this particular laser so great? It’s a non-ablative option for overall skin resurfacing. Fractional lasers treat every skin zone while leaving the nearby areas untouched. It truly treats just a “fraction” of your skin at a time, which means a much quicker recovery compared to the lasers of yesteryear.
Fraxel Dual is designed to treat damaged and aged skin by creating many microscopic treatment zones deep below the skin’s surface. When old, hyperpigmented cells are vanquished, Fraxel sends heat into the skin to tighten it while also kick-starting collagen production. “Non-ablative” refers to the comparably low energy Fraxel Dual produces (compared to “ablative” lasers). Ablative lasers, which were common in the past, damage and remove the top layer of skin—usually almost entirely. As you can imagine, this leads to a painful and long recovery period. A good example is in the 1990s episode of “Sex and the City” when the character Samantha Jones gets a treatment that made her hide under a “bee keeper hat” for weeks. Thankfully, such recoveries are no longer necessary with options like the Fraxel Dual.
Some clients ask our aestheticians what the difference is between Fraxel Dual and Fraxel re:store. Fraxel Re:pair was (is) ablative—Fraxel Dual is not. Fraxel Dual is actually the next generation of the Fraxel Re:store, and it still has the option of two different treatment wavelengths or “modes.” There is the 1550nm to penetrate into the deep layers of the skin to address deep lines, creases, and scarring (this mode is particularly helpful for many acne scars). The 1927nm isn’t as deep of a penetration, so it can be used for more surface-level corrective concerns such as poor tone, texture, and many types of skin damage. Many clients benefit from using both modes in different areas to treat a myriad of concerns.
From stretch marks to surgical scars and uneven skin tone to early signs of aging, Fraxel Dual is a comprehensive tool that can (almost) do it all. However, the Fraxel Dual isn’t a one-and-done treatment. Most clients need up to six initial sessions spaced a few weeks apart to get optimal results. After establishing a Fraxel Dual foundation, maintenance sessions may be recommended every few months so you can keep your results. You will find out how many sessions you need for your unique issues and goals during a consultation with our aesthetician.
Preparing for Your Fraxel Dual Treatment
Little prep is needed for Fraxel Dual, though just like with any laser treatment it is important to avoid direct UV exposure for two weeks before and after your treatment. Now is a great time to upgrade your sunscreen regiment to a medical-grade product. At your appointment, the treatment area will be cleansed and the laser will be passed over the area. The laser beam will overlap, horizontally and vertically, to ensure full coverage. Most clients describe the sensation as prickling or mild burning, and most do not require any numbing cream. However, if you have sensitive skin or if Fraxel Dual is being performed in a sensitive area, topical numbing agents are certainly available.
The length of your appointment depends on the area(s) being treated, but most take no longer than 30 minutes. A coolant is applied after the treatment to soothe the skin and help with recovery. Although skin can look red and irritated after the treatment, it is not typically severe enough to disrupt daily activities. If you have a special event coming up, it’s a good idea to plan your Fraxel Dual session at least five days in advance so any lingering redness can subside.
If you are interested in what Fraxel Dual can do for you, or in learning more about the many other laser treatments we have available, schedule a consultation with an aesthetician today. You can also combine laser treatments with other procedures, such as fillers, Botox, or body contouring options, to maximize your results. Connect with Palo Alto Laser and Skin Care today to schedule your consultation by calling the office or, for the quickest response, simply complete the online contact form.