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Fraxel® and IPL: How Lasers and Lights Can Transform Your Skin

Anti-aging treatments are evolving and advancing as quickly as the rest of our technology. A few decades ago, most people would not have guessed that laser and light treatments would be so impactful for reducing wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Can you keep up with the exciting changes? Read on to learn how the Fraxel® laser and IPL treatments can reduce wrinkles and hyperpigmentation for youthful, smooth skin.

What is Fraxel®, and how can it transform your skin?

The Fraxel® Re:pair laser at Brentwood Dermatology is an ablative CO2 laser that resurfaces skin to treat brown spots, sunspots, hyperpigmentation, fine wrinkles, surface scarring, rough texture, and actinic keratosis. The laser vaporizes and removes millions of microscopic cylinders of sun-damaged, abnormal collagen. The result is visibly tighter skin, reduced wrinkles, and a more even skin tone.

Who is a good candidate for Fraxel® treatment?

Fraxel® laser treatments are more aggressive than some other anti-aging procedures, so candidates should be prepared for about a week of downtime to heal afterward. In most cases, the Fraxel® treatment is a one-time procedure, unlike chemical peels, which often take several treatments to reach a patient’s desired results.

The treatment is safe for people with lighter skin tones, but it may not be suitable for those with darker skin because of the risk of hyperpigmentation during healing. Patients who have recently concluded a round of treatment with isotretinoin should wait for at least six months before scheduling a laser procedure.

What should you expect during the procedure?

Your first appointment with a dermatologist will be a consultation to review your medical and skin history to determine whether you have any risk factors. During the consultation, you’ll discuss making arrangements to take time off from work while you heal. The dermatologist will also discuss after-procedure care.

Depending upon the dermatologist’s assessment of your skin, he or she may prescribe Hydroquinone to reduce your risk of hyperpigmentation during the healing process.

What results can you expect?

Fraxel® Re:pair treatments offer beautiful results. Skin will be smoother and more even in both texture and tone. Unlike other anti-aging procedures like dermal fillers and neuromodulators, the results from Fraxel® treatments are permanent. However, it is possible to develop new pigmentation and wrinkles over time.

What is IPL, and how can it transform your skin?

IPL, or intense pulsed light, is a form of light treatment that can eliminate fine blood vessels, age spots, sun damage, freckles, birthmarks, redness from rosacea, and spider veins. Laser treatments, such as the Fraxel®, use one focused wavelength of light. However, IPL is a photorejuvenation procedure that utilizes a burst of broad-spectrum light in many wavelengths.

Blood vessels and pigmented skin (from sun damage, freckles, rosacea, etc.) absorb the scattered light more than the surrounding tissue. The blood vessels and pigmented tissue heat up, which damages them. As the body heals from the treatment, it cleans up the damage and “washes away” blood vessels and pigmented skin.

The treatment is safe for people with light to medium skin tones, but it may not be suitable for those with darker skin because of the risk of hyperpigmentation during healing.

What should you expect during and after the procedure?

If you use a retinoid, take a break for one to two weeks prior to the treatment. Also, avoid taking aspirin before your appointment. The procedure shouldn’t hurt, so you won’t need it anyway!

Your dermatologist should provide eye protection for you to wear during the procedure. The light penetrates to the lower layers of skin, leaving the top layers undamaged for a speedy recovery. You may experience mild redness and swelling that feels similar to a sunburn for the first couple of hours after the procedure. You can apply makeup immediately following the procedure, or you can wait until your skin is less sensitive.

Be sure to use sun protection after the procedure to protect your skin from unnecessary irritation and further premature aging. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen, avoid sun exposure in the middle of the day, and wear a broad-brimmed hat when you’re outdoors.

What results can you expect?

Many people see changes in their skin within a couple of days. For brown age spots, it may take two treatments to reach your desired results. Soon after the treatment, you should see a noticeable evening of your skin tone and a reduction in the number of blood vessels in the treatment area.

IPL is a permanent treatment in that the broken vessels and hyperpigmentation will go away permanently, but you may develop more over time.

Get a smooth, even complexion today

Are you ready to even your skin tone and reduce fine lines and wrinkles with futuristic laser and light treatments? Then schedule your consultation today. We’ll discuss your skin concerns and goals to determine which anti-aging procedure is best for you.

Learn More About Fraxel® and IPL at Brentwood Dermatology in Brentwood, TN

The trusted physicians at Brentwood Dermatology can assist you with all of your general, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology needs. If you would like to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (615) 377-3448.

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