Until recently the gold standard in reversing the signs of aging skin and acne scaring has been resurfacing with a CO2 laser. This type of resurfacing was achieved by lasering away the top layer of skin and there by causing tissue contraction. Although this technology achieved dramatic results, the candidates would typically have to undergo anesthesia and a lengthy healing and recovery time. In many cases the down time would be as long as two weeks with red, oozing skin.
The new treatment of choice at the Weksberg Centre for Cosmetic Dermatology in Toronto, Ontario has changed the way we view permanent skin rejuvenation. Dr. Weksberg is proud to offer the Fraxel Dual 1550/1927 – a fractional laser that has two wavelengths that can treat both surface pigmentation as well as deeper skin problems such as skin laxity and wrinkles. This innovative fractional approach to laser skin resurfacing, achieves its results by resurfacing the skin 20% at a time.
The way the Fraxel resurfacing laser works is by essentially drilling micro holes into the skin surrounded by zones of healthy skin. This type of fractional treatment allows the skin to heal much faster than if it were treated all at once. This method uses our body’s natural healing process to create new healthy tissue to replace skin imperfections, there by remodel collagen and tightening skin as well as improving texture. The Fraxel laser provides all of the improvements associated with ablative laser procedures but without any significant interference with daily activities.
What is the Fraxel Laser Resurfacing Treatment used for?
- Improvement of fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture and tone on the face, neck, chest, forearms and hands.
- Improvement of scars – surgical and accidental.
- Improvement of acne scarring, especially the pitted scars that have previously been difficult to treat.
- Improvement of lentigines, brown patches from the sun and melasma.
- Improving the skin looseness and brown discoloration on backs of hands.
- Improving the chest, décolleté, and horizontal neck lines.
Fraxel can be used on patients with dark skin tones, but is not suitable for patients with black skin.
What can I expect before my Fraxel Laser Resurfacing Treatment?
Before you are treated with Fraxel laser you will meet with a patient coordinator at The Weksberg Centre for Cosmetic Dermatology in Toronto to make sure this is the appropriate treatment for you by asking a series of questions. Dr. Fred Weksberg will then see you for a consultation to determine an appropriate treatment plan. Typically, an effective regime consists of three to five sessions, spaced about 3-4 weeks apart. Results are immediate and progressive.
Dr. Weksberg recommends you discontinue use of any topical retinoid creams such as RetinA, Stievaa, Retisol, etc. for one week prior to treatment. You should also avoid facials, glycolic acid peels, and Microdermabrasion for 10 days prior to treatment. It is required that you avoid sun exposure, and do not use any self tanning products.
If you have ever had a cold sore or Herpes simplex you must notify our office. Special antiviral antibiotics will be prescribed prior to your Fraxel Laser Resurfacing treatment to prevent an outbreak.
What can I expect during my Fraxel Laser Resurfacing Treatment?
You should arrive at The Weksberg Centre for Cosmetic Dermatology with a clean face; no makeup, no creams. A topical anesthetic cream will be applied to your skin for one hour before treatment in order to minimize discomfort. If you desire, additional pain medication can be given. If you choose to take the oral pain medication you will be required to arrange for a ride home. The laser is then passed over the skin several times in vertical and horizontal directions. Cool air will also be blown on the skin during treatment in order to keep the surface of your skin cool and comfortable.
What can I expect after my Fraxel Laser Resurfacing Treatment?
You will feel a mild sunburn sensation for about an hour and then virtually no discomfort. You will be given TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream; a special cream to aid in accelerating your healing – you should apply this cream to your skin 2 to 3 times per day in order to reduce redness and to keep your skin hydrated. Makeup can be applied typically 2 to 4 days after treatment. Men can continue to shave. There may be some mild swelling which generally subsides in two to three days but will be sped up with the use of the TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream. Over the next three to fourteen days, your skin will have a bronzed appearance and will then exfoliate. A broad specturm sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 must be applied twice a day during healing and then for several months after treatment. Dr. Weksberg recommends Nu-Derm SPF 50 during this time.
Protecting your new skin:
Your new skin will start to form within 24 hours. You should avoid injury to your skin and avoid sun exposure. You should use a dual UVA/UVB product such as NuDerm SPF 50. Avoid direct sun exposure and wear sun-protective clothing such as a hat. Retin A / AHA products should be avoided 1-2 weeks post treatment and 1 week prior to the next treatment.
The Weksberg Centre for Cosmetic Dermatology in Toronto does not perform the Fraxel laser treatments on women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding or may be pregnant please inform our office staff or Dr. Weksberg.