What is a laser?
Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers are devices that emit a certain wavelength of energy. Different types of lasers serve different purposes. The most common lasers and energy devices used in dermatology are Fractional Resurfacing Lasers, Vascular Lasers, Radiofrequency devices, Light-based devices, Q-switched lasers (often used for tattoo removal) and Hair Removal lasers.
What is a Fractionated Laser?
Fractionated lasers treat a very small area of the skin, leaving healthy skin intact between the treated areas. Each treated spot is surrounded by healthy skin, which helps to promote healing and decrease the risk of adverse events. Today’s resurfacing lasers are usually fractionated, as opposed to the non-fractionated ablative lasers of the past.
What is Fractional Laser Resurfacing?
Fractional Laser Resurfacing used a fractionated resurfacing laser to poke microscopic holes in the skin’s surface. The energy used to poke these microscopic holes stimulates the production of healthy collagen and skin renewal over the treated area. Fractional laser resurfacing is used to improve the texture and appearance of the skin.
What is Fractional Laser Resurfacing used to treat?
Fractional laser resurfacing improves the surface of the skin by making microscopic holes in the skin’s surface. This process stimulates skin regeneration and collagen production. Fractional laser resurfacing is often used to treat acne scars, surgical and traumatic scars, wrinkles and fine lines, and pigmentation such as sun damage or melasma.
What are examples of Fractional Resurfacing Lasers?
The most common fractional resurfacing lasers are the Fraxel Laser and the Fractional CO2 Laser. The main difference between these two lasers is that the Fraxel laser is non-ablative, while the Fractional CO2 laser ablates the skin’s surface as it delivers its energy. Ablative fractional resurfacing treatments, such as the Fractional CO2 laser, usually require only one treatment. The Fraxel laser resurfacing treatment requires 4 treatments to make up a complete resurfacing treatment. Both lasers are very effective for the treatment of wrinkles and fine lines, scars and unwanted pigmentation.
Is there downtime after Fractional Laser Resurfacing?
Fractional resurfacing lasers require a few days of downtime after the treatment. There are only 2-3 days of redness and swelling after the Fraxel laser; the Fraxel does not ablate the surface of the skin, so you may apply makeup during this time if you would like. The Fractional CO2 Laser is more aggressive than the Fraxel laser, requiring 4-5 days of downtime after the treatment. However, only one treatment is necessary with the Fractional CO2 Laser (compared to 4 Fraxel treatments), so some patients find that the Fractional CO2 is more convenient. Both lasers are very efficacious and have excellent results.
Where are Fractional Laser Resurfacing treatments performed?
All Fraxel and Fractional CO2 laser treatments are performed at Schweiger Dermatology in Midtown Manhattan.