What does a fractional laser treatment do?
Fractional laser resurfacing therapy, also known as laser skin resurfacing or fractional resurfacing, is a treatment that helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, sun spots and age spots, scars, and blemishes. It can also balance your skin tone, tighten skin, and improve complexion.
How does fractional resurfacing therapy work?
There are two different types of fractional resurfacing therapies:
1. Ablative laser
When used for fractional resurfacing therapy, ablative lasers remove the outermost layer of skin (the epidermis), and heats up the underlying skin (the dermis). This heat stimulates collagen fiber growth. Collagen is a protein responsible for skin elasticity. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, which results in wrinkles.
When ablative lasers peel the outermost layer of skin, it essentially exfoliates dead skin and allows pores to breathe. This makes it a great option for acne treatment and preventing future breakouts.
Because ablative lasers create small wounds in the skin, some discomfort may be involved. Our patients describe the feeling as a small rubber band being snapped across the skin. We use a topical anesthetic to numb the skin for our patients’ comfort when using ablative lasers.
Examples of ablative lasers include carbon dioxide or CO2 lasers, erbium lasers, and other combinations of lasers.
2. Nonablative laser
Nonablative lasers do not remove skin in the way ablative lasers do. Instead, this type of laser directly stimulates collagen growth. Nonablative lasers are not as powerful as ablative lasers, but they are less invasive and require less recovery time. However, due to their weaker strength, you will need to schedule more sessions. These lasers do not usually require numbing because they do not wound the skin.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) lasers are one of the most commonly used types of nonablative lasers.
How long does it take for fractional laser treatments to heal?
Depending on the laser used and the purpose of the treatment, the healing time varies. With an ablative CO2 laser, you can expect roughly 3 weeks for your skin to heal.
With a nonablative IPL laser, you won’t really need to wait around for your skin to heal. However, it is not as effective as ablative lasers, so you will almost certainly need to undergo more sessions with a nonablative laser treatment.
The results are well worth the time it takes to heal and the number of sessions needed, as the results can last several years after treatment.
How long do fractional laser resurfacing results last?
The results can last for many years following a series of fractional resurfacing therapy sessions.
Fractional laser resurfacing results can even be prolonged if you use skincare products with SPF and avoid sun exposure and tanning beds. Be sure to follow your laser technician’s aftercare instructions — they can make a huge difference in the long run.
How much does fractional laser resurfacing cost?
Like other cosmetic procedures, fractional laser resurfacing therapy is not covered by health insurance companies. The best way to determine the cost of fractional laser resurfacing is to reach out to an expert for a consultation.
Contact Fountain Laser Center for a free consultation
The Fountain Laser Center offers a free consultation for all new patients. If you’re interested in fractional laser resurfacing therapy, contact us today. We will be more than happy to provide the information you’re seeking and schedule your free consultation.