Fraxel Laser by Solta is a non-obtrusive cosmetic procedure which is designed to deliver superficial skin resurfacing so as to improve skin texture, cure pigmentation, refine the appearance of acne scars and tighten the skin. Being FDA approved, it is available in several types of progressively increasing levels of intensity: Fraxel Re:fine, Fraxel Re:store and Fraxel Re:pair.
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How Does Fraxel Laser Work?
All Fraxel Laser versions incorporate an innovative technology called fractional resurfacing. Aided by this, and unlike other methods which are applied onto the entire surface of the skin, Fraxel Laser works by delivering small microscopic laser beams and applying adjustable amounts of heat to targeted areas, thus not only inducing collagen production and rejuvenating skin cells below the surface, but also making it possible for the skin to naturally heal itself almost immediately after the operation.
Depending on many factors, and the type of treatment chosen, a number of 3-5 treatments (at 3-4 week intervals) are usually needed; each procedure lasts for about 30-45 minutes.
Fraxel Laser Types
As mentioned, Fraxel Laser comes in the following types:
- Fraxel Re:fine; it is the more gentle type, and although very safe, it obviously cannot come up with the same results compared to the other Fraxel Laser types – and that’s why the latter are more popular among doctors and patients.
- Fraxel Re:store; it is a “simple”, non-ablative method (meaning it does not cut into the skin); being more powerful than the Re:fine type, it stimulates greater collagen production while it still causes few side effects and minimal healing time.
- Fraxel Re:pair; it is the ablative type of the series, incorporating CO2 technology; it cuts through the skin, drilling small holes and combining skin vaporization and collagen remodeling to deliver more noticeable results – but with extended downtime.
- Can deal with fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, pigmentation, actinic keratosis, melasma etc
- Targets only at the treated areas, limiting the risk of damaging surrounding skin tissue
- Stimulates the body’s natural ability to produce collagen
- Can work for a wide range of patients, body types and skin types
- Delivers a smooth and more youthful skin
- Is a non-surgical procedure which requires just the application of topical anesthesia
- Generally has minimal healing time
On the whole, Fraxel Laser, irrespective of the specific type applied, can deliver decent results in terms of subduing fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, acne scars as well as actinic keratosis. As for the time needed for those results to become evident, Fraxel Re:store, being a non-ablative laser, requires more treating sessions to create a noticeable difference, whereas Fraxel Re:pair, being more “aggressive”, can do the job with fewer visits while being also more resultful in terms of softening acne scars and wrinkles. The results are also generally long lasting.
Fraxel Laser Reviews
The feedback from Fraxel Laser testimonials is generally positive, but there is also a substantial portion of individuals who were partially or not at all satisfied by what this specific method delivered to them. For example, and although in general acne scarring, pigmentation, stains and lines are, more or less, effectively treated by the procedure, there have been cases in which no apparent improvement was achieved, forcing some of the users to abort the remaining sessions. In addition, most patients mention a number of side effects (look below) which appeared either immediately after the treatment or a few hours/days after it (see below), making, in many occasions, recuperation a really troublesome or even worrying procedure; moreover, in many cases, the healing time itself lasted for more than it had been expected. For all these reasons, several users recommend having Fraxel Laser performed by an accredited doctor, since the lack of this precondition was to blame for most of the adverse reactions. The positive feedback for Fraxel at Realself is at 58%.
While we feel it is important to read as much real testimonials before you opt for Fraxel we felt like publishing an article that includes many of the reviews we received on our contact form from our visitors!
Although very few incidents of severe side effects regarding Fraxel Laser have been reported, and despite the product’s generally acceptable level of safeness, most patients report encountering one or more adverse reactions. A large percentage of them mention discomfort and pain during the procedure, and a hot sensation that burned more than they had anticipated (in some cases, the pain was over the limit). Moreover, after the operation, redness and swelling should be expected, while peeling can not be excluded either; fortunately, in most cases, those side effects ease off a few days or weeks after. Finally, hypo or hyper pigmentation and rough skin have also been reported.
Fluctuating usually between $800 and $2,000, the average cost for a series of Fraxel Laser treatments displayed on Realself.com is $1,725. Still, the actual expenditures cannot be calculated in advance as, apart from the specific type finally chosen, the patient’s age, expectations, specific needs and problems as well as the doctor who will carry out the treatments play a major role in the final cost.
Before and After Photos
Fraxel Laser can generally offer a noticeable improvement on the patient’s appearance thanks to its fractional laser technology; yet, it is not a flawless method and that means that potential users should be realistic in their expectations. What’s more important is to have a thorough consultation with an experienced medical professional so as to choose the best Fraxel Laser treatment and have your treating sessions performed by a certified surgeon, who can maximize the method’s potential for true results, fast recovery and limited side effects.
PS: Before Opting for an aesthetic procedure please read our article on the Ethics of Aesthetics to help yourself decide responsibly!