The skin can be damaged in many different ways – some are environmental, such as sun exposure, while others are the result of conditions such as acne or melasma. While this damage affects only small areas of the skin, past skin rejuvenation procedures treated large areas of the skin whether it was damaged or not.
Now the latest in non-ablative (non-invasive) laser skin rejuvenation precisely targets the small areas of skin where damage has occurred, leaving the surrounding, healthy skin untouched and better able to assist in the healing of the damaged cells.
Speaking today at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, dermatologist Tina S. Alster, M.D., clinical professor at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., discussed fractional rejuvenation and how its technology is changing the way that damaged skin is being revitalized.
“The innovation of fractional rejuvenation is its ability to treat only the areas of the skin that are damaged,” said Dr. Alster. “This more focused treatment promotes faster renewal of the underlying skin cells and tissue creating a fresher and healthier appearance of the entire skin surface.”
Fractional rejuvenation uses a non-ablative laser assisted by a computer that precisely reads the contours of the treatment area. These contours are contrasted on the skin by a blue tint applied prior to treatment, which specifically darkens the damaged areas of the skin. The laser then directs thermal beams into these darkened areas of skin in precise increments.
“Fractional rejuvenation offers the best characteristics of both ablative and non-ablative lasers,” stated Dr. Alster. “Patients receive the deeper revitalization of the ablative laser with the shorter recovery process of the non-ablative laser.”
Following treatment, the untreated skin tissue begins rapidly assisting the cells targeted by the laser to begin forming new collagen and elastic tissue, the main components of the skin that keep it looking young and healthy. The skin’s repair begins as quickly as 24 hours following the initial treatment. After a few bi-weekly treatments, patients will begin to notice improvement of the tone and texture of their skin as well as a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
This treatment is proving effective for reversing the appearance of photodamaged skin, including discoloration and deep wrinkles, acne and traumatic scarring and pigment irregularities, such as melasma. Even non-facial skin can benefit from this treatment, including the hands, chest and neck. Side effects of fractional rejuvenation are minimal and typically involve swelling and redness, which fades over several days.
“Fractional laser treatment is another effective tool for dermatologists to rejuvenate skin,” said Dr. Alster. “Patients with questions about skin rejuvenation should talk with their dermatologist to determine if fractional laser treatment is an appropriate option for their skin condition and lifestyle.”