Fractional laser resurfacing is used to improve fine wrinkles, sun damage, acne scars, and melasma. Because fractional laser treatments only treat a fraction of the skin’s surface at a time, healing is faster than with previous resurfacing procedures.
What can I expect during the treatment?
Topical numbing cream will be applied to your skin for 30-60 minutes prior to the procedure. Your eyes will be protected with goggles during the procedure, and you will be fully awake. Each pulse is stingy but should not be painful. If you are uncomfortable or having pain, please let your provider know so that your treatment can be adjusted. The laser makes a lound noise when it is in use. A loud vacuum will also be turned on during your procedure. If you are uncomfortable or having pain, pleaes let your provider know so that your treatment can be adjusted.
The duration of the treatment depends on the size of the area treated and the type of fractional resurfacing. Following the procedure, an ice pack or gel may be applied to minimize the stinging sensation.
How do I prepare for a treatment?
It is mandatory to avoid any sun exposure for 4 weeks prior to and 4 weeks following each treatment. In addition, if you have a history of cold sores, please let your provider know prior to your treatment. Discontinue use of Retin A, Tretinoin, Retinols and other harsh topical products 3-5days prior to your procedure.
What are some options to fractional resurfacing?
Medium depth chemical peels, prescription strength creams, and intense pulsed light treatments may also improve sun damaged skin. BOTOX® Cosmetic, which lasts 3-4 months, is effective for wrinkles in certain areas, such as the crows feet, frown lines, and forehead lines. Fillers, are effective for treating smile lines, lip lines, and some acne scars and last 6-12 months. These procedures may be performed instead of or in addition to fractionated resurfacing. Ask you provider if you are interested in them.
What are some things to consider before pursuing fractional resurfacing?
While these technologies are FDA approved, data continues to evolve regarding this treatment. It is important to understand the risks of a procedure especially if it is not medically necessary. Common side effects of fractionated resurfacing include pain, redness, swelling, scabbing, and peeling. Uncommon though potential risks include but are not limited to increased or decreased pigmentation (which may be permanent), failure to heal, infection, and scarring. Furthermore, because this treatment is somewhat dependent upon your body’s ability to heal itself (and create new collagen), results may vary among patients.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION DISCUSSED AT YOUR CONSULTATION