Superficial wrinkles and fine lines will eventually develop as people age despite even the best daily skin care efforts. However, there is treatment in San Diego known as laser resurfacing that is a very effective way to erase these lines and smooth out wrinkles. In fact, lasers are versatile enough to treat deeper layers of skin damage, such as acne scars.
The board-certified dermatologists at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego are experts at treating wrinkles with lasers, including two innovative new lasers – Fraxel Re:store and Fraxel Re:store Dual. In fact, the dermatologists at CLDerm are experts when it comes to facial rejuvenating lasers and the technology behind Fraxel treatments.
Although the two laser resurfacing treatments are similar, there are also crucial differences that can help dermatologists select the right laser wrinkle treatment for specific needs and goals.
The Fraxel Re:store laser uses a fractionated Erbium laser that is non-ablative (non-destructive) and targets only a fraction of the skin. This preserves healthy skin between the targeted areas for less treatment of un-targeted skin than other types of lasers (e..g., CO2 lasers).
Fraxel Re:store uses a 1550 nanometer wavelength laser to heat the skin so that collagen production is stimulated to improve fine to moderate lines and wrinkles. This makes it most effective for correcting superficial facial lines.
This Fraxel laser improves fine lines and smooths skin texture with very little downtime – often no more than a day. Following the treatment, the skin tone is more balanced and even, brown spots are minimized, and scars (e.g., from acne) are faded.
Laser resurfacing is safe but may cause mild side effects, including swelling, redness, and bruises at and around the treatment area(s). However, these should subside within a week.
Each patient is administered a customized treatment plan, but generally, it is recommended that patients undergo the 30-minute session every 2-3 weeks for 4-6 treatments. The skin resurfacing treatment provides a noticeable improvement in color, texture, and tone. It is safe for resurfacing the neck, face, hands, and chest.
Fraxel Re:store Dual
The latest generation of Fraxel lasers is the Re:store Dual, which uses two different wavelengths. One wavelength is the 1550 nm wavelength, which has been updated from earlier versions and, thus, is even faster and more effective.
The second laser is a Thulium, which is a superficial laser that is more efficient than even the Erbium. It also has a 1927 nm wavelength, allowing for more precision when targeting troublesome areas while leaving more surrounding tissue unharmed. To make the skin resurfacing procedure even safer and more comfortable, the Fraxel Dual has a focal cooling technique that limits any burning or pain during the procedure.
This dual Fraxel laser is gentle and safe enough for both the face and the body, and both wavelengths can be combined into one treatment session. Treatment is very tolerable – many patients in San Diego don’t require a topical numbing agent, although it is available for any patient who wants to ensure a comfortable, virtually painless session.
The Re:store Dual has shown consistently effective results for brown spots, sun spots, and age spots. One treatment can result in a noticeably clearer skin within 7-10 days in such commonly affected areas as the face, hands, and chest. The duration of a patient’s results depends on the extent of the skin problem and the patient’s goals as well as sun protection habits, hormone activity, and more.
Recovery typically involves redness and swelling during the first 2-3 days before the skin browns as if you’ve gotten a tan. Finally, there could be 2-3 days of skin flaking as the treated layer falls off and is replaced by a newer, softer layer of skin.
The Differences between Re:store Dual and Re:store
The differences might seem small, but they are noticeable and significant. Simply put, the two capabilities of the Dual offer more thorough treatment for more advanced skin issues than the single laser of the Re:store, including the following:
- Improved Erbium 1550 nm laser means fewer treatments
- The cooling technique for the Thulium 1927 nm laser means a more comfortable experience for patients
- More precise treatment and better elimination of brown spots
- Versatility to treat multiple conditions at one time, including scars from acne, surgery, or injury
- Dual lasers combine for deeper treatment to better stimulate collagen production
- Quicker procedure (15 minutes or less for the face)
- Comfortable balanced application of the laser leads to better skin texture and smoother skin
The combination of two lasers often produces more swelling and redness than with each laser by itself. For many patients, this results in 2-3 days of social downtime, but the resulting effects are worth it. For mild skin complaints or a more gradual treatment plan, the Fraxel Re:store laser is often recommended.
Fraxel Re:Store – What to Expect During and After Your Procedure
During Your Procedure:
- There will be multiple passes made over the treatment area with the handpiece
- The handpiece is “rolled” on the surface of the skin
- The sensation of heat (similar to grease “splattering”) increases as the treatment continues
- Cold air is applied directly to skin surface as it is being treated to help decrease sensation of heat
After Your Procedure:
- You will have a sensation of heat/deep sunburn that will subside every hour after the procedure; OK to take Tylenol 500-1000mg or Ibuprofen 400-600mg
- You will have redness & mild swelling
- Apply sunscreen with Zinc Oxide &/or Titanium Dioxide daily. Protect treated area from the sun both indoors & outdoors (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen). *UVA rays will penetrate through windows
- Ice packs (20 min. on, 20 min. off) day of procedure & following day will help reduce sensation of heat & help to minimize swelling; protect skin w/ a gauze pad or handkerchief before applying ice to skin
- Swelling typically peaks at 48-72 hours. Sleeping with your head elevated on 2 to 3 pillows for the first 3 nights will help minimize swelling
- NO RUBBING, PICKING OR WIPING TREATMENT AREA
- OK to shower day of procedure
- Gentle cleansing is fine—we have a number of gentle cleansers you can buy or you can use Cetaphil cleanser (over the counter in the paharmacy)
- Superficial, grainy crust is normal & could last up to 1 week
- Redness is normal & could last up to 1 week or more
- Apply moisturizer as often as needed to help with dryness; check with your doctor to find out which moisturizer is most effective
- You can wear make-up if approved by your physician– as long as you are not rubbing, picking or wiping off surface of skin when applying or removing make-up
Please contact our office if you have any questions or concerns at (858) 943-2113.
Am I a Good Candidate for Fraxel Laser Resurfacing?
A good candidate for laser skin resurfacing with either Fraxel laser is someone who is in good overall health but who may have fine lines and superficial wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, and forehead. Moreover, patients in San Diego with scars from acne, surgery, or injury are typically good candidates, as well. Finally, many patients who have not had good results from a previous facelift have undergone Fraxel laser resurfacing with impressive results. Learn more about laser resurfacing procedures at WebMD.com.
Contact Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego Today
To learn more about laser skin resurfacing with a Fraxel laser, contact Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego to schedule a custom consultation online or call (858) 943-2113.
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