The secret on how to maintain beauty without surgery and fillers
Maintaining beauty without surgery and fillers is a hot topic when the years are speedily passing us by. Our fun in the sun, working hard and staying out late only seems to bring aging on faster. Alas, have no fear, laser is here!
You can certainly do a combination of fillers, Botox and laser, but if you’re trying to avoid injectables, laser will do the trick nicely.
In a previous post, I described laser types, but didn’t delve too deeply into Fraxel lasers.
What are Fraxel Lasers
Fraxels are a type of laser treatments that work on skin rejuvenation and resurfacing. They cause something called fractional photothermolysis which means that a high intensity beam of light is used to treat a small fraction of skin. This causes microscopic thermal wounds in a specific area and at a controlled depth. The body responds to these wounds by producing additional collagen.
Treatment intentionally affects only 20-40% of skin, while leaving surrounding areas intact to promote rapid healing. Fractional laser treatment is less aggressive than traditional ablative* CO2 lasers, allowing for less downtime and fewer complications. Most people who receive fractional laser treatment can return to their normal activities after only one day instead of 7 to 10.
Fraxel started out as being only one type of laser (1550 nm) and soon a second version was developed called the Fraxel Dual.
*(vaporizes the skin)
Fraxel Versus Fraxel Dual
What’s in a name? A lot, in this case. Fraxel 1550 was the first on the market and it emits a 1550 nm (nanometer) wavelength. The 1550 nm laser is designed for skin resurfacing. This non-ablative** laser penetrates deeply to treat acne scars and wrinkles. The skin responds by building additional collagen to repair the areas that were damaged by acne or scarring. A treatment series of 3 or 6 is typically required for acne scarring.
Fraxel 1927 was the second to launch and it emits a 1927 nm wavelength of light to target hyperpigmentation. This particular wavelength is good for removing sun spots, melasma, and freckles. This treatment causes melanin to rise to the skin’s surface and slowly dissipate over time.
**(does not vaporize the skin)
Fraxel Dual is the most recent and it utilizes both 1927 nm and 1550 nm wavelength; it’s basically 2 lasers-in-1. It’s great for all of the issues mentioned above and you only need 1-3 treatments.
With any of the Fraxels, most people start to see results after 1 month of treatment. However, it may take up to 6 months for complete results to show.
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and it works on the surface of the skin to reduce red and brown spots. While lasers use one specific wavelength of light, IPL emits a wide spectrum. It can also be used for hair removal. Due to its superficial nature, however, it does nothing for wrinkles.
But there’s a better way to maintain beauty without surgery and fillers
You can always talk with the nurse or doctor about maintaining beauty without surgery and fillers by getting a combination of the various lasers to target all of the issues, if desired. Home care products are essential to having good skin. To prepare for most treatments I recommend a melanocyte suppressing serum at night, and to maintain your freshly-lasered skin I suggest the Brighten-up Bar, along with a hefty dose of sunscreen.
As an Esthetician living in San Francisco, I typically refer clients to Aura Spa in North Beach. My favorite doc on staff is Dr. Waechter, but I have been assured that everyone else is good, too.