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Fractional Laser

What is Fractional Laser?

Fractional laser is a state-of-the-art laser device used for skin resurfacing. As therapeutic effect of the fractional laser is strong and side effects are low, it has become one of the most preferred methods for the skin treatments. The fractional laser is one of the effective methods used in the treatment of acne and wound scars, wrinkles, sagging face and striae.

What is the action of mechanism of the Fractional Laser?

The fractional laser affects the upper and lower layers of the skin. In fractional laser systems, laser beams drill very tiny tunnels in the skin and thus, synthesis of collagen is stimulated. This method is advantageous due to minimal damage to healthy skin areas. Thus, recovery of the skin is faster, and possible side effects of the laser beams are minimized.

What is the intended use of the fractional laser method?

  • Skin rejuvenation (Treatment of wrinkle and sagging skin)
  • Treatment of acne scars
  • Treatment of striae
  • Treatment of scars
  • Treatment of skin spots

How is the fractional laser treatment performed? How many sessions are needed? Do the patients feel pain?

In the fractional laser, the treatment is performed in sessions. The procedure takes 15-30 minutes on average in each session. According to the type of complaint, the treatment can be performed at least for 3-5 sessions at 3- to 8-week intervals. During the procedure, some patients can feel pain. However, the pain can be easily reduced through local anesthetic cream or coolant.

What can be expected after the fractional laser procedures?

There may be slight redness and edema after the procedure. In addition, skin desquamation and color change may be observed. However, such problems regress spontaneously within 3-7 days.  

What are the contraindications of the fractional laser?

  • Active infection and inflammation of the skin
  • Systemic isotretinoin within the last six months
  • Pregnancy

What should the patients take into consideration after the fractional laser procedure?

Postoperative complaints are mild and reversible. Sunburn is felt approximately for one hour after the procedure. Make-up is allowed after the procedure. Light moisturizers can be preferred after the fractional laser. Ice packs can help relieving the facial edema. After the fractional laser, sunbath should be avoided for 6 to 12 months, and moisturizers with SPF should be used. 

When do outcomes of the fractional laser appear?

Collagen synthesis starts three months after the treatment. Best outcomes will be seen 6 to 12 months after the procedure.

What are the side effects and complications of fractional laser treatment?

Fractional laser treatment appears to be well tolerated by most patients. Shaving or application of mineral make-up can be done soon after treatment. In most cases, patients can return to work directly after treatments or the following day, depending upon their skin condition and treatment.

Some of the side effects and complications that may occur after aggressive or ablative fractional laser treatments, particularly on neck skin, include:

  • Excessive desquamation (scaling, peeling) and some crusting
  • Swelling for up to one week after treatment – this can be helped by applying an ice pack at 10-minute intervals for the first 24 hours.
  • Postinflammatory pigmentation – occurs more commonly in patients with a history of melasma or postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (more common in patients of darker skin types)
  • Acneform eruptions, herpes simplex, bacterial and candida infections
  • Contact dermatitis

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