Fractional lasers are non-invasive lasers used to treat a wide variety of skin issues such as scars, wrinkles, age spots, hyperpigmentation, and more. This type of laser skin resurfacing emits smaller units of light, so they target only 25 to 40% of the treatment area at a time. This method allows the surrounding unaffected skin to boost the production of collagen, connective proteins in the skin that provide elasticity and youthfulness. With fractional laser sessions, patients can expect to see a noticeable difference in the quality of their skin and a reduction in blemishes.
If you want to feel confident about your skin again, 17 MedSpa’s fractional laser treatment may just be what you’re looking for. With decades of combined experience, our knowledgeable staff impart expertise and quality care that meets and exceeds patients’ needs. Call us for a consultation today at (714) 224-9010 or (714) 332-7009 (Buena Park) or (408) 663-8701 (Cupertino).For your convenience, you can also contact us via our online form and we will respond as soon as possible.
- 1 About Fractional Lasers
- 2 Benefits of Fractional Laser Treatments
- 3 Preparation
- 4 Fractional Laser Procedure
- 5 Recovery
- 6 Candidates for Fractional Laser Treatment
- 7 Personal Consultation
- 8 Cost of Fractional Laser Treatment in Buena Park, CA
- 9 FAQ
- 10 References
About Fractional Lasers
Laser energy utilizes highly focused pulses of light that convert to thermal energy when applied to the skin. Fractional lasers are devices used for laser skin resurfacing, which improves the cosmetic appearance and texture of the skin. Laser skin resurfacing is based on the principle of inducing micro injuries to the skin. As these micro injuries heal, the skin heals itself naturally with a boost in connective proteins and new skin cell production. (1)
The light pulses from fractional laser devices only target a portion of the treatment area at any given time, making treatment less invasive overall. Still, they can be either ablative or nonablative; in ablative lasers, the outermost layer of skin, the epidermis, is removed through thermal heat. Nonablative lasers leave the epidermis intact, but it still penetrates to the dermis layer.
With this type of laser, there is less risk of complications occurring and less downtime is required. Ablative lasers cause more initial skin damage and require more downtime, but effective results can be achieved with fewer treatment sessions. The choice of laser is ultimately dependent on the patient’s needs and preferences. (2)
Are Fractional Lasers Compatible With All Skin Types?
Different fractional lasers emit light of different wavelengths, making them versatile treatments for people of all skin types. Doctors use the Fitzpatrick Scale to assess skin type:
- Type I: Very pale white skin
- Type II: White skin
- Type III: Medium white or olive skin
- Type IV: Olive skin
- Type V: Dark brown skin
- Type VI: Very dark brown/black skin
Laser devices that emit light with longer wavelengths are better or darker skin types since they have a reduced chance of causing hypopigmentation, or unwanted lightening of the skin. (3)
Benefits of Fractional Laser Treatments
Fractional lasers can rejuvenate your skin in a multitude of ways, making it one of the most versatile skin treatments available. Just 8 to 12 weeks after your laser session, you can expect to see these improvements:
- Reduction in age spots
- Reversed signs of photoaging, such as sun spots
- Reduction in surgical and acne scars
- More even skin tone and texture
- Reduction in fine lines and wrinkles
- Reduced hyperpigmentation
To prepare for your fractional laser session, you should take extra precautions to avoid sun exposure and use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more when you are outside. Sun damage before or after your procedure can increase your risk of developing hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation spots. (4) If you have ever experienced a viral outbreak (herpes simplex virus), we advise taking antivirals to reduce the chance of it recurring after treatment. We may also advise hydroquinone topical cream in patients who have a predisposition to hyperpigmentation. This cream can also be used as a treatment for hyperpigmentation as well. (5)
Fractional Laser Procedure
Before your laser session, you will have to ensure that you remove all makeup. We will then apply a topical cream to numb the treatment area. After 1 hour, once the numbing has taken effect, the laser device will be applied to the treatment area. We will apply a pulse of light to a specific area, then move to an adjacent area and repeat. Depending on the type of fractional laser treatment you receive, and your specific treatment plan, the number of passes over the skin varies. Typically, the procedure takes around one hour to complete.
