The term “fraxel” gets its name from the way the laser works.
Dr. Popp said the fraxel laser takes a big band of laser light and divides it into hundreds of tiny lights. It’s called fractionation.
He said the manufacturer took fractionation and combined it with pixels. The result was the name “fraxel.”
Fractionating lasers are limited to small “pixels” of skin. Ablative lasers remove an entire layer of surface skin.
“Instead of burning all the skin off, the laser leaves islands of intact skin between each laser spot so healing is much faster,” Dr. Popp said. “The down time is a lot less than when you use a pure ablative laser.”
Like most procedures offered by Dr. Popp, there are different levels of intensity. Chemical peels range from mild to intermediate to heavy. The same is true of lasers.
Fractionated lasers fall on the lighter side . They are used on people with sun-damage pigmented spots. Dr. Popp said they work well for that.
“But the fraxel laser isn’t considered a great wrinkle-reducing tool.”
For those battling wrinkles, the more aggressive ablative laser treatment would be a better option.
Dr. Popp said one advantage of the fractional laser is it can be used on almost every part of your body, including hands, arms, neck, back and chest.
The length of the office visit depends on how many areas are addressed. He said the most extensive fraxel treatment he’s done took about an hour. More often they take about 15 to 20 minutes.
Dr. Popp said your skin will be pink but will return to your normal appearance in a few days. In contrast, recovery time after ablative laser treatment is about two weeks.
“For about two days, they’ll have a bad, sunburned appearance and then by the third day, most of the little dots from the laser will have peeled off,” he said.
Patients who get fractionated laser treatments are not put to sleep. They can drive themselves to and from Dr. Popp’s office.
Dr. Popp said your skin will be pink but will be getting back to more of a normal appearance by then. In contrast, the recovery time after an ablative laser is about two weeks.
He said the most extensive of fractionated lasers he’s done took maybe an hour. But more often they take about 15-20 minutes.
“This is a popular service in the winter months because after the treatment, people have to stay out of the sun for a while,” he said.
Interested in a laser treatment? Schedule your free consultation with Dr. Popp at 402-391-4558.