What is the Fraxel Dual laser?

The Fraxel Dual system is the latest addition to the Fraxel family of lasers.  It comprises the Fraxel Re:store and the Fraxel Peel lasers in a single system. Like the Photo-Fraxional and Photo-Fraxional Peel lasers, it is a combination treatment involving the use of two lasers in a single treatment session.  The combined use of the two lasers in a single session is termed Fraxel Dual.  It allows treatment of both superficial and deep components of the skin. Like all the Fraxel lasers, it is a very safe procedure.

Who is best suited to the Fraxel Dual laser?

The Fraxel Dual laser is especially suited to patients with facial sun damage affecting both deep and superficial layers of the skin.  It may be considered for similar skin issues as the Photo-Fraxional and the Photo-Fraxional Peel lasers.  The Fraxel Dual is generally favoured for darker skin or tanned patients whereas the Photo-Fraxional combination lasers are favoured in fairer to medium and non-tanned skin types.

Is the Fraxel Dual laser uncomfortable?

A topical anaesthetic cream is applied to the skin before the procedure, and oral painkillers may also be prescribed by your doctor, which makes it well-tolerated by most patients. There may be the sensation of a slight prickling sensation with the Fraxel laser, and a sensation of heat in the skin, similar to a sunburn develops as the treatment proceeds. This warm sensation will subside within a few hours after the treatment. Usually no analgesia is required during the recovery period, but panadol or panadeine can be used effectively if required.

How soon will I see results?

Dramatic results are usually seen after the first treatment with the Fraxel Dual laser. Typically the skin will look fresher and clearer, with noticeable improvement in skin texture and tone. These effects are evident after the first week, once the darkened pigmentation lifts from the skin surface. The skin texture continues to improve over successive weeks to months, as the structural changes in the skin improve with the body’s natural healing processes.  Even greater improvements can be achieved by a second or a third treatment, typically at 4 week intervals.

Are there any potential adverse reactions?

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with laser skin resurfacing.   The main risk associated with the Fraxel Dual laser is that of prolonged redness.   This can persist for 2 or more weeks if the treatment has been strong, however is usually associated for a more dramatic improvement in the skin. There may also be a mild stinging sensation or itching of the skin in the days immediately after the procedure as the new fragile skin under the treated surface is revealed.  This type of laser can trigger cold-sores in those who are prone to them and for these patients  preventative tablets are often prescribed for use around the time of the treatment.

What aftercare is required?

Aftercare is quite simple.  The skin should be moisturised four times daily and the skin cleansed twice daily.  Trauma to the skin such as excess heat, sunlight, and harsh skin products should be avoided for 1 week following treatment. Make-up and sunscreen may be applied at any time immediately following treatment.

What precautions should be taken after the Fraxel Dual laser?

Avoid direct sun exposure during the healing process and for at least 3 weeks after treatment. Wearing sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher twice a day is especially important. Wearing wide brimmed hats is highly recommended when out in the sun.   Naturally it is important to minimize sun damage in the future to prevent a recurrence of the same condition.

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