Fractional thermolysis: a method of laser skin resurfacing

fractional laser resurfacing

There are so many innovative techniques for preserving youth that patients sometimes get lost in their choice.

Those who wish to activate the natural processes of renewal and rejuvenation of the skin can be offered a procedure as effective as fractional thermolysis, during which the upper layer of the epidermis is removed with a laser grinder.

Fractional laser skin resurfacing is one of the most effective types of cosmetic procedures that can combat age-related skin changes.

The method has its own specific characteristics and technologies, indications and contraindications. Before carrying it out, you should definitely consult with a specialist.

The principle of the technique

fractional laser resurfacing procedure

For the first time, American scientists tested fractional thermolysis technology in 2004. Since then, it has undergone many clinical studies and has become a powerful tool in modern cosmetology. The essence of fractional thermolysis (photothermolysis, nanoperforation, fraxel) is that a special device is used to separate the laser beam into many ultrafine fractions.

The procedure involves the use of very small targeted lasers, resulting in microscopic damage to the treated skin area.

Laser irradiation increases the local temperature of individual areas of the skin, which inevitably results in the heating of the intracellular contents and the destruction of cellular structures. In turn, this activates the recovery processes, leads to increased production of fibrillar protein (collagen) and the formation of new epithelial cells. And the more collagen in the epidermal layer, the less wrinkles and other skin defects.

With regard to molecular changes, here it is necessary to note the appearance of heat shock proteins, hyaluronic acid and the appearance of a transforming growth factor (a special polypeptide). All of these substances accelerate the use of damaged collagen in cells and form its new molecules.

The superficial layer of the skin, as a rule, is restored already on the second day after cosmetic manipulations. The exfoliation of the dead cells is finished in approximately 10 to 12 days.

Intensive recovery begins in each damaged area, as nature provides a high rate of regeneration of skin tissue. Thanks to the spot effect, a fairly solid supply of healthy cells is formed in the skin, serving as a source of new epithelial cells.

Ablative and non-ablative technology

When a laser pulse is used to help vaporize the active substance, it is most likely laser ablation. In ablative photothermolysis, laser radiation is used, the energy of which is stored mainly by water molecules. Acting briefly in a local area, the laser current instantly raises the temperature of the water contained in the tissues up to 300 degrees. At the site of evaporation, a small open wound appears, next to which thermally coagulated epithelial cells are concentrated.

Such thermolysis requires a longer recovery time than non-ablative technology, but the result will look much more spectacular. The disadvantages of the method, perhaps, can only be attributed to the fact that there is a certain risk of infection of the tissues of the deep dermal layer.

Nonablative thermolysis is considered a less traumatic procedure. Here, a laser beam is used, which practically reduces the risk of damage to the epidermis to zero - a burn is formed under it. The destroyed epithelial cells do not evaporate, but settle inside the dermis, therefore the patient does not have to deal with open wounds. Stretching and rejuvenation are not as obvious as with the other method, as the dead skin cells do not disappear anywhere, which means that the stretching effect is minimal.

Unlike the ablation technique, the patient is insured against infection of the skin tissues, since the integrity of the superficial layer of the skin is not disturbed during the procedure.

Positive and negative sides

Like plastic correction, fractional thermolysis makes the skin less rough and rough. But if surgery is considered a radical way to improve the skin's appearance, thermolysis is called mild. Despite this, its effectiveness is not less. In addition, the range of tasks that fractional thermolysis solves is even broader than that of contour plastics.

fractional facial skin rejuvenation with laser

The main advantages of the technique are the following:

  • recovery takes place as soon as possible;
  • during the procedure, the patient does not experience painful sensations;
  • the result is preserved for a long period;
  • laser exposure is equally harmless to any skin type;
  • even the most sensitive areas of the skin respond well to the laser;
  • lack of strict restrictions during the rehabilitation period;
  • the minimum number of possible side effects;
  • the risk of blood poisoning with any virus (HIV, hepatitis) is zero.

Although thermolysis is considered a safe and high-tech method, it has its own side effects, in particular:

  • penetration of microbial agents through the skin: staphylococci and streptococci;
  • abnormal redness of the skin;
  • inflammation and fluid accumulation in the treated area of the skin;
  • the appearance of hyperpigmentation, minor burns and cracks, acne.

Indications and contraindications.

