We've been working with lasers safely and effectively for over ten years.
We bring the medical experience and training of a dermatology office to your laser treatments.
Our Fraxel Laser Skin Treatments in Seattle
Dr. Irwin and her staff investigated fractional lasers for several years before acquiring the second generation Fraxel laser. The Fraxel II is excellent for treating:
- Brown spots, melasma, wrinkles, and sun damage on the face, neck, chest, and hands
- Acne scarring and surgical scars
- The arms, legs, and back may be treated as well.
The Fraxel can improve your skin's overall tone and texture. The Fraxel does this by dividing, or fractionating, the laser beam into thousands of smaller beams that can penetrate deeper and more effectively into your skin. It can also reduce precancerous lesions by replacing older damaged skin with new skin.
Fraxel laser treatments are performed with little discomfort and minimal risk. For your comfort, a topical anesthetic cream is applied to the skin before treatment and cool air is directed at your skin during the treatment. Your clinician will customize the treatment of your skin, to vary the depth and intensity, taking into account your skin type and individual issues.
Generally, about 3-4 treatments are necessary, with one treatment every 4-8 weeks for optimal results.
Why Have your Fraxel Laser Treatment at Madison Skin & Laser Center?
Dr. Irwin has been working with lasers here in Seattle since the early 1990s and brings almost twenty years of experience to the laser treatments at Madison Skin & Laser. She and her staff regard lasers as medical devices, to be offered by trained medical professionals in a medical setting, not a spa.
The hallmarks of the laser treatments at Madison Skin & Laser Center are results and safety.
Want More Information on Fractional Laser Skin Treatments at our Clinic in Seattle?
What does a fractional laser treat?
Fractional lasers use a gentle laser for the following:
· To treat sun damage, wrinkles, and aging on the face, neck, chest and hands but also on the arms, legs, and back;
· To treat certain cases of melasma;
· To treat acne scarring and surgical scars;
· To improve the crepiness and fine lines around the eye and on the eyelids.
· To improve skin texture and tone.
· To reduce precancerous lesions by replacing damaged skin with new skin.
Fractional lasers are generally not good for redness, but work very well on brown pigment and the above issues.
A series of treatments (usually 3-5) are performed, usually one every 3-8 weeks. The benefits of fractional laser treatments are achieved with little discomfort and minimal risk.
Although there are several competing fractional lasers, the Fraxel laser pioneered this technology and has been on the market for the longest.
How does fractional (Fraxel) resurfacing work?
The Fraxel laser creates tiny "microthermal" zones (think pixels) deep into the skin which the skin repairs by pushing out the old sun damaged skin and replacing it with new skin. Each treatment replaces about 15-20% of the sun damaged, scarred or wrinkled skin. It triggers the body's natural healing process accelerating the production of collagen and new, healthy skin cells. 1,000-2,000 microthermal zones per are created each centimeter squared.
Can I do the Fraxel with other cosmetic treatments?
Yes. With Restylane, Juvederm, and Cosmoplast, wait 1 week after having Fraxel done. For Sculptra, it is best to have the Fraxel treatments first, or you will need to wait 3 months after your last Sculptra injection to begin Fraxel treatment. With Thermage, wait one month before of after a Fraxel treatment.
How long do the effects of a Fraxel treatment last?
That depends on how well you protect your skin from the sun. If you apply sunscreen and wear sun protective clothing, your skin will look good longer than if you are tanning like crazy. If you are careful with your skin, your skin will probably continue to look good with annual maintenance treatments.
How long does the Fraxel take to work? When will I see results?
Many people notice results within a week after their first treatment. Their skin feels smoother, looks less blotchy, and has a glow to it.
The results depend on what your issue is that you want treated. If you are doing a series, you may need to wait the full length of the series, which can be 5 months, to see the best results.
How much do Fraxel treatments cost?
Fraxel is the brand name of one of the first fractional lasers. The cost varies by where you live, the office you go to, and the size of the area being treated. A full face should cost from $900 to about $1400. A full face plus eyelid should run $1400 to $1900. And a full face with neck and chest will be $1500 to $1900. If you have scars that might benefit from a Fraxel, you will get a specific quotation.
How are Fraxel laser treatments performed?
