The Fraxel is a realtively new laser that is especially effective for age spots, brown spots, some acne scars, and other color and texture issues.
Link to Guide to Fractional Lasers
Dr. Irwin: Hi, I’m Dr. Brandith Irwin at Madison Skin and Laser Center in Seattle, Washington. I’m filing this today for our website, skintour.com our website S-K-I-N-T-O-U-R.COM. This is Diane Shwalker. She is one of our wonderful RNs who work here, she is a laser nurse specialist. And has kindly volunteering to be the subject of this video today so she can help show patients, and what this procedure looks like and what it feels like. So, Diane, what were you hoping to accomplish with the Fraxel Treatment, today?
Diane: Well I really like to have some of the sun damage, especially on my jaw line, reduced. As well as some of the fine lines that I’ve started to develop, probably as a result of sun damage too.
Dr. Irwin: And the Fraxel laser is perfect for that. It is really best for acne scars, brown spots, and wrinkles, particularly if they’re mild to moderate and it’s usually done in a series of three to five treatments. And your skin just gets better over time.
With the Fraxel laser, we like to put numbing cream on an hour before the laser because it will make you so much more comfortable during your treatment. So, I’m just demonstrating how that numbing cream is put on. There’s also a fun, new mask – which we may be using in the future – that I may demonstrate at some point in time. But we don’t have it today. It’s just come out on the market, so…This is the numbing cream that we use normally.
So, this stuff is gooey. You can see that, I’m sure. It’s kinda like getting to play with finger paints. And normally, we would put a gown on Diane too, so that this wouldn’t fall on her clothing. But I’m going to try and be really careful so that it doesn’t. And I really need to – Diane, I won’t goop your hair up too much – But generally, we really work it into the hairline because, the Fraxel laser treatments blend into the hairline.
That way, I can keep it….And I’ll put it right into her eyebrow hair. Because we’ll be going down under the brow bone. The Fraxel laser doesn’t hurt or inhibit the hair growth at all. So you can work right into hair bearing areas and it won’t make the hair fall out.
Diane: It just feels like you went to the dentist. You know how your – so your mouth and your upper lip gets numb? I think it’s going to start interfering with my ability to speak…
Dr. Irwin: These tips, umm, come in different sizes and we use the smaller size right around the eyelids, generally, if we’re doing an eyelid treatment. And we use this larger size over the rest of the face and for the neck and the chest. We’ve gotten Diane comfortable. She’s on her heated bed and she has a blanket and pillows under her knees. These procedures usually take…mmm..usually about 45 minutes to an hour. So I’m just putting the eye shields on Diane.
I’d like to just show you the Fraxel tip. As you can see, there’s a little tiny roller on this and it actually just rolls across the skin. Makes the treatment coverage very even and easy so that there are no missed areas. The Fraxel allows us to calibrate exactly how much area is on someone’s face. Our faces are all different sizes so we wouldn’t want to use the same amount of energy for someone with a large face versus someone with a small face. So with this, we can measure the area first and that allows us to be more accurate. So… Diane, I’m just going across now.
Ok Diane, you’re going to feel a little zing. Let me know how comfortable that is for you.
Diane: I can barely feel it.
Dr. Irwin: I’m going to the other side of your forehead now. So, Diane, you’ll feel me going the other direction now. You can go ahead and put that cooling air right there if you want. How is that feeling?
Diane: Umm..I can definitely feel it more than I could before, but it’s still ok.
Dr. Irwin: I’m You can see Diane is looking pretty red. That’s very typical for this procedure. You’re usually red for a day, 24 hours, and then it turns to a light pink very quickly, and by the second to third day it turns to, almost to what looks like a tan. You’ll hear it described as a bronzing and that is exactly what it looks like. When I had my full face Fraxel with this, I had it on a Thursday. I went right back to work, although I do not advise that. I really think you should go home and rest on that first day. Don’t do what I did! And then, on Friday, I worked all day. I was a little pink, but I had makeup on and most people couldn’t tell. And by Saturday night, I went to a party, a birthday party for a friend and no one could tell I had anything done. It looked like I had a little tan, which is not characteristic for me at all. But no one said anything and I honestly don’t think anyone could tell. And that’s very typical of the recovery. The nice thing about this is you really don’t need to lose any time from work for it, except for one afternoon and… I think though, if you have a huge event, and you need to be camera ready for some reason, give yourself two weeks with this procedure. Just to be absolutely sure you’ll be looking your best.
This is Dr. Brandith Irwin at Madison skin and laser center in Seattle. We just finished demonstrating the Fraxel2 laser, just to give an idea of what it’s like. If you’d like more information, there’s much more in depth information on our website, skintour.com, that’s S-K-I-N-T-O-U-R.COM.