Innovations in Laser Skin Resurfacing – From the Fraxel to Syneron Sublative Treatment
Human skin is separated into three layers. The outer layer that you can touch is called the epidermis. This layer contains melanocytes, which are pigmented cells that determine the colour of your skin. The middle layer is called the dermis and contains collagen and elastin fibres. These fibres are what keep your skin firm and smooth. The inner layer is called the subcutis and contains fat that plumps your skin.
As your body ages, the epidermis begins thinning out and the dermis begins losing collagen and elastin fibers. This causes fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin that naturally come with age. If you don’t want to let your skin show its age proudly, you need to see a professional for laser resurfacing.
Laser Resurfacing in History
Once upon a time, you had to subject your skin to ablative laser treatments that vaporized facial tissue in the epidermis and dermis in order to get substantial results, and that required at least a week for recovery. Non-ablative laser treatments, like IPL, were developed in order to deliver results with less damage to the epidermis. These treatments are not always as effective as ablative treatments, but they do require less recovery time.
Professionals offering laser treatments were ecstatic when fractional technology was introduced in 2003 and the first Fraxel machine was released in 2004. This technology delivers the results formerly seen only with invasive ablative laser procedures but causes less damage to the epidermis and requires a much shorter recovery period.
The Fraxel machine with fractional laser technology. Machines designed with this technology can deliver amazing results with just one or two treatment sessions, but they don’t require a week or more for recovery. You essentially get the benefits of the former ablative and non-ablative laser treatments, but those benefits are combined in one improved treatment.
Today, there are many types of fractional laser machines on the market, so the Fraxel machine is not your only option. If you want to increase collagen and elastin production and plump up your skin so that the signs of ageing are less prominent, fractional laser treatment is your best option. There are also many other uses for this technology, so keep reading to learn more about these advanced treatment options.
How Does Fractional Technology Work?
When the machines for laser resurfacing first hit the market, CO2 lasers saturated the skin with solid beams of light energy and vaporized the targeted skin tissue. This was effective, but it caused considerable damage to the dermis and epidermis. Fractional technology is different because it doesn’t deliver a solid beam of light energy. The light beams are fractioned into thousands of tiny columns. These columns of energy are deep enough to affect the dermis, but they limit damage to surrounding skin tissue.
Fraxel treatments use laser beams emitted from special machines just like previous laser treatments, but the fractioned beams of energy remove old cells on the surface of the skin while creating deep holes in the dermis. The damage to the dermis naturally causes the body to start producing healthy skin cells, collagen, and elastin in order to repair those deep layers of skin. Those fresh skin cells deliver a more youthful glow to the skin while the collagen and elastin work to keep the skin tight and firm.
Fractional treatments are fast and efficient, and you should only need one or two treatment sessions to deliver significant results. When you go in for treatment, an anesthetic cream will be used to numb the skin. A gliding gel is applied over the treatment area to allow a robotic arm to glide smoothly over the skin. This arm delivers the fractioned beams of light energy.
Trained medical professionals must determine the intensity of the fraxel laser beams to ensure safe and effective results, so research the qualifications of any professional delivering treatment. In most cases, the entire face is treated in about half an hour. You can also receive treatment to other areas of the body suffering from signs of ageing, scarring, and other skin problems.
Anti-Ageing and Beyond
The reduction of fine lines and wrinkles is not the only application for fractional laser treatments. You may also consider treatment for the following skin issues:
- Acne scars
- Age spots
- Actinic Keratosis
- Sun damage
Remember, the epidermis contains cells that affect skin pigmentation, and the dermis contains collagen and elastin. Since Fraxel treatments can affect both of these skin layers, they can improve issues involving pigmentation as well as skin ageing.
Professionals trained to use this technology utilise a variety of machinery beyond the official Fraxel machine to do amazing things for patients suffering from many different skin conditions. If you have a skin problem that has not responded to other treatments or that you have yet to treat, it doesn’t hurt to discuss fractional treatment options with a professional.
Fraxel versus Other Laser Treatments
Fractional treatments are the newest laser treatments on the market, so they are among the most expensive options. Yet, many consumers prefer this type of treatment at any cost because of substantial differences from other laser treatments:
- Fast procedures
- Limited pain during procedure
- Less than a week recovery time
- Dramatic results in one to two treatments
The problem with ablative laser treatments is that they require at least a week for full recovery, oftentimes longer. The problem with IPL and other non-ablative laser treatments is that the results are less dramatic, so you often need three or more treatments to deliver expected results. Fraxel treatments are different because they deliver noticeable results in just one or two treatments and require far less time for recovery.
Advances in Fractional Technology
The Fraxel machine blew the minds of trained medical practitioners as well as patients when it was first introduced, but technology has moved on over the past 10 years. You can still see amazing results from a Fraxel machine, but many other fractioned laser machines on the market deliver even better results.
One of the best machines currently competing with the Fraxel machine is the Syneron Sublative machine. This machine uses fractioned radio frequencies to heat up the dermis. This heat damages that inner layer of skin, allowing the body to start generating fresh skin cells and producing more elastin and collagen. This is done with very little damage to the epidermis, so you get exceptional results without substantial redness, swelling, and other surface layer side effects.
The main difference between the original Fraxel machine and machines like Syneron Sublative is the depth reached by the skin. The more advanced machines can reach deeper into the skin and target the dermis with more precision. While the Fraxel machine impacts the epidermis much less than the traditional laser treatments, these more advanced machines deliver even less damage to that outer layer of skin.
You no longer have to suffer with substantial skin damage for weeks on end as a result of skin rejuvenation procedures. You can spend an hour or less with a well-trained medical provider and fully recover in just four or five days. You may not even need follow-up treatments to achieve the results you expect. That is the difference that fractional laser technology makes for your skin.
*All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Fraxel is the trademark of the Valeant family of companies. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.