Q: First, would you mind giving us all a brief re-cap on the Fraxel Dual technology or introducing it to those who aren’t aware of its benefits?
A: Fraxel® is FDA approved laser technology that can help reverse the visible effects of aging, naturally helping you look as young as you feel. The Fraxel is effective for treating fine lines and wrinkles (i.e.: crow’s feet and brow lines), acne scarring, sun damage/age spots as well as precancerous actinic keratosis. It is effective on all skin types and is most commonly used on the face and neck. However, we can treat any area on the body.
Q: Why do you think more patients choose to have Fraxel done in the fall/winter months?
A: Living in Charleston, we are all obviously subject to sun exposure nearly year round. However, most of our sun damage typically occurs during the summer months while being out on the boat, enjoying the beach, taking advantage of outdoor activities, etc. And, unfortunately, age spots are due more to sunning than aging!
The reason I tend to suggest patients receive these treatments during the fall/winter months is because our exposure to sun is significantly less and it gives us an optimal window to “erase” the accumulated damage from the summer while allowing the skin time to heal with minimal sun exposure.
Of course, patients can have the Fraxel procedure done year round. However, if patients choose to do it during the warmer months, precautions must be made and the patient must commit to staying out of the sun for 4 weeks post procedure while their skin heals.
Q: How does recovery factor in to scheduling?
A: The heat from the Fraxel elicits an inflammatory response which causes some redness and puffiness. And, any pigment from previous sun damage travels to the surface of the skin over the course of a week post treatment and eventually flakes off.
So, we tell patients that they will experience 5-7 days of “social downtime” which also makes scheduling during the fall/winter months much easier for our patients! However, it is important to note that if you are scheduling the Fraxel before a big event, we usually suggest booking 2 weeks in advance to allow your skin to completely return to normal for the event!
Q: In your opinion, who is the “ideal” Fraxel patient?
A: This is a tough one as I truly believe Fraxel is one of those treatments that could benefit everyone! However, if I had to narrow it down, I would say Fraxel is the “gold standard” for patients who are starting to notice the signs of aging and are becoming concerned with fine lines and wrinkles. And, patients who are concerned with sun damage and/or melisma. It truly is such an amazing treatment that does wonders for your skin!!
Q: Are there alternatives if downtime isn’t an option?
Microneedling is a great alternative. Microneedling works similarly to laser resurfacing treatments, but uses tiny sterile pins rather than light energy to create micro-injury zones. The downtime is a little less than the Fraxel, but we do suggest a package for optimal results.
Q: What can be done in between laser resurfacing treatments?
A: Protecting your skin from further sun damage is the absolute best way to “insure” your results from the Fraxel. I highly suggest all of my Fraxel patients use a sunscreen with a physical block containing Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide as well as CE Ferulic or Phloretin CF as an antioxidant. We also recently started carrying Skin Medica’s HA5 which I love for restoring hydration. Sun damage prevention is the best way to maintain your results and protect your investment.