What is the Fraxel Dual?
The Fraxel Dual laser is a laser used to improve widespread brown sun spots, fine lines, texture, and acne and surgical scars. It can also be used for the treatment of precancers called actinic keratoses. As the name suggests, it affects a fraction of the total surface of the treated skin with any one treatment which allows for relatively quick healing times. It can be done anywhere on the body. A series of treatments is recommended to achieve the best results and is something that can be discussed in more detail at your consultation.
How does it work?
The Fraxel Dual laser uses pinpoint laser beams that penetrate beneath the skin’s surface, stimulating repair by inducing the body’s natural wound healing response. It replaces old, damaged skin cells with fresh, glowing, healthy skin.
How shall I prepare for my treatment?
If you are having a treatment to your face, let us know if you have ever had a cold sore/fever blister (herpes simplex virus). If so, you need to take anti-viral prophylaxis to prevent a flare of a cold sore. We will typically prescribe Valtrex 2 grams the morning of Fraxel and the evening after Fraxel.
What is the procedure like?
Prior to the treatment, you will relax in our numbing room with a topical anesthetic on the treatment area for about an hour. Then, we will bring you to the treatment room, remove the anesthetic cream, and begin the procedure. A cold air blows on the area being treated to minimize discomfort. During the treatment, most patients feel a warm, prickly sensation. At the conclusion of the treatment, we apply a cool compress which is soothing. The procedure takes 15-30 minutes on average, depending on the site(s) being treated.
What can I expect after my treatment?
For 1-3 hours after your treatment, the treated skin will feel like it would after a bad sunburn. You may take ibuprofen or Tylenol if needed for discomfort. Patients typically experience redness and swelling for 2-3 days. We advise you apply a cold compress/ice packs for 10-20 minutes every hour while awake for the first 2 days to reduce swelling. The treated skin may feel like sandpaper and some patients may have a bronzed appearance. These areas will exfoliate over 5-7 days following your treatment. One week after treatment, the treated areas are typically healed.
We recommend the following skin care following your treatment. Wash with a gentle cleanser (i.e. Cetaphil or CeraVe) and apply a bland moisturizer frequently throughout the day until healed. If you are acne prone, make sure it is oil-free/non-comedogenic. You may wear make-up immediately after treatment. Protect the treated area(s) from the sun with sunscreen, hats, and sun protective clothing. We recommend you avoid the following for 2 weeks after treatment: microdermabrasion, facials, chemical peels, waxing, and products containing retinoic acid (including Retin-A, Renova, Ziana, Veltin, Refissa, tretinoin, Differin, Epiduo, adapalene, Tazorac, and tazarotene), salicylic acid, and glycolic acid.