Definition: Fraxel treatment is a skin rejuvenation laser treatment that helps you remove years from your appearance and regain a more youthful look. 
Fraxel treatment affects a fraction of tissue at a time with thousands of microscopic laser columns—each just one-tenth the diameter of a hair follicle. The laser columns ablate the skin and stimulate a natural healing process that works from the inside out, replacing damaged tissue with younger, smoother, healthier skin. [1]

What Fraxel Treats
Fraxel laser treatment delivers the potency of ablative treatments with the gentle safety of non-ablative lasers. The Fraxel family of treatments has multiple FDA clearances. These include:
• repair laser
• Wrinkles
• Fine lines
• Furrows
• Skin texture
• Pigmented lesions (age/sun spots)
• Sun-induced redness
• Laser blepharoplasty [1]

re:store and re:fine lasers
• Skin resurfacing
• Fine lines around the eyes
• Pigmented lesions (age/sun spots)
• Discoloration and uneven pigmentation
• Melasma (mask of pregnancy)
• Acne scars
• Surgical scars [1]

Science behind Fraxel
The science of Fraxel treatment involves three key components:

• The epidermis—the outer layer of our skin
• The dermis—sub-layers of skin that include collagen and elastin
• Microscopic laser columns—rebuilding skin from the inside out

Under the epidermis is a network of collagen and elastin, which are proteins that keep your skin youthful and tight. But as you age and get more sun exposure, those proteins simply break down faster than your body can rebuild them. As a result, your skin may start to sag and show damage like wrinkles, lines or spots.
Fraxel uses microscopic laser columns to penetrate deep into the dermis to create tiny wounds, which trigger your body’s natural response system to heal those wounds. This process expedites your body’s remodeling of collagen and elastin, which results in tighter, fresher, more youthful-looking skin. This is how Fraxel treatment creates new skin from the inside out.

Just as important are the areas of skin that Fraxel treatment doesn’t touch. Because the treatment is so precise, the laser columns target only a fraction of skin at a time, leaving the surrounding tissue intact. This “fractional” treatment allows your body to heal the skin faster than if the entire area were treated at once.

Who is Fraxel for?
Fraxel is safe for all skin colors and can be used on people of all ages. Since African-American, Latino and Asian skin types generally have more melanin (pigment) than Caucasian skin, they’ve traditionally been at a higher risk for discoloration and scarring with many conventional laser treatments. But unlike these other procedures, Fraxel treatment precisely targets water in the skin, not melanin, and therefore may be safe and effective for all skin colors. Fraxel treatment works not only on the face, but also on delicate skin areas like the neck, chest and hands.

What Treatment is Best for Me?
When considering which treatment option is best for you, you and your physician should discuss the trade-off between downtime and results to determine the best option that fits your skin condition and lifestyle.

Fraxel re:fine™ treatment—for prevention and maintenance. The most gentle option, Fraxel re:fine treatment is a cosmetic procedure that treats minor skin damage, preventing the signs of aging so you can maintain a youthful look. What it treats: fine lines around the eyes, age spots/sunspots, pigment irregularities and uneven skin tone. Downtime: Minimal. *Most return to routine activities the very same day.

Fraxel re:store™ treatment—for mild to severe skin damage.
The original and most popular Fraxel treatment, Fraxel re:store treatment can resurface damaged skin and uncover the skin of your youth—all with minimal impact on your daily routine. What it treats: wrinkles around the eyes, acne scars, surgical scars, age spots/sunspots, melasma and Actinic Keratoses. Downtime: Most return to regular activities within a day or two.

Fraxel re:pair® treatment—surgery-like results for the most severe skin damage.
The newest product in the Fraxel family, Fraxel re:pair treatment is a preemptive strike against a facelift. The treatment tightens skin and corrects severe damage. What it treats: wrinkles, irregular texture, age spots/sunspots, sun-induced redness. Downtime: Most return to routine activities after a week.

Treatment Procedure
To reduce any discomfort, an anesthetic cream will be applied to your skin up to an hour before the treatment begins. You’ll also be given safety glasses to protect your eyes from the laser’s light. The Fraxel treatment itself generally takes about 25 minutes. It’s only mildly discomforting. On a scale of 1 to 10, most people rank the procedure’s discomfort level around 4. [2]

After the procedure, depending on the aggressiveness of your Fraxel treatment, you will have some degree of redness, swelling or a sunburn sensation, which are signs that your body’s natural healing process is building new skin from the inside out. You can return to routine activities in as little as one hour or, for more aggressive treatments, as few as a few days. To protect your skin after treatment, wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, avoid direct sun exposure for at least 3 months, and wear a wide-brimmed hat when you’re in the sun. [1]

Side Effects
Swelling and redness are the most common side effects from Fraxel treatment. Any swelling is typically minimal and subsides within a day or two, and any redness typically fades within a few days. There might be some pinpoint bleeding following the procedure, as well as some oozing for up to 48 hours until the wounds close up. Other temporary side effects may include minor itching, dry skin, peeling or flaking, and a bronzed skin appearance. There is a very limited risk of infection, hyperpigmentation, or scarring. The intensity and duration of side effects depend on the aggressiveness of treatment and on your particular healing characteristics. Your physician will provide specific instructions about what to expect and how to minimize any side effects. [1]

Results are immediate, although you’ll notice the biggest improvement several weeks later, after the skin has effectively healed and produced new, healthy cells. [2]

Cost of Fraxel
Fraxel costs depend on which treatment you choose. In the U.S. cost of the treatment for Fraxel:repair ranges from $3,000 to $5,000. This is the most expensive fraxel treatment. The Fraxel:restore and refine costs range from $750 to $1,500 per treatment. Keep in mind that maximum benefit is usually achieved with an average of 3 to 5 treatment sessions spaced about 2 to 4 weeks apart.

How to Choose A Doctor
Skin rejuvenation requires a highly experienced doctor who knows about the latest developments in skin care and has access to a variety of treatment options. To successfully improve your skin and get results you are happy with depends in great measure on the skill and ability of the practitioner. The rule with skin rejuvenation is truly “you get what you pay for”. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. [2]