Aging, acne scars, the sun, and other factors can contribute to your skin looking less even than you would like it to. Fraxel is a type of laser treatment that resurfaces your skin by gradually removing the damaged areas to expose new, healthy layers of skin. It produces similar results to surgical treatment options without being as invasive, and the healing process is often easier and quicker. Although it’s important to remember that everyone’s skin is different and responds to treatment differently, your healing process for each treatment session will typically be complete within a week. Here is a general overview of how Fraxel laser treatment can benefit your skin and what the day by day recovery process looks like!
What Is Fraxel Laser?
Fraxel is an innovative type of laser treatment that is used to give the skin on your face a smoother and more even appearance. It minimizes a variety of types of damage to your skin, such as acne scarring, sun damage and discoloration, wrinkles, and other signs of aging, to give you fresher and younger-looking skin. Most patients will start to see results after their first treatment, although 3-5 sessions are generally recommended in order to achieve your desired results.
Typical Fraxel Laser Recovery Process
Because Fraxel’s lasers are extremely efficient at precisely targeting only the desired treatment area, recovery is typically much easier and quicker than it is for surgical cosmetic procedures. Although you should expect to experience some minor discomfort during the first week following each treatment session, you will usually be able to resume your daily routine by the next day with a few simple precautions. While it is important to keep in mind that patients can respond to Fraxel differently and need more time to fully heal, here is a general overview of what to expect during your recovery process.
Immediately following your Fraxel laser treatment, you will likely experience hotness, redness, and swelling that resembles a sunburn. This is because the lasers have a similar effect on your skin to the sun’s rays, but the most significant irritation usually does not last very long. These effects should be treated by using ice, moisturizer, or over-the-counter medications during the rest of this day in order to minimize discomfort and speed up your healing time.
On the first day after your Fraxel laser treatment, you should expect to notice reduced redness and heat, although you are likely to still have some swelling. You will likely also start to feel some similar tightness and dryness to what you might expect the day after getting a sunburn, and you may begin to notice results as the new skin begins to heal.
By the second day following treatment, you should expect the majority of the swelling and redness of your skin to disappear. Using a light moisturizer regularly during the first couple of days is key to making sure you reach this stage and eliminate the minor pain you are likely to experience quickly. You will also continue to see more of the positive results you are anticipating as the imperfections of your skin reach the surface and begin to detach from your skin.
On approximately the third day after treatment, you are likely to experience itching and peeling that is similar to the type of peeling that you might notice as your damaged skin separates from the new skin underneath after a sunburn. Although this peeling may be irritating, it is a necessary element in the process of removing the damaged parts of your skin to create space for new, healthy skin. It is generally a cosmetic part of the healing process that does not physically require you to adjust your daily routine, although you may prefer to plan to stay home on this day for aesthetic reasons if you are able to. Although you will probably want to, you should not exfoliate your skin in an attempt to speed up this process.
By the fourth day, you are likely to notice that the majority of the peeling has passed. Although your skin will not quite be back to normal by this point, it should be much less uncomfortable, and you should be able to go back to your normal routine without feeling self-conscious.
By day five, your skin should be getting close to normal. Although you may still experience minor skin imperfections after reaching this point, your face is likely to look and feel normal by this time. Now that your skin is comfortable again, you will be able to enjoy your smoother and younger-looking skin. At this stage, you will be able to see the full results of your treatment session in order to decide if you are happy with your results or if you would like to add another session. If you decide that you would like another treatment session, you should schedule it for approximately 2-4 weeks from this time.
Tips for Helping Your Skin Heal Effectively
Although everyone’s skin is different and heals on a slightly varying timeline, there are several steps you can take to avoid further irritating your skin and make it more comfortable throughout the healing process. Keeping a light moisturizer on your skin throughout the first week after your Fraxel laser treatment is an important aspect of hydrating and rejuvenating your skin, but you should avoid heavy moisturizers, makeup, and any type of exfoliant to avoid slowing the healing process. You should also plan to avoid spending time in the sun for several months following your treatment, especially during the first week, and use sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat when you do go outside.
At Dermatology Institute of Southern California, we are proud to offer the most innovative treatments in the field to help our patients improve their skin and boost their self-esteem. If you’re interested in evening out scarring, discoloration, wrinkles, or other imperfections on your skin, Fraxel laser treatment may be the perfect solution. Contact us today to learn more about whether Fraxel may be right for you!
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