Profractional Skin Resurfacing Frequently Asked Questions
What is ProFractional Therapy?
ProFractional Therapy is a quick and comfortable laser procedure with little downtime, used for improving the overall appearance of your skin. The procedure is performed in our office and can be custom tailored to your specific skin conditions and desired outcome
How Do Profractions Work?
Profractionals selectively treat tiny sections deep in the skin, while not affecting the rest of the skin’s surface. The laser targets aged and damaged skin by creating evenly-spaced, small pinpoint areas deep into the dermis. Since the laser treats a portion or “fraction” of the skin’s deepest layers, the surrounding areas are left unharmed. These vertical microscopic treatment areas, called “Micro Thermal Zones” trigger the body to create its own new natural collagen deep in the dermis. The surrounding, non-treated areas help with stimulate healing.
In other words, the laser dives deep into the dermis, and destroys these microscopic areas, while leaving the surrounding tissue, unharmed. The treated areas stimulate collagen production, while the skin tightens, and pigmentation is normalized. The skipped areas of healthy cells left behind help speed up the healing process and minimize pain.
Treatment improves skin tone, smoothes out fine lines, and evens out skin discoloration, by treating tiny sections of the skin at a time. This type of selective treatment causes collagen to regenerate deep in the dermis, while not affecting the rest of the skin’s surface. Since non-treated areas surround each treated area, healing occurs faster, decreasing downtime for patients.
What is the primary application of ProFractional?
Based on an assessment of your skin condition and cosmetic goals, our laser esthetician may choose to use ProFractional whenever a combination of resurfacing with minimal downtime is desired.
What areas of the body can be treated?
Most skin areas can be treated. Popular treatment areas are the face and neck, though many people also treat the chest and hands. You should discuss your needs with our laser esthetician.
How many treatments will I need?
Excellent results can be obtained in just one treatment, though the number of treatments may vary from patient to patient. Our laser esthetician can personalize a plan based on your specific needs and may choose to combine ProFractional Therapy with other aesthetic procedures to further personalize your treatment.
How Do Profractional Laser Treatments Differ From CO2 Lasers?
The key difference between profractional treatments and the more traditional ablative methods (such as CO2 lasers) is that profractional do not take off the entire outer layer of the skin at once. CO2 lasers treat the total surface of the skin. Profractionals use a very narrow column of light to target pinpoint areas deep in the skin The profractionals penetrate just deep enough to stimulate significant collagen regeneration, while the surrounding unaffected areas help speed up recovery. Healing time, downtime, redness, and pain during the procedure is much less with Profractional than with CO2 and other ablative lasers.
In addition, profractionals can be used on any part of the body — not just the face. CO2 lasers can only be used on the face. Profractionals can treat delicate skin suffering from sun damage on the neck, chest, and hands can be easily treated. In fact, any part of the body can be treated. The end result is impressive improvement of fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and a smoothing out of skin tone and color with minimal down time.
Lastly, profractionals will not cause the lightening of the skin like CO2 lasers will cause. Part of the problem with CO2 lasers is that they leave a “line of demaraction” or a sharp border where the treated skin is much lighter than the un-treated skin.
Why would I choose an Profractional over CO2 Resurfacing ?
Recovery up to 21 Days Recovery 4-7 Days
More pain during procedure Less pain during procedure
Redness lasts up to 4 months Redness fades within 1 week
Leaves border where treated area ends Treated areas blend smoothly with un-treated areas.
What Conditions Are Treated By Profractionals (Fraxel And Pro-Fractional Laser)?
Brown spots and uneven skin tone
Poor skin texture and aging skin
What Areas Can Be Treated And Rejuvinated By Profractionals?
Tops of Hands
Almost any area of the skin
Can The Laser Be Combined With Other Treatments?
Profractional treatments can be combined with:
Micro Laser Peels Resurfacing to treat deep acne scars and wrinkles
Broad Band Light (BBL) / Photofacials / Intense Pulse Light (IPL) treatments for combination of pigmentation and fine lines
Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT) for acne to decrease sebum production and bacteria
What will happen during the procedure?
Your skin will be cleaned in the treatment area and your eyes will be protected with safety shields. A laser handpiece will be positioned gently on the skin. When the laser energy is applied, you will hear a rapid succession of snapping sounds. The handpiece will be moved around to adjacent locations until the entire treatment area has been covered. The procedure normally takes 15 to 30 minutes.
What Is Recovery Like From Profractional Treatments?
Profractional treatments are safe and effective, and have minimal down time. Following a treatment, the skin becomes red with mild swelling for about two days, followed by a week of mild peeling and flaking. It is important to realize that the severity of your condition determines the extent of treatment. Therefore, healing times often vary. When more extensive or combination treatments are necessary, such when treating deep wrinkles or acne scars, pinpoint scabbing may occur, but this resolves within 5-6 days. During the following months, patients are encouraged to wear sunscreen twice a day to limit sun exposure and promote optimum results.
Does The Treatment Hurt?
A topical numbing cream is applied before the treatment which helps ease any discomfort. The laser treatments themselves take only 20 minutes. There is very little discomfort with the treatment. Most people report a prickly sensation that stops as soon as the treatment is over.
What should I expect immediately after the treatment?
Immediately following the procedure you may experience mild redness and a sensation resembling sunburn. Our Laser Esthetician will advise you on specific after-treatment care recommendations, which may include analgesics and application of an ointment to keep the skin moist.
How long will it take to recover?
Complete healing typically occurs within a few days and most patients usually feel comfortable enough to get back to work and apply makeup a day or two after the treatment. There will likely be some swelling that will subside within several days following the treatment.
What aftercare do I need?
You may be given skin care products and instructions on how to use them. Your skin will be sensitive to ultra-violet light after the procedure, so you must avoid direct sun exposure until fully healed. It is recommended that you always use some level of solar protection to avoid sun damage and premature aging of your skin.
When should I expect results?
As your skin heals in the days following your treatment, you may notice a general tightening effect. However, the true benefit of ProFractional is the collagen remodeling that occurs during the 4 to 6 months following your treatment.
Which Laser Does Minnesota Gynecology and Aesthetics Use?
MNGA Cliic uses the Sciton Profractional laser. Dr. Erhard believes that this is the Rolls Royce of lasers. Dr. Erhard owns all her lasers, and does not rent this laser. Not all lasers are the same. There are many lasers that do fractionated treatments, Dr. Erhard believes the Sciton is the safest, and most effective profractional on the market today. However, due to its cost, very few Sciton Profractional lasers are in use in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis, St Paul, Minnesota area