If you have ever considered getting Fraxel® but you aren't certain what to expect in regards to downtime and results of this laser treatment, we give you a detailed glimpse into exactly what it's like following a Fraxel treatment.
Fraxel® laser skin rejuvenation treatments are powerful in the same way that ablative treatments are powerful. However, they have the gentle nature that characterizes non-ablative treatments. They allow you to get powerful results without having a lot of downtime, and they work by targeting fractions of the skin and promoting healthy and new skin cell growth, leaving a smoother and more even toned complexion for patients. So what are the after effects of Fraxel that you are likely to experience?
Hot and Sensitive Skin
Fraxel is capable of delivering remarkable results in a safe and efficient way. However, that's not to say that your skin will be perfect immediately following your treatment. Typically, it takes time for the results to appear and how you care for your skin in the interim goes very far in determining how powerful your results will be. The first day, it is normal to experience very hot and sensitive sensations across the treated area—after all, the skin cells in that area have just been deliberately injured. We will provide you with ice packs immediately after your treatment, as well as soothing topicals to place on your skin the day of that you will be instructed to use for the duration of your recovery. They will provide much needed moisture to your skin, helping to calm pink and inflammed skin. But even with product, you should expect your skin to feel like it has just experienced a very bad sun burn and will be accompanied with some swelling. The swelling can be helped by propping yourself up on pillows instead of lying flat, using ice packs throughout the day, and avoiding caffeine and sun exposure.
A common side effect that appears approximately 48 hours after a Fraxel® laser skin rejuvenation treatment is a sandpaper-like texture on the skin. This is your skin naturally scabbing as a result of the micro injuries. It is crucial that you do not pick at your scabs at all and avoid any exfoliation whatsoever or you may cause damage, infection, and permanent discoloration. You are still early in the healing process and it is important to allow your skin to naturally slough away the dry, dead cells on its own. This texture may feel uncomfortable and your skin will feel very tight, but it should not be painful. Just keep applying your moisturizer or recovery balm and you should notice this texture quickly begin to flake off.
Peeling and Flaking
This is a natural next step to the scabbing that has occurred. As your skin starts creating brand new skin cells beneath the sandpaper texture, it will naturally push out the dead cells to make room. The peeling and flaking should continue for 5-7 days, and you will notice pink skin appearing in it's place. Resist all urges to pick off any flaking skin. It will only fall away when it is ready, and prematurely picking it off may lead to infection and discoloration. Continue applying your topicals as recommended and you will notice it improve more and more each day.
Pink Skin & Tightening Sensation
After about one week, you will notice that most, if not all, of the scabbing has flaked off. Once it is gone you may resume your original skincare routine, although you may want to avoid any harsh exfoliation for now. Your skin will feel very tight, and you should continue to be vigilant with your sunscreen. Since your skin is brand new and very sensitive, hyperpigmentation and sun damage can more easily occur at this time.
To learn more information about Fraxel® laser skin rejuvenation treatments, set up a consultation at Supriya Aesthetic Dermatology, with offices in West Palm Beach and Jupiter. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and see how this treatment can benefit you!
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