What is the Recovery for Deep Profractional Laser Resurfacing?

If you’ve been researching the most effective anti-aging procedures available today, then you’ve probably come across laser resurfacing. While there are many different lasers available, Profractional and Fraxel are two of the most popular.  What you may not realize is that “Fraxel” treatments can be very different from treatment to treatment.  At Celibre Medical, we have talked to many “Fraxel” patients who’ve been disappointed with their results. You may have noticed a similar trend while reading online reviews online. Or maybe you’ve had laser resurfacing and have been unhappy with the minimal improvement it produced.

Here’s why: while Profractional laser resurfacing can be extremely effective for acne scars, wrinkles, and loose skin, it’s a procedure that needs to be done deeply to see the very best results. When we inquire about the recovery of unhappy Fraxel patients from other medical practices, many tell us that they simply had a topical anesthetic (or numbing cream) prior to their procedure. They also tell us that they had little to no bleeding after the procedure. This also clues us in that their resurfacing procedure was very superficial, meaning that only the top few layer of skin was treated.

For a laser resurfacing procedure to produce dramatic results, it simply has to be a deeper. Not to say that lighter resurfacing doesn’t have a place in our industry, but you can’t get dramatic results from a single light laser resurfacing procedure.

What’s involved with more aggressive Profractional resurfacing? First, you will need more than topical numbing.  We use topical numbing creams, but also prescribe Valium and/or Tramadol for the procedure to make it more comfortable.  In other cases, because the laser penetrates deeply into the dermal (middle) skin layer, dental blocks with lidocaine are necessary as well. Without proper anesthesia, deeper, aggressive laser resurfacing procedures are not tolerable because they are extremely painful.

Bleeding also tells us a lot about what level of skin was treated. The deeper into the dermis, the more bleeding you will have during the treatment. Remember, in order to get significant collagen remodeling and stimulation to correct acne scarring and moderate to severe skin wrinkling, you need the level of injury to be in the dermis. Superficial laser resurfacing just won’t get down to this level.  Unhappy patients from other practices often tell us that they had no bleeding.

Take a look at one of our patient’s photos taken daily for seven days following a deep resurfacing procedure for the treatment of acne scars. If these seem nothing like the recovery process that you had following a laser resurfacing treatment that you were disappointed with, then it’s probably because it wasn’t as deep as you needed to get what you wanted out of it.

While it may seem drastic, our patients tell us that the process was worth it and easy to live through because we took the time to discuss it with them and prepare them for their recovery ahead of time.  They also tell us that their results are totally worth it!

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