Fractional Lasers

Fractional laser resurfacing At A Glance

  • Best Results1-3+ treatments
  • Treatment Recovery1- 5+ days
  • Procedure Time10 -40 min
  • Skin SpecialistDermal therapists / nurses
  • Duration of ResultsVariable to 5 years
  • AnaestheticNumbing, gas
  • Back to Work1-6 days
  • Cost$-$$$

Fractional Lasers

Clinic Cutis has over a dozen fractional lasers & devices, ranging from gentle treatments such as Clear & Brilliant, Fraxel, Pico Fractional, through to powerful devices such as the Ultrapulse CO2 laser & Sciton Erbium laser. We often combine several lasers in the one treatment to provide better results, whilst reducing the number of sessions.

FactsFacts on fractional laser resurfacing

  • Fractional lasers can improve pigmentation, wrinkles, scars & textural skin issues
  • The ideal laser depends on your skin type, downtime, concerns & expectations
  • Gentle fractional lasers include pico lasers, ideal for darker skin types
  • Next levels up include Clear & Brilliant, Fraxel & LaseMD
  • Erbium & CO2 lasers are used for heavy pigmentation, sun damage & deep wrinkles
  • In most cases I combine two to three lasers in the same session
  • The majority of skin rejuvenation patients require only one session
  • Lasers can be combined with injectables to give the best possible results

What is fractional laser resurfacing?

Fractional, as the name suggests, treats ‘fractions’ of skin, measured as a percentage of the surface area. For example, 5% density means only 5% of the entire surface area is treated. Typical densities range from 5% to 70+%. The higher the density, the more involved the treatment. As a guide-

Low densities ranging from 5% to 15% are used to treat melasma, deep keloid scars, burns, & most conditions in darker/ethnic skin.

Medium densities ranging from 15-50% are used to treat sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles & acne scars.

Heavy densities ranging from 50-80% are employed to treat wide spread pigmentation, sun spots & marked skin laxity/wrinkles. 

Why are we different compared to others?

We have developed a treatment called Hybrid laser resurfacing, namely combining two laser wavelengths in the one session. This means most patients require only one session of laser to achieve the desired results.

Hybrid resurfacing saves money, as well as procedure & recovery time. The combination of lasers depends on your concerns, skin type & downtime.

What conditions can fractional lasers treat?

The most important concept to grasp is that laser resurfacing is not the answer to skin rejuvenation. Balanced rejuvenation addresses skin texture, tone & volume. Lasers address skin texture, thus improving skin quality.

As a guide, fractional lasers can treat the following skin conditions-

Pigmentation: this includes freckles, lentigos (age spots), sunspots, deep melasma

Lines & wrinkles: from mild to very deep wrinkles.

Dull skin: lasers resurface the skin, improving optical properties & radiance.

Enlarged pores: fractional thulium lasers are best for light skin types, fractional pico lasers for darker skin.

Acne, surgical & traumatic scars: we use over 8 types of fractional lasers to address scars including Ultrapulse CO2, Mixto, eCO2, CORE, Fraxel, ProFractional, Juliette Erbium fractional & many more.

Laxity: Lasers can provide skin tightening via collagen contraction. Hybrid resurfacing including Fraxel HD/ LaseMD/ CO2 can make a huge impact on the quality of collagen.

How many sessions will I require?

1-3 sessions. It really depends on the job & your downtime. 

For sun damage & wrinkles, most patients only require one session of resurfacing using both Fraxel/LaseMD & CO2 fractional lasers.

Acne scars required 2-4 sessions, spaced 4-8 weeks apart.

Davin’s viewpoint on fractional laser resurfacing

Fractional lasers are most customizable treatments in dermatology. There is a specific laser wavelength for every condition & skin colour. Within the same wavelength, there are many different ways to deliver the energy. Variables such as spot size, pulse width, pulse distance, pulse duration, power & technique can deliver vast outcomes.

The two most common fractional lasers used by myself & my nursing team are the 1927 thulium lasers (Fraxel, LaseMD) & CO2 lasers. These lasers can address skin concerns ranging from pigmentation, sun damage, wrinkles, scars, enlarged pores, through to burns & even stretch marks.

In the context of fractional CO2 lasers, there are many different types. They each have their own function. For example, I use the CORE CO2 for very fine work, whilst if I require power, the Ultrapulse is my preferred laser. For ethnic skin, I may choose the Mixto CO2 or better still the eCO2.

We use many other wavelengths of fractional lasers including erbium fractional, as well as erbium glass 1550, non-ablative 1440, & pico fractional at 532,1064 & 755. In some cases we combine different wavelengths in the same treatment. This is called hybrid fractional resurfacing. The ideal laser is dependent on your skin concerns, skin colour & downtime. For skin rejuvenation in lighter skin types, the most common combination is with 1927 & CO2 fractional. For rejuvenation in darker skin types, the go to is the pico laser.

At the end of the day, lasers are merely tools of the trade. They can be likened to a power tool for a carpenter. It is important to start with good equipment, however it is how we employ these instruments that gives the finished product/result.

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