Fractional resurfacing is accepted as the new standard of care in resurfacing the skin. It involves delivering the energy of the laser in a pixilated fashion whereby microscopically the area of skin is treated and intermittently untreated, allowing for quicker recovery and safer results. Given the safety profile, these lasers can also penetrate much deeper into the skin than traditional laser resurfacing.
Ablative - Ablative fractional resurfacing devices use CO2 lasers. The two standard technologies are Fraxel:Repair® and Active/Deep/Total FX lasers. They are the most powerful devices for severe wrinkles, scars and sun damage. Other copycat technologies in this class such as Pixel, Matrix, Affirm, SmartXide DOT, and Quadralase generally have less energy and efficacy than the above technologies.
Non Ablative - Non Ablative fractional devices generally have shorter downtime such as a weekend recovery. They deliver columns of heat that subsequently stimulates collagen. Treatments are performed at monthly intervals several times. The classic version of this technology is the Fraxel:Restore® or what is now called the Fraxel® Dual. Palomar™ makes a version of this technology as well.
There is an additional class of fractional resurfacing called "Sub-Ablative" that utilizes radiofrequency technology to rejuvenate the skin. The name of the technology is Matrix RF™. It is relatively equivalent to most of the non-ablative fractional technologies out there.
In our practice, we use the Fraxel® name brand devices because of their versatility of clinical treatment and their long track record of research and development. To educate yourself on these technologies please see our website link for Fraxel® Resurfacing.
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DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is solely for educational purposes and is solely the opinion of Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, which may differ from other medical professionals.
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