Every pulse of fractional laser energy stimulates fibroblast cells, cells that are responsible for producing proteins that provide structural support to the skin. These cells not only create collagen but also elastin and proteoglycans. (1) While collagen is what gives skin its rigidity, elastin allows the skin to recoil properly when pulled. Proteoglycans are molecules that are effective at balancing the skin’s moisture content. They contain cytokines and growth factors that contribute to the skin’s ability to regulate inflammatory responses, cell regeneration, and growth. (6)
After any laser treatment, there may be some swelling and your skin may feel warm to the touch. During this first stage of recovery, you’ll need to keep your skin clean with a mild soap and stay out of the sun. Although you’ll be able to apply an ice pack to relieve discomfort on the first day, it’s important to not overdo it. Excessive cooling of the treatment area can lead to hyperpigmentation in some cases. (3) We may advise using a moisturizing cream to promote proper healing- remember to apply it as directed. Some scabbing is normal, but you should avoid the urge to pick at them. You will notice significant changes within the next few weeks as your skin continues to produce more connective proteins. This increased production will continue over the course of the next 3 to 6 months. The amount of time varies for each person, depending on how many treatment sessions they’ve previously had and their own unique anatomy.
Candidates for Fractional Laser Treatment
Those looking to reduce their fine wrinkles, age spots, scars, and sun damage are ideal candidates for fractional laser treatments. People with vitiligo, psoriasis, active acne, or scleroderma should avoid laser treatments since it may make these conditions worse. Anyone who has taken the acne medication Accutane within the last year should avoid this procedure because it can increase the likelihood of scarring. People who take medications that increase light sensitivity should consult their doctor before any laser procedure.
While this procedure can smooth out both old and new scars, it does not eliminate keloid scars. In fact, people with a history of keloids should avoid lasers altogether, since they can contribute to the formation of new keloid scars.
A personal consultation at 17 Med Spa will help you clear up any questions or concerns that you may have. We will examine your skin, its elasticity, and the issues that you would like to treat. After a thorough evaluation of your medical history and your personal cosmetic desires, we will guide you through your laser skin resurfacing options. The staff at 17 Medspa are compassionate and sensitive to every patient’s needs, so your consultation will be of utmost importance to us. Call 17 MedSpa’s locations in Buena Park, CA at (714) 224-9010 or (714) 332-7009 or Cupertino, CA at (408) 663-8701. You may also request to schedule an appointment online.
Cost of Fractional Laser Treatment in Buena Park, CA
The cost of your fractional laser treatment will depend on the type of laser you receive and the number of sessions. Typically, fractional lasers take more than one session to produce the most effective results. After a personal consultation, you will receive an estimate for your procedure.
What is the difference between ablative and nonablative lasers?
Ablative lasers remove the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, with thermal heat. Nonablative lasers only heat up the dermis layer, the second layer, while leaving the epidermis intact.
When will I see the results of fractional laser treatment?
Once the swelling goes down, you will begin to notice improvements in your skin. For the next 3 to 6 months, your skin will produce more of your skin’s connective proteins that are needed to reduce scars, age spots, wrinkles, and more.
Why is the wavelength of a fractional laser significant?
Various fractional lasers emit different wavelengths; some even have adjustable settings to change the wavelength of the light pulses. Generally, people with darker skin benefit more from lasers that have longer wavelengths since they prevent hypopigmentation more efficiently. Always speak with your doctor to find out which fractional laser treatment is best for your skin.
- Borges J, Araújo L, Cuzzi T, Martinez L, Gonzales Y, Manela-Azulay M. Fractional Laser Resurfacing Treats Photoaging by Promoting Neocollegenesis and Cutaneous Edema. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. 2020;13(1):22-27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7028380/
- Preissig J, Hamilton K, Markus R. Current Laser Resurfacing Technologies: A Review that Delves Beneath the Surface. Seminars in Plastic Surgery. 2012;26(03):109-116. doi:https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0032-1329413
- Cole P, Hatef D, Kaufman Y, Pozner J. Laser Therapy in Ethnic Populations. Seminars in Plastic Surgery. 2009;23(03):173-177. doi:https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0029-1224796
- Prohaska J, Talel Badri. Laser Complications. Nih.gov. Published April 4, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532248/
- Davis EC, Callender VD. Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation: a review of the epidemiology, clinical features, and treatment options in skin of color. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. 2010;3(7):20-31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921758/
- François-Xavier Maquart, Stéphane Brézillon, Yanusz Wegrowski. Proteoglycans in Skin Aging. Springer eBooks. Published online January 1, 2015:1-18. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27814-3_11-2