What is a Profractional laser treatment?
A Profractional laser peel is a treatment is similar to a micropeel, both in terms of goals, discomfort, and downtime. You may have also heard it called a Fraxel laser peel- Profractional is just another brand (Sciton, in this case). A Profractional is done in the office, using topical numbing cream to help keep you comfortable. You can expect some mild soreness and swelling afterward, and a few days of redness followed by a few days of flaking.
How does Profractional differ from a regular micro laser peel?***
The Microlaser Peel removes a thin layer of the outer layer of skin (the epidermis). This can remove some shallow wrinkles, but what it really helps with is skin texture and some of the more superficial pigmentation problems. Profractional removes a deeper layer of skin, but in a pixellated pattern which leaves healthy skin in between the areas treated by the laser. (Think of the difference between aerating your lawn or simply mowing it).
Because the treated areas are surrounded by healthy tissue, the healing time is similar to that of the micropeel. When you look at the diagram below, you’ll see that the Profractional reaches all the way down into the dermis; those squiggly gray lines you see represent collagen. When some of the collagen is damaged by the laser, the surrounding collagen is stimulated into a healing response. This results in a tightening, smoothing effect that you don’t get with a regular micropeel.
What patients actually see is an improvement in wrinkles (deeper wrinkles than those treated with a traditional micro peel). It also means the Profractional can be used to improve the appearance of scars. The ultimate result usually requires multiple treatments (2-4), but a definite improvement is seen after a single treatment. A micro peel and a Profractional can also be combined for even better results.
Before and After Photos***
***All patient results may vary, these procedures are for cosmetic purposes only and results are not guaranteed, nor are permanent. All patients are different and in no way will any procedures be alike, nor the recovery period.