For patients wanting to get rid of stubborn skin discoloration, minimize the appearance of scars and wrinkles or just even out their skin tone, the Fraxel Dual skin resurfacing laser is our top choice. It’s efficient, it’s safe, it works. But for individuals who are new to laser procedures, considering Fraxel can be intimidating at best. That’s why we are so glad when Gayle, a long time patient and stylist extraordinaire @gaylestyle, offered to share her personal Fraxel experience with us as we worked to get her skin in gorgeous, glowing shape.
In her own words, here is Gayle’s story:
“After having a bit too much fun in the sun in the summer, I went to Dr. Marnie Nussbaum for a Fraxel laser resurfacing treatment in October 2019. I’m 47 years old and have come to realize that pigmentation makes me look just as old as wrinkles do! I simply hate sun spots and wanted to even out my complexion and look fresh-faced for the fall and winter season.
After an initial consult to talk through my goals and needs with Dr. Nussbaum, I scheduled my treatment. On the day of my appointment, I arrived and got settled and my skin was prepped with a numbing solution. While this started to work, I relaxed and read magazines for 45 minutes, at which point Dr. Nussbaum arrived to perform the laser treatment. She was incredibly gentle yet I liked that I could still feel the laser working its magic – no pain, no gain, I say! The treatment itself was short, 15 minutes at most. It felt like a mild snapping of tiny rubber bands on my face. Honestly, I expected far greater discomfort! The procedure was more relaxing than I remembered it being in the past!
Post treatment, I looked like I was sunburned but felt relaxed (and most of all excited for my soon-to-appear babysoft skin!). That evening I stayed home and rested but the next morning my daughter had a birthday party so I put on a bit of tinted moisturizer and headed out the door. I looked sun-kissed, but that’s all! I was genuinely surprised at how great I felt being out and about. The general expectation is that you have to hide at home after a procedure like this, but this was not my experience (though I know this can vary from person-to-person).
By day 2 my skin was tight and still appeared sunburnt, and by day 3 my skin was beard-like and began to peel off revealing soft, smooth and even skin beneath (with no sun spots in sight!). I couldn’t believe I was unable to find my very visible former spots and hyperpigmentation from before. What a dramatic change!”
A few details about Fraxel Dual (fractional laser resurfacing) from Dr. Nussbaum:
This is a non-invasive microscopic laser technology that penetrates the skin in controlled fractions or columns (hence the name “fractional” laser) to support new collagen and elastin production deep within the skin. Collagen and elastin fibers are the building blocks of skin that gives it its firmness, elasticity and structure. With age and damage (like from the sun) this structure starts to break down but procedures like Fraxel can help stimulate new production by encouraging the skin’s natural healing response.
Like any treatment, results vary by individual and based on the need we are addressing. For someone with some lingering sunspots and hyperpigmentation like Gayle described, a series of treatments can really help lift that pigmentation with time, revealing the new, healthier skin beneath. I also love this treatment for patients who are looking to improve their overall skin texture and tone. It helps smooth the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles and minimize the appearance of potential scarring.
I typically tell patients to expect a week of healing time after the procedure (and a little longer if we are treating the chest area). The first few days you may experience some swelling, or feel like your skin is tight and looks sunburned. Around day 2 or 3 the treated skin should start to get more rough and peel. For many patients, like Gayle, most days after the treatments you can cover up any redness with a tinted moisturizer.
The late fall, winter and early spring are the best times for getting in-office laser treatments done, just as Gayle did. We tend to spend more time indoors and the sun’s UVA rays are at their weakest (important when we are doing any form of resurfacing procedures that cause skin to be more vulnerable to damage as it heals and regenerates). Just be sure to protect your skin and follow your doctor’s instructions if you’re planning a sunny getaway over spring break!
There is not a more caring, more attentive, smarter dermatologist than Dr Marnie Nussbaum. I trust her implicitly with anything and highly recommend her.
— Carolyn Rosen