Always wondered how celebrities are able to achieve their smooth, glowing and youthful-looking skin?
Fraxel lasers are a type of laser resurfacing procedure that helps to reverse the accumulated damage that appears on our skin over the years—working to reveal the fresh, healthy skin that is hiding underneath.
Although traditional laser resurfacing procedures were very effective in treating a variety of skin problems including sun damage, age spots, wrinkles and fine lines, and scarring—they are also often associated with longer downtimes and an increased risk of side effects.
So, why and when should YOU choose Fraxel? Let’s now take a deep dive into this popular, one-of-a-kind treatment:
What makes Fraxel lasers different
Laser resurfacing procedures have been around for decades and well-known for their beneficial effects—working to remove the epidermis by targeting water molecules within the collagen layer of the dermis.
This essentially causes controlled vaporization of our skin cells that trigger the production of collagen to improve the tone, texture and firmness of the skin.
Laser resurfacing devices can be categorized into ablative, non-ablative, as well as fractionated and non-fractionated lasers.
In the case of Fraxel, it is a non-ablative, fractionated laser that works based on what is known as fractional photothermolysis—a unique and innovative treatment concept that focuses laser beams to treat only a “fraction” of the skin at a time.
How does it do it? The laser energy is delivered in the form of thousands of tiny columns deep into the skin, otherwise known as the Microthermal Treatment Zones (MTZs) to treat only 25-40% of the skin at one time, essentially leaving the surrounding healthy skin intact between the treatment areas.
If we were to compare this to an ablative, non-fractionated laser, Fraxel lasers promote faster healing times and decrease the risk of any side effects—all while producing equally, if not better results!
What about ablative, fractionated lasers like fractional CO2?
Doctors have long considered fractional CO2 lasers as the gold-standard laser for acne scars and fine lines and wrinkles; however, since hitting the market in 2004, fractionated lasers have since become huge game-changers.
The biggest downside to fractional CO2 laser is that they often come with high downtimes and undesirable side effects including pain, edema, persistent erythema, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and also possible hypopigmentation due to the intensity of the laser beam that results in deep thermal damage.
This makes fractional CO2 unsuitable for patients with darker skin tones, busy schedules or for treating more delicate areas such as the neck, chest and hands.
That being said, all this can be removed with the use of Fraxel lasers, whereby it offers the best of both worlds between the effectiveness of ablative lasers and the gentleness of fractionated lasers.
The only thing about Fraxel lasers is that they will generally require more sessions than fractional CO2 lasers to see significant results. CO2 lasers also still work best for those who are looking for intense skin rejuvenation or facing moderate to severe scarring or textural issues.
Ultimately, the answer depends on your current skin condition and the results that you are looking to achieve.
Fraxel Dual: treats both acne scars and pigmentation
The Fraxel Dual 1550/1997 laser is a revolutionary treatment that uses two different wavelengths to address different skin concerns—the 1927nm Thulium laser works to remove discolouration and pigmentation while the 1550nm Erbium component is primarily designed to target and smoothen out your skin’s texture and get rid of acne scars.
While previous models simply targeted one type of skin imperfection, Fraxel Dual works well as both a skin resurfacing and pigmentation treatment!
An improvement from the original Fraxel Restore and Repair devices, Fraxel Dual offers faster treatment times (cutting it by about 25% without compromising on effectiveness), more comfort, better pigmentation removal, and when used simultaneously with the 1550nm laser—more effective skin resurfacing that works on both a superficial and deep level.
Using a patented, continuous motion tracking system to provide highly predictable and consistent results, Fraxel Dual allows doctors to work with a plethora of treatment combination parameters that can be customized to your specific skin needs!
The Dual is also equipped with the Zimmer—which allows cold air to be emitted during treatment to minimize patient discomfort!
Fraxel Dual is able to treat a variety of skin problems including:
- Age spots
- Actinic keratosis (pre-cancerous lesions)
- Surgical and acne scars
In fact, Fraxel Dual is FDA-approved for skin resurfacing and our doctors find it especially effective in diminishing enlarged pores (which can help with acne) and even treat stretch marks.
It has also been scientifically shown to reduce the number of precancerous cells and likely reduces the risk of certain types of skin cancer in the long term!
Our doctors enjoy using this device to help reverse collagen loss and sun damage, as well as soften and remove acne scars. Studies have shown that just 3-4 treatment sessions is enough to see a 70% improvement in acne scarring!
With a track record of over a million treatments completed worldwide, Fraxel Dual offers an excellent safety profile and is the perfect option for younger patients experiencing mild to moderate scarring and fine wrinkles, or anyone who wants to improve the tone, texture and radiance of their skin that doesn’t require extended downtimes.
Treat your skin to the best @ The Clifford Clinic
Ultimately, it is important to take into consideration your current skin condition, goals and lifestyle to determine the best treatment for you.
More important than the brand of the laser is to get your treatment done by a doctor who has decades of experience in treating a variety of patients using a multitude of treatment modalities.
At our clinic, we offer both ablative and non-ablative options to our patients to provide a gentler alternative for patients who are looking for minor improvements to more aggressive options that are required to treat more stubborn skin problems such as cystic acne.
Our goal is to be the one-stop aesthetic clinic in Singapore that offers expert solutions and personalized treatments that are customized to you—only recommending solutions that are results-driven, safe and backed by clinically-proven research.
With more than 10 different treatment modalities to date, we currently provide a wide range of facial skin rejuvenation and acne scar treatments including fractional CO2 laser, INFINI RF, PICO + HEXA MLA, dermal fillers, TCA cross, chemical peels and subcision for acne scars!
Our doctors believe in using a combination treatment approach to optimize your results. In fact, we often combine Fraxel Dual with other lasers such as the Q-switch to treat melasma, or utilize the powerful Secret RF acne treatment as part of a holistic treatment program for clear, healthy skin!
Get started on your road to your best skin yet—contact us to book your appointment today!
- What is the procedure like?
The actual procedure takes roughly 10-20 minutes to complete.
After thoroughly cleansing and applying our special blend of numbing cream on your skin, our doctor will proceed to glide the laser over the treatment areas.
- Is the treatment painful?
The majority of patients describe an increased sensation of heat or slight sting during the treatment.
Not to worry, a numbing cream is applied before starting the procedure to help minimize any pain. The device also comes with an integrated cooling system to decrease any discomfort.
After the treatment, you may experience what feels like a sunburn on your skin with some redness and swelling that lasts for up to 3 days. Your skin is also likely to undergo “bronzing” and flaking of the skin as the new epidermal layer starts to replace the destroyed tissues, so do not panic! Make sure you resist the urge to pick at them and allow your skin to heal on its own.
- How many sessions will I need?
Clinical studies have suggested that 3-5 sessions spaced 2-4 weeks apart are recommended, although this also depends on your specific needs and goals.
For example, treating fine lines and wrinkles usually requires fewer sessions than treating deep acne scarring. It is important to note that Fraxel Dual treatment is a gradual and progressive procedure, meaning to say that your skin is expected to continue improving over time.
Results can be seen as early as one week after the treatment and the majority of patients will notice best results 3-6 months after their last session.
- Are there any precautions I should take note of?
Fraxel Dual treatment is generally a pretty straightforward and low-maintenance procedure; however, you might be asked to stop using retinoids, acids or products that can cause skin sensitivity before starting your treatment.
It is also advised that you treat any active acne, rosacea or severe eczema before starting your treatment.
Our doctors will provide further advice on your suitability during your consultation.