Most of the clients are older generation women who are eager to smooth wrinkles and remove moderately pronounced folds on the face and neck. Of course, the effect will meet all expectations, but, in addition, the procedure allows you to solve other cosmetic problems, including:

fractional rejuvenation procedure
  • removal of pigmentation, age spots and marks formed by the influence of sunlight;
  • level out the signs of skin aging;
  • smooth deep wrinkles;
  • narrowing of the pores;
  • removal of small wrinkles on the eyelids;
  • the return of lost elasticity to the epidermis;
  • elimination of the consequences of acne;
  • get rid of stretch marks and scars.

In some circumstances, patients are forced to seek an alternative to fractional thermolysis, as laser resurfacing can lead to completely opposite results. So, the procedure is contraindicated in the following cases:

  • while carrying a child;
  • during the lactation period;
  • with exacerbation of existing diseases;
  • with acute respiratory infection, including influenza;
  • in the presence of malignant neoplasms;
  • if the patient has poor blood clotting;
  • when the face is covered with many moles;
  • if there are foci of inflammation on the skin;
  • in the presence of autoimmune diseases;
  • if the patient is being treated with certain medications.

Procedural technology

fractional laser resurfacing technology

A preliminary consultation with a cosmetologist is an obligatory stage of any cosmetic procedure, in which the goal of the doctor is to clarify the wishes of the client and inform about various nuances.

First, the cosmetologist treats the patient's skin with a cotton ball and an anesthetic cream is applied to it. An ointment is then applied to the surface of the skin to facilitate the gliding of the device.

After that, armed with a device with a special accessory, the specialist proceeds to the treatment of problem areas. The applied anesthetic and cooled airflow minimize pain sensations, creating additional comfort for the patient. Patients, with rare exceptions, may complain of a slight tingling sensation.

The Fraxel device, developed by American scientists, caused a sensation in the field of non-invasive cosmetology. The specialists had the unique opportunity to perform laser thermolysis using a specific nozzle for each specific purpose. In some preparations only the thulium rod is involved, while in others, the erbium rod, there are also combined models. Depending on which area of the skin is to be processed, one or the other core is selected.

A full session rarely lasts more than thirty minutes. If you need to remove stretch marks from your hips and abdomen, it may take a little longer.

The original Fraxel device has 4 main modes, each of which allows the laser beam to penetrate to a specified depth:

  1. Penalty fee. Smooth surface treatment. Ideal for working with eyelids, breasts and other sensitive areas of the body.
  2. Fix. The thulium rod provides deep penetration of the laser beam into the skin, helping to remove deep wrinkles and marks and regulate skin oiliness. If there is vascular dyschromia, open pores, then such a restoration is the best option.
  3. Restore. The most popular technique today, which allows you to forget about superficial wrinkles and small scars after acne.
  4. Restore Dual. The procedure is carried out with the simultaneous use of two rods at once: erbium and thulium. It will help those who have pronounced scars and scars.

The number of sessions required to achieve a tangible effect largely depends on the severity of the injuries and the specific characteristics of the treated areas, but generally at least 5-7 procedures are performed.

Characteristics of the rehabilitation period

After fractional thermolysis, the skin needs special care, especially in the first days. Restoring skins will not be superfluous. The face must be constantly lubricated with some type of nourishing and moisturizing cream.

fractional laser resurfacing

To maintain the effect achieved, it is extremely important to follow the simple advice of doctors:

  • for the first three days, exclude any physical activity;
  • do not visit the bathhouse and sauna, or take a hot bath for a month;
  • refuse cosmetic procedures for a month, including peeling;
  • limit the time of exposure to the sun, since excess ultraviolet radiation is doubly dangerous for the newly restored skin;
  • during recovery, quit alcohol and cigarettes.

After the procedure, some patients notice swelling and redness of the skin. This should not be scary, after a few days, as soon as the redness disappears, you should consult a cosmetologist so that he can assess the result of the therapy.

Issue price

Laser correction is certainly not a cheap procedure. The cost of fractional thermolysis varies depending on the prestige of the clinic, the volume of work performed, the prices of consumables, etc. Thermolysis of the face and neck will cost less than the same manipulations performed on the abdomen, buttocks and other parts of the body.

Modern cosmetology does not stand still, but the disputes about the advisability of using a laser in this area have not diminished until now. Who says something, fractional laser thermolysis is rightfully recognized as one of the safest and most effective procedures.