You need to arrive 1 ½ hours before your treatment. You or a technician will cleanse the treatment area and then apply a numbing cream to the area to be treated. Then you just relax, read, listen to music, while the numbing cream takes affect.
After you numb for about an hour, the numbing gel will be removed. With first-generation Fraxel I, a blue dye was then applied. With the newer Fraxel II, the dye is not necessary. You’ll be taken to the laser room, made comfortable, and a thin layer of gel will be applied to help the laser rollers slide evenly over the face.
The treatment takes about an hour for a full face and feels a little like a "pins and needles" sensation. The discomfort ranges from mild to moderate. Plan on being in the office for 2 ½ hours total. Most people drive to and from their own Fraxel appointments.
What is the process for Fraxel eyelid treatment?
Patients should try to arrive with a clean face, including all eye cosmetics, and you should inform your clinician if you have any permanent makeup before beginning the treatment. Numbing eye drops are placed in the eye to aid in the insertion of a contact lens-like eye shield to protect the eye. The shield fits comfortably within the eye.
The eye treatment is then performed on the upper & lower eyelids. Fraxel eyelid treatment may be performed at the same time as Fraxel face treatment. Remember, it is normal like all areas treated with the Fraxel to having some mild swelling and redness for 2-3 days after the treatment.
What will I look like right after the treatment and what is the healing time?
During the first 24 hours after treatment, your skin may feel as though it is sunburned. Ice packs/frozen peas are used 5-10 minutes per hour for the first 5-6 hours after the treatment.
Your skin will look very red immediately after the treatment and will fade over 1-3 days. Usually you can go back to normal activities including work, with make-up, the next day. Occasionally, the redness may take longer to resolve. Make-up can be worn to reduce the red. Rarely, bruising may develop, which can take up to two weeks to resolve. Allow 2-3 weeks for weddings, reunions, family pictures, etc just to be safe.
Within a few days after each treatment, a "bronzing" look to the skin is common, which can last 1-2 weeks. Your skin may flake and exfoliate a little. Using a moisturizer will help reduce the appearance of dry flakes. Remember, it will take several treatments to obtain optimal results.
Can I go back to work and activities immediately?
No, you will need to take the rest of that day off to ice and care for the treated area. You can go back to all of your activities, including exercise the next day or the day after. Swimming in a chlorinated pool is not advised for 1 week. You may exercise outside with a hat and with a high-quality sunscreen with 5% zinc or titanium.
How many treatments will I need?
Three to five treatments, approximately 3-8 weeks apart. An estimate should be given to you at your consultation. The number depends on the extent of your sun damage, scarring or wrinkles. Gradual improvement occurs with each treatment.
Are there any reasons not to be treated with these lasers?
Reasons not to do a fractional laser treatment may include use of medications that increase photosensitivity, use of anticoagulants, history of bleeding disorders, and pregnancy.
Are there any medical or cosmetic side effects?
The main side effects are mild, temporary swelling, redness, an accentuation of the brown spots, crusting, and an occasional bruise or small superficial blister (like a sunburn blister). Your laser center should review with you side effects in your consent form.
What about competitors to the Fraxel?
To make things even more confusing, there are now non-ablative fractional resurfacing lasers (like the Fraxel) and ablative fractional resurfacing lasers (like the DOT and the Active Fx).
The non-ablative fractional resurfacing lasers do this process of fractionally resurfacing your face, usually 15 to 20% with each treatment without any visible marks. Your face is red for a short bit and then that turns to a kind of bronzy color and then it heals over quite nicely without ever needing to miss time from work or social activities except for a couple of days.
The Fraxel non-ablative laser, which was the first of the fractional lasers, certainly has the most study data behind it and the most impressive record so far. But again, as we get more information, it will be interesting to see which of these devices proves to be the most useful. For now, I would recommend sticking with the Fraxel because the results are the most predictable and are consistently excellent.
If you live in a large urban area near doctors with extensive laser experience, and you don't mind a bit more downtime, you can certainly investigate the new ablative fractional lasers, like the DOT by DEKA. We recently acquired the new ablative fractional carbon dioxide laser by DEKA (the DOT) and would be happy to discuss the results you can expect with that laser.
We strive to be the best dermatologists and laser center in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. The results and safety of our ten years in practice offer a testament to our dedication to being the best laser center in Seattle and the Northwest.
For an appointment or consultation, call 206 215-6600.