Fraxel FAQ Redlands

What is Fraxel Laser Treatment?

Fraxel Laser Treatment (FLT) from Reliant Technologies is a new aesthetic solution that repairs aging and sun-damaged skin pixel by pixel, spot by spot. We describe it as new-generation laser skin resurfacing, similar to digital photo-editing software for your skin. Think of your skin as a family portrait or digital photo in need of high-quality restoration or touch-up. Imagine how the portrait would be delicately restored, one small area at a time; or a photograph might be digitally altered, pixel by pixel. That’s the principle behind the Fraxel Laser Treatment.

How does Fraxel Laser Treatment work?

Similar to the technique of editing a digital photograph comprised of pixels, Fraxel Laser Treatment precisely produces thousands of tiny columns of treatment zones invisible to the naked eye that target flawed skin and leave surrounding healthy skin untouched. It is the only laser device specially designed to resurface a fraction of skin at a time without breaking the skin’s protective outer barrier. This fractional resurfacing affects between 20 and 25 percent of the skin at any one time, permitting the spared tissue to assist in the rapid healing of damaged cells. FLT also reaches deep into the dermis to stimulate collagen remodeling in the skin layers below. In this way, the body’s natural healing process creates new, healthy tissue to replace skin imperfections.

How long does the procedure take?

The procedure (including the application of topical anesthetic) typically takes between 1 and 1-1/2 hours. Some patients are able to return to routine activities, including work and social obligations, the same day of treatment. Others require a little more time, depending upon their skin condition and treatment. There’s no prolonged recuperation, no risk of general anesthesia, and treatment is well-tolerated.

What does the Fraxel laser treat?

Fraxel Laser Treatment is currently FDA cleared for skin resurfacing procedures; to treat fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes; and for treatment of pigmented lesions, including melasma, age spots, sun spots and dyschromia.

What has been the acceptance of the Fraxel laser?

Leading researchers and clinicians have spent the past 3 years testing the safety and efficacy of the Fraxel laser. In Fall 2004, the laser system was commercially launched and has obtained widespread professional acceptance since then. Based on clinical experience to date, doctors are reporting noticeable improvement in patients after 3 to 5 treatments. In our practice, we have observed nice improvements in uneven skin color and wrinkles around the eye area. Our Fraxel laser resurfacing results are comparable to other traditional modalities that are associated with far more significant side effects and downtime.

Are there any negative side effects?

We have not experienced any significant or long-lasting adverse effects and have we seen a low incidence of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and no reported cases of hypopigmentation. The clinical endpoint we look for with Fraxel Laser Treatment is cell turnover and peeling. After treatment, the patient’s skin tends to be pinkish-red for a few days with slight to moderate swelling immediately after treatment. This is normal and signifies that the dermal tissue is being repaired and there is good blood circulation. There will be moderate to significant swelling in the treated area for a few days after the procedure depending on the skin’s condition and treatment. The repair process typically entails a bronzing that lasts anywhere from 3 to 14 days after treatment, followed by a flaking process of exfoliation as the reorganized epidermal skin gradually replaces dead tissue.

Does Fraxel Laser Treatment hurt?

Treatment is well-tolerated with a topical anesthetic ointment to alleviate discomfort. We also use contact cooling to increase patient comfort during the procedure. Patients can apply make-up or shave after treatment.

How much does the procedure cost?

An effective treatment regime typically requires an average of 4 to 5 treatment sessions spaced about 2 to 4 weeks apart to obtain maximum benefit. Depending on the nature of the patient’s condition, the areas to be treated and other factors, treatment costs range from about $600-1500 per treatment depending on the area.

Are your patients satisfied?

There has been huge patient satisfaction. Our patients are thrilled and word-of-mouth referrals have been tremendous. What makes FLT such a success is that virtually every patient who gets treated experiences a cosmetic enhancement. Treatment offers immediate results softer, smoother and toned skin plus an ongoing, cumulative improvement that creates a healthy, vibrant and youthful appearance.

Is there an ideal candidate for treatment?

Our typical patient is someone in their 40s or older who has photodamaged skin lines and wrinkles, skin discoloration, dull or rough texture, age spots, etc. Fraxel Laser Treatment especially appeals to those patients who want the positive results of traditional resurfacing methods with minimal downtime or risks. It also appeals to those who are looking for a more dramatic result than might be achieved with non-ablative techniques. Can Fraxel Laser Treatment be used with other non-invasive treatments? A: In our practice we routinely combine Fraxel with other treatments such as botox, fillers and other minimally to non-invasive treatments.

How long do the results last?

It is probably too early to know exactly how long the results last but in our experience with good sun protection/avoidance and appropriate skin care maintenance treatments the improvement should last for years.