Your skin deserves only the best. When you finally decide that it’s time to say goodbye to your acne scars, wrinkled skin, age spots, or any other facial skin issue, it’s in your best interest to make sure your skin gets only the best treatment available. And in the world of cosmetic facial treatments, two procedures stand out: Fraxel laser and microneedling.
So what is the difference between Fraxel laser and microneedling? Both procedures inflict micro-injuries on the patients, forcing the body to produce collagen, a skin-repairing protein. Fraxel fractional lasers penetrate the skin more deeply than microneedling, making the Fraxel treatment better suited for patients with major skin issues and microneedling better for mild skin issues.
Fraxel and microneedling are similar types of procedures, which is why patients generally have to choose between one or the other. These two procedures are both used to improve the texture and tone of the skin when it has become damaged.
These procedures are ideal for both men and women between the ages of 25 and 60 who seek to treat the following:
Microneedling is an older and more traditional procedure, with cases of dermatologists administering it on patients dating back to the early 1900s. Fraxel fractional laser, however, is more recent and advanced, with first uses of non-surgical lasers for general facial rejuvenation occurring in 2000.
Millions of people suffer skin damage, with thousands suffering it to an extent that they require significant treatments such as microneedling and Fraxel. So what are the most common causes of skin damage?
Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a dermaroller with tiny needles. Also referred to as collagen induction therapy, microneedling is most often used to treat stretch marks and acne scars. It is also used in conjunction with other anti-aging procedures, such as sun spot treatment and eyelid surgery.
Microneedling works by forcing the skin to produce additional collagen, which is the body’s most abundant protein that leads to the redevelopment of new cells. Microneedling increases collagen production by injuring the skin with the dermaroller, which has hundreds of tiny needles.
The skin is pricked at a superficial level, meaning no real damage is done to the patient, but just enough damage is done to start collagen generation. The new collagen repairs the skin, replacing the previously damaged skin with new skin.
After consultation, the microneedling doctor asks the patient to lie down or sit. A small pen-like tool known as a dermaroller is then applied to the skin. Small pricks are made to the skin by the dermaroller; while there may be slight pain, the patient should be relatively unharmed and relaxed during the procedure.
To decrease any pain, the doctor may apply a topical anesthetic to the skin prior to the procedure. The procedure should take about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how much of the face is treated.
Side effects or risks of microneedling include:
Patients who fall under the following should not be considered for microneedling:
Recovery time for microneedling is minimal since it is a minimally invasive procedure. In most cases, patients may expect no recovery time at all and also should be able to get back to their normal routines immediately after the procedure.
Skin rejuvenation starts as soon as the procedure is done, but patients should expect to wait several weeks before seeing best results. Multiple sessions of microneedling, as well as other treatments to increase its effectiveness, should be expected for best results.
Fraxel is a type of microscopic non-invasive procedure that encourages elastin and collagen growth through skin penetration, similar to microneedling. A type of fractional skin resurfacing treatment, Fraxel only focuses on a fraction of the targeted treatment area at a time.
The common Fraxel treatment is the Fraxel Dual, which uses two different wavelengths to address texture issues and discoloration issues. With these wavelengths, Fraxel laser treatment creates tiny micro-injuries on the skin, creating a specific grid pattern from the fractional lasers.
Unlike microneedling, Fraxel laser treatments penetrate the skin at a deeper level. There are two kinds of fractional resurfacing with Fraxel laser treatments: ablative and non-ablative. Ablative laser treatments are more aggressive, requiring longer recovery and downtime and creating more significant results.
The procedure begins with the doctor’s team numbing the skin; for extreme cases of skin resurfacing, the patient has the option to be sedated.
During the procedure, the lasers are beamed directly at the skin. These lasers destroy the epidermis, or the most outer layer of the skin with micro-injuries. While this is happening, the second layer of the skin, the dermis, is also heated up, leading to increased collagen production. This treatment can last up to 2 hours depending on the size of the treatment area.
Risks and side effects of Fraxel laser resurfacing include:
The recovery process after a Fraxel treatment can be unnerving to some patients. The skin will be left intensely swollen and red immediately after the procedure, with countless micro-injuries spread across the face.
The skin recovers slowly over the next 10 days, however results will continuously improve over the next few weeks. Patients should expect to see dramatically improved skin after a successful Fraxel treatment.
Patients can expect to see results with either treatment, microneedling or Fraxel laser resurfacing. However, as the Fraxel laser technique penetrates the skin at a deeper level, it is better suited for patients who have more serious skin problems, whereas microneedling is better suited for patients experiencing light to mild problems.
On its own, Fraxel laser is a much more effective treatment for patients looking for dramatic skin rejuvenation results. Microneedling is often partnered with another treatment or a series of cosmetic treatments to create an overall improved appearance.
If you are interested in learning more about microneedling, Fraxel laser, or any other type of skin and laser cosmetic procedure, contact or visit us at Ethos Spa today. We are the premier provider of skin and laser cosmetic treatments in the New Jersey area and have helped thousands of patients reach their physical potential.
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