Laser Skin Resurfacing

When you are looking for advanced skin resurfacing for the renewal of facial tissues, something that goes beyond chemical peels or microdermabrasion, it may be time to utilize the latest in laser technology. Laser skin resurfacing offers several options for treatment fractional ablative and non-ablative methods. Fractional ablative laser skin resurfacing removes columns of the tissue, while non-ablative (or fractional laser) treatment heats isolated columns of tissue. Fractional laser skin resurfacing targets small, neatly spaced treatment areas while simultaneously protecting surrounding skin. This arrangement allows for the aggressive and relatively quick treatment of the skin’s surface with reduced risk of thermal damage. At Senza Aesthetic Medical, we offer both fractional ablative (using the ActiveFX UltraPulse) and fractional non-ablative (using the Fraxel laser) treatments .

What is Fraxel laser treatment?

Fraxel laser treatment (FLT) was created by Reliant Technologies, and is a new aesthetic solution that repairs aging and sun-damaged skin in pixeled patterns. At Senza, we describe the Fraxel laser as a next-generation laser skin resurfacing method, similar to digital photo-editing software, but for your skin. Think of your skin as a digitized photo in need of high-quality restoration. To delicately restore an old photograph, you would focus on repairing each pixel within the picture; this is the same method used when applying the Fraxel laser treatment.

What is UltraPulse laser treatment?

The UltraPulse is something that we typically recommend when you need a deep skin resurfacing method. This ablative laser treatment can address scars (traumatic or surgical) by targeting scarred tissue at a 4.3-millimeter depth. In contrast, surface lasers only penetrate the skin at one or two millimeters – enough to lightly renew sun damaged skin.

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Laser Skin Resurfacing FAQ's

How do laser treatments work?

When applied to the skin, the Fraxel laser creates thousands of small columns in treatment zones invisible to the naked eye, targeting flawed skin without disturbing the surrounding healthy tissue. Fraxel is the only laser device designed to resurface the skin without penetrating the protective outer layer. This fractional treatment resurfaces 20 to 25 percent of the face at any one time, permitting healthy tissue to rapidly heal damaged cells. FLT reaches deep into the dermal layer to begin collagen remodeling in underlying layers, allowing the body’s natural healing systems to create new, healthy tissue that removes imperfections.

Alternatively, Fractional Ablative treatments can more aggressively resurface the skin should you have advanced sun damage and discoloration. Fractional ablative laser procedures require additional recovery time, since we are stripping the surface of your skin, and the body needs time to repair and heal the new layer. Patients with extensive damage to the skin are often recommended for fractional ablative laser treatments.

How long does laser treatment take?

These laser treatments, which include the application of a topical anesthetic, typically take an hour to an hour and a half. Some patients can return to their usual activities (including work and social obligations) the same day. Other patients require slightly more recovery time, depending upon the condition of the skin and depth of treatment. There is no lengthy recovery for Fraxel, no anesthesia risks or side effects, and the treatment is tolerable.

What does laser skin resurfacing treat?

The Fraxel laser treatment is FDA approved for skin resurfacing procedures addressing fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, and pigmented lesions (melasma, age spots, sun spots and dyschromia). UltraPulse can focus on deeper lines and folds in addition to scarring.

Is there research backing laser skin resurfacing treatments?

Based on clinical experience, doctors are reporting a noticeable improvement in patients after three to five treatments. In our practice, we have observed improvements in uneven skin color, tone, and wrinkles around the eye area. Fraxel laser skin resurfacing results are comparable to other traditional modalities associated with more significant side effects and downtime.

Are there any adverse side effects after laser treatment?

We have not experienced any significant adverse side effects, but have seen a small incidence of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation with no reported cases of hypopigmentation. We look for cell turnover and peeling to evaluate these effects. After treatment, the skin tends to appear pinkish-red for a few days, with slight swelling immediately afterward. This reaction is normal and signifies that the dermal tissue has begun the repair process.

When there is good blood circulation, the skin will turn pink. Based on the depth of laser treatment, whether we’ve used ablative or non-ablative methods, there may be moderate swelling in the treatment area for a couple of days. This repair process starts with a bronzing of the skin that lasts anywhere from three days to two weeks after treatment, followed by a flaking of the dead tissue as the rejuvenated epidermal skin replaces damaged cells.

Is laser treatment painful?

Treatment is tolerable and for many patients, virtually pain-free. We use a topical anesthetic ointment that alleviates any pain sensation, as well as contact cooling during laser applications to improve patient comfort. Patients can shave and apply makeup after treatment.

Are your patients satisfied with their results?

Senza patients are thrilled with our laser treatments, and we often receive word-of-mouth referrals. What makes laser skin resurfacing such a success is that every patient who receives treatment experiences significant cosmetic enhancements. Patients see consistent results with a softer, smoother and more toned face, plus ongoing improvements that leave you with vibrant, healthy and youthful skin.

Is there an ideal candidate for treatment?

Patients over 40 years old with a significant amount of sun damage, age spots, and scarring are the ideal candidates for laser skin resurfacing treatments. Fraxel laser treatment appeals to patients who want results with minimal downtime or risks.

Can Fraxel be used with other non-invasive treatments?

At Senza we routinely combine treatments such as Botox, fillers and other minimally invasive treatments with laser skin resurfacing.

How long do the results last?

Results will vary by patient, but the best results come from healthy skin care regimens as advised by Dr. Rasi. Adequate sun protection and touch-up sessions can improve skin quality for years following the initial treatment series.