Fractional Laser Resurfacing

Also known as fractional photothermolysis, fractional laser resurfacing is a relatively new method of skin rejuvenation in which the targeted areas of the skin are precisely spaced out at a microscopic level, leaving some skin perfectly intact while other zones are heat treated. The effect is visually comparable to the pixels in digital images, as the tiny spots of treated skin replace old, destroyed cells with new, healthy ones, and the untreated areas maintain the tissue’s stability for quicker recovery.

Palomar Laser IPL Logo

fractional laser skin resurfacing treatments can utilize the intense energy of ablative or skin resurfacing lasers, while providing the greater safety and faster recovery time of lower engery, non-ablative laser treatments. As a result, patients can undergo a relatively risk-free procedure, achieve their desired skin rejuvenation, and not worry about scheduling the numerous follow-up treatments associated with most of the low-energy laser options.


Frequently Asked Questions

Fractional Laser Resurfacing can be extremely quick procedures, often lasting no longer than 30 minutes.
Swelling and redness are common side effects of Fractional Laser Resurfacing. There is also a slight risk of infection or scarring.
Improvement after Fraction Laser Resurfacing treatments are generally seen in about 2 to 3 months. Results are long lasting but not permanent, additional treatments will be needed.
Unlike other advanced laser treatments, there is no recovery time involved with Fractional Laser Resurfacing. However, for the first week, your skin will often peel and appear swollen and red. some patients like to keep a low profile after their Fractional Laser Resurfacing.
Patients describe Fractional Laser Resurfacing as a “prickling” sensation. Treatments can get quite hot, but topical numbing ointments and air cooling alleviates most discomfort.
Fractional Photothermolysis, Lux 1540™ Fractional
fractional 1a
fractional 2a

Post Treatment

You can return to your usual activities after the session but for the first week your skin may be red and swollen. There may be a sunburn sensation lasting for a few hours to a few days. Cooling gels may be applied to relieve the discomfort.

For most fractional laser resurfacing systems, make-up can be used immediately to camouflage the redness. Flaking can occur in 4 to 7 days. Your skin will be extremely sensitive to light, so avoid basking in the sun during this period. Sunscreens with high SPF will be useful.

How Does Fractional Laser Resurfacing Work?

A fractional approach to resurfacing means that only specific areas are targeted using lights that are delivered in small, closely spaced micro beams. Both the epidermis and dermis are penetrated. Only a small proportion of the skin receives the laser light, while the other zones in between are left intact.

This way, the skin heals much faster because only fractional damage was caused by the heat of the light source. The micro injured cells start the process of healing with collagen remodeling. The healthy unaffected tissues help to fill in the damaged area with new cells.

The skin tightens and its texture improves. The treatment is comparable to a pixel by pixel retouching of a digital photograph.

Skin Conditions that can be treated with Fractional Laser Resurfacing

  • Wrinkles
  • Acne scars
  • Traumatic scars
  • Sun damage
  • Brown spots

Contraindications/ Precautions

People with a history of skin sensitivity to light, or have an active infection near the site to be treated are not allowed to undergo the fractional laser resurfacing. The use of retinoids for acne treatment within the past 12 months is also contraindicated.

Darker skin types must be properly evaluated by a doctor because of some issues of fractional lasers with these skin groups. Ethnic skin has a tendency to develop hyper pigmentation post fractional laser resurfacing. Your physician may recommend an adjunctive regimen to help counter this unpleasant effect.

Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers should delay the treatment because the safety of the fractional laser resurfacing on them is still not well- established.

The Treatment Process

The process is reported to be well tolerated by most patients. There may be some mild prickling or burning sensation. An anaesthetic cream may be applied on you skin prior to the fractional laser resurfacng to reduce any pain or discomfort.
The fractional laser resurfacing will vary depending on the specific device used. The need for cooling systems, gels, optical dyes, solutions will likewise be dependent on the type of laser system. Generally, fractional laser resurfacing is finished in less than 30 minutes.

fractional 1b
fractional 2b