The age–old saying “beauty is pain” really rings true when it comes to modern beauty procedure Fraxel Laser Treatment. Also known as gravel laser treatment, Fraxel fracken hurts, but don’t take my word for it (mainly because I was too chicken to try it, so I spoke to some friends who did). Fraxel is a laser resurfacing treatment aimed at treating various skin conditions, and it boasts a quicker recovery time and less tissue damage than other laser treatments.
Let’s answer a few burning questions about your face and Fraxel:
What makes Fraxel different?
The Fraxel Laser Treatment uses non-ablative laser techniques, which loosely means that it does not strip away the top layer of skin, common practice for most traditional laser treatments. What Fraxel does instead is zap micro-holes into the skin, leaving the surrounding tissue intact and paving the way for new skin cells and a quicker, less noticeable recovery period. The damaged skin from the micro–poking is shed and new skin cells rich in collagen take their place. Most people are able to leave their house without frightening the neighbours in about five to 10 days, depending on the type of Fraxel treatment and the number of passes per visit. In contrast, traditional laser treatments often require up to four weeks of recovery time, and your skin is raw and painful for at least half of it (in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “Your face looks like beef carpaccio”).
What does Fraxel lazer treat?
- Standard lines and wrinkles, from deep-set to fine
- Sun spots and pigment variations
- Acne scars or scars from surgery (or from that time you “tripped” on that bar stool when you were in university)
- Stretch marks
- Large pores (it shrinks them)
- Irregular skin texture (it smooths it out)
Seems promising, right?
Is it painful?
In short, YES! In long, YES! As I mentioned, I haven’t tried Fraxel lazer myself, but I’ve spoken to those who have as well those who have administered it, and it is definitely not a comfortable treatment, to say the least. Then again, neither is Botox or fillers, or half the other beauty treatments out there. With Fraxel, you’ll likely have a numbing cream applied to the area beforehand and cold air blown onto it during, which apparently helps relieve about 0.3% of the pain. The laser is then passed across the area and burns micro holes into the skin. This pass is done typically six to eight times per treatment.
What’s the end result?
You should complete your fraxel lazer treatment plan after upwards of six sessions, although it’s usually recommended that you continue with a maintenance plan. Your skin will improve with each session, but the final results are the most noticeable after the entire treatment is finished, of course. You’ll see a decrease in the visibility of scars, wrinkles, lines, pigmentation (or whatever brought you in), and a smoother, more even skin texture and complexion, plus an overall more youthful, vibrant glow.
A caveat: Fraxel Laser Treatment is not only uncomfortable, but also an investment (a.k.a. not cheap). So, if you are considering it, be sure to speak to a licenced professional to find out if it’s right for you.