Monday, December 8, 2008
Why does fractional laser skin resurfacing work?
Fractional resurfacing has been a buzzword for the last few years with the introduction of the Fraxel device. Things have progressed and new machines have been introduced that have made treatments more effective. Fractional resurfacing is a laser procedure that treats only a fraction (or portion) of the skin surface. The laser puts down a series of spots that treat typically from 5-30% of the skin surface area per treatment – leaving 70-95% of skin untreated. The theory is that the partial injury creates an environment under the skin that leads to collagen changes and therefore improved skin. The devices are broadly grouped into non-ablative and ablative lasers. Non-ablative fractional lasers create a column of dead skin that the body eradicates while ablative lasers create an ablation channel.
For the record, laser skin resurfacing was one of the big movers in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons' 2007 report (PDF), being performed 32% more times than in 2006. I expect this trend to continue in 2008, as the faster turnaround time and less scary perception of non invasive surgery seems to be en vogue right now.
Thanks for reading,
Dr. Jason Pozner
Sanctuary Medical Aesthetic Center