Though Spring is already well upon us, Summer is months away – and that means laser season remains in full bloom. It is still relatively easy to stay out of direct sunlight (especially in Vancouver!) while recovering from a laser procedure. What better time to turn back the clock on sun damage?
Fraxel 1927 is our go-to resurfacing laser procedure that tackles a host of sun damage features all in one treatment! It targets pigment, improves fine texture and restores glow.
What is the technology?
There are many resurfacing technologies out there, and the names and options can be confusing. It is especially important to know how to tell them apart, since they are not all created equal and are “operator dependent” – meaning that results depend on the skill of the clinician selecting and performing the procedure.
“FraxelTM” is a brand name for a family of devices, and so it can refer to many different technologies. Fraxel 1927 is a thullium laser that emits laser light at a wavelength of 1927 nanometers, which leads to what is termed “nonablative resurfacing” when it is shone on the skin. Nonablative resurfacing means that multiple microscopic areas of laser energy are delivered to the skin and heat structures (such as pigment and collagen) to improve the appearance of the skin.
Am I a candidate for Fraxel 1927?
During your cosmetic consultation, your dermatologist will formulate a precise diagnosis regarding the extent of sun damage on your face. Certain types of brown sun spots and fine textural changes are especially well suited for treatment with Fraxel 1927, while others (such as melasma) can be more difficult to treat.
Patients seeking global rejuvenation of the face by targeting brown sun spots, rough texture from sun damage and very fine lines may want to consider Fraxel 1927. To treat isolated brown spots or other signs of sun damage, your dermatologist may recommend other treatments such as a medical-grade skin care regimen, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or pigment laser such as MedliteTM or PicoSureTM.
What to expect on the day of your treatment
On the day of your treatment, consent forms will be reviewed and signed, and photos will be taken to track your improvement. A numbing cream will be applied to the treatment area for up to an hour – feel free to bring a book or tablet (or even work if you can’t help it!). In the treatment room, the numbing cream will be removed, and the area will be cleansed. Your eyes will be shielded during the entire procedure. Cool air is circulated to the skin continuously during the treatment and provides a welcome, soothing effect. As the laser handpiece glides over the skin, it delivers tiny columns of energy over several passes (usually eight). Though the numbing cream dulls some of the discomfort, there is a feeling of heat or tiny pinpricks to the treatment area. A full-face procedure takes approximately 30 minutes, after which the area is further cooled with cold compresses. Our staff will review the aftercare with you and a cosmetic follow-up appointment will be booked in 4-6 weeks.
Downtime & Recovery
The treated area is expected to heal within 5-10 days. Immediately after Fraxel 1927, the skin appears quite red and feels hot. The sensation of heat on the skin will dissipate after the procedure, and is helped by application of moisturizer and gentle skin care. As redness improves over the first half of the recovery period, your skin will feel rough, like very fine sandpaper. Within 3-4 days, there will be peeling/exfoliation to reveal pink, dewy skin. While initially, makeup or tinted sunscreen can be used to camouflage the skin during recovery, it becomes more difficult to do so for the second half of the healing period. We advise our patients to plan for some downtime (avoiding social or professional events) depending on their occupation (or willingness to disclose they had laser done!).
There is a very small risk of infection with this procedure – contact our office if there is pain, pus or excessive redness at the treated area. As with any laser procedure, direct sun avoidance is recommended during recovery to reduce the chance of temporary brown discoloration (hyperpigmentation) from forming on the area. Sun avoidance and diligent sun protection are important steps to include in order to protect and prolong your results.
Before & After
Because of the reliability of the results that it provides and the many features of sun damage it treats, Fraxel 1927 is suitable for both women and men over a wide range of ages.
Is Fraxel 1927 right for you? Call 604-682-7546 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a cosmetic consultation.