Great question. You are most definitely in the right place.
At Skin to Love, we are honoured to work with a true Fraxel laser expert, so we thought we’d pick her brains on your behalf.
Jane, nurse and Fraxel expert, has been working with this sought-after laser since 2005 and was the trainer for this laser to all the other practitioners using it in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
So, with your Fraxel guides expertise covered, let’s find out more about this treatment.
Fraxel is a laser which is used to improve skin quality, tone and colour. It’s a laser which looks for water in the skin, which means that it can safely treat all skin colours and creates microscopic treatment zones which are essentially tiny ‘injuries’ to the skin. These are zones enough to stimulate collagen and skin repair, but with little downtime.
Are all fractional lasers Fraxel?
No. Fraxel was the original fractional laser. Not all fractional lasers are the same. Fraxel fractional laser allows you to reproduce the exact same treatment time after time because of its patented technology, regardless of who is treating you.
Why is fractional important?
Prior to Fraxel, we used ablative lasers for scarring and skin laxity. What this means is, we would use lasers that would burn the top layers of the skin off; the patient would need about two weeks recovery and the selection of patient was very important because you couldn’t treat everybody; there could be some potential loss of skin pigment in some skins that have more melanin.
Fractional lasers treat a fraction of the skin at a time. You set the amount of skin you wish to treat at the start of the treatment, for example 10% or 40%. This means that as you cover the entire area of skin you’re treating, such as the face, the laser will only produce that set percentage of microscopic treatment zones I mentioned earlier.
Being ‘fractional’ is important because those treatment zones each have untouched skin around them which rapidly speeds up the skin’s recovery time. This also means me can be more accommodating with our treatments, for example if a patient cannot afford to have much recovery time, we could give them a ‘lighter’ treatment, meaning we’d set the Fraxel laser to create fewer microscopic treatment zones per session but then do more sessions; this might take longer for the patient to get their results, but it interrupts their lifestyle less. This approach also allows us to treat darker skin types too. Equally, if we know that a patient has a week off of work, then we may consider a more hard-hitting treatment and treat a higher percentage of their skin, within safety parameters of course.
I’ve heard different names, which is a bit confusing-Fraxel, Fraxel Dual, Fraxel Re:pair and Fraxel Re:store. Are they all the same?
Yes, this can be a little confusing! No, they are not all the same. The original ‘Fraxel’ laser had a wavelength of 1550nm and was used for acne scarring, poor texture and poor skin laxity. This is often referred to as the Fraxel Re:store.
Then the Fraxel Dual was introduced, this combined two wavelengths within one device: 1550nm, as in the original Fraxel device, and 1927nm. Fraxel Dual has a unique thulium glass laser which is excellent for dyschromia, pigmentation, skin texture and tone.
With the Fraxel Dual, both wavelengths can be used during a treatment session, 1550nm followed by 1927nm which is ideal for some people who have skin laxity but also sun damage. We can treat both in the same day. However, each wavelength can be used individually, for example acne scars can be treated with 1550nm and another person with sun damage could just have the 1927nm wavelength during their treatment.
There is also Fraxel re:pair which is a fractional CO2 laser, so a carbon dioxide laser, which used to be an ablative laser but now is fractional so there is less recovery time for the patient. This would be used for particularly difficult, severe cases of acne scarring and very severe laxity.
Why did you choose the Fraxel Dual for The Skin to Love Clinic?
At the time that we opened our Hertfordshire skin clinic in 2013, I had eight years of clinical experience and four years training other clinicians in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa on behalf of Fraxel.
I felt that the technology would have been very hard to beat and that I would have been pushed to find better and so with its multiple studies and my hands on experience and clinical expertise, there wouldn’t have been any other choice besides Fraxel for me.
What can the Fraxel Dual laser treat?
Fraxel Dual laser can treat the face and body for a number of concerns, thanks to its dual wavelength. This includes surgical scars and acne scarring, sun damage, sunspots (also called age spots) and uneven pigmentation, stretch marks, wrinkles, poor skin laxity, crepey skin and dull skin.
Why would I choose Fraxel treatment over other treatments such as peels or microdermabrasion?
It’s a medical treatment which is performed by nurses or doctors. It is very predictable in the outcome it gives and downtime so you know that the treatment will require a certain amount of recovery time, which is helpful as you will know if you need to book any time off work or social occasions, and also that it will work.
It is a controlled treatment and can safely be used on all skin colours. This is different to chemical peels, where the results and recovery time are very dependent on the practitioner, skin type and skin colour. In my experience, results from treatments like microdermabrasion just don’t really stack up against medically led treatments
How do I know that my practitioner is using a Fraxel laser, not just a fractional laser?
To the clinic or practitioner, Fraxel is a very expensive device and so not everybody in the UK has a Fraxel laser to offer their patients. It’s different in the USA, most dermatologists will have a Fraxel.
I’ve seen that some skincare clinics will suggest in their literature and website that they have Fraxel, but occasionally this is not so; always check on the manufacturer’s website (in this case, Fraxel) as they will have a list of people who have this device. This will point you in the direction of someone who uses a true Fraxel laser.
The device itself also has the Fraxel logo on it so if you are in any doubt that the laser someone is using is a genuine Fraxel, ask to see the device before you have the treatment, you’re entitled to do this.
So there we have it, the lowdown on the Fraxel laser from a true Fraxel expert.
If you have any questions about Fraxel Dual or any of the skin concerns that it treats, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Disclaimer: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic purposes. We are all unique which means that our results, recovery and suitability for any type of treatment will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional should you have any health or cosmetic concerns or to discuss treatments specifically for you.
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