Before You Go
Questions to ask your doctor:
- Which Fraxel treatment is best for the sun damage exhibited by my skin?
- Can I combine Fraxel treatments over time to best reduce my wrinkles?
Pre-procedure prep for Fraxel: Two weeks prior to your first Fraxel treatment, stop using all retinoids and products containing glycolic acid. Stay out of the sun and use a heavy sunblock for two weeks before your appointment.
On the day of treatment: You'll most likely be instructed to wash your face with an antiseptic when you arrive for your appointment.
What To Expect
Fraxel treatments range from not-so-powerful to very. "re:fine" is the mildest procedure, meant for minor skin damage and irregularities. "re:store," Fraxel's original offering, has more laser oomph and is better at treating wrinkles and scars. "re:pair" is the most powerful and debilitating treatment, advertised by Fraxel as a substitute for a facelift.
A newer treatment, called "re:store Dual," has been created to correct pigmentation issues. Each process begins with a handheld device that's gently passed over your skin. For about 90 minutes after treatment, your skin may feel sore and sunburned.
Who should do it: Fraxel treatments must be performed by a licensed physician, such as a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
Duration: Fraxel lasers take about half an hour to two hours to complete depending on the size of the area you intend on treating and the kind of anesthetic used. Anesthesia can take almost 45 minutes to actually kick in. It should only take about 30 minutes to guide the handheld laser device over your skin.
How Painful Is It?
Mild to severe, depending on the type of procedure. Stronger treatments like Fraxel re:pair are more painful.
Options for anesthesia: Most doctors offer a numbing cream that you can use before your appointment to reduce pain. A coolant is also used to soothe each pulse of the laser.