There is a lot of talk about laser treatment these days, and while its most popular use is to remove unwanted body hair, there are actually several other uses of the same. In this article, we will be looking at fractional laser treatment.
What is fractional laser treatment?
A non-invasive treatment, fractional laser treatment uses a special device, which will deliver a laser beam into the skin. The skin is targeted in sections or fractions and the laser beam too is divided into multiple microscopic treatment zones. Imagine a photograph being changed pixel by pixel.
The idea behind fractional laser treatment is that it covers the gap between the non-ablative and ablative laser treatments, which are used to repair skin that has either been affected by age or excessive exposure to the sun. Ablative treatment works mainly on the cells that exist on the surface of the skin and non-ablative treatments work on the mid layer or dermal collagen layer of the skin. However, with fractional laser treatment, both the dermal and epidermal layers could be worked on.
Today, there are a number of fractional laser devices in the market, and it would be advisable that you get your treatment done at a reputed clinic or hospital.
What all can fractional laser treatment actually treat?
Here are all the things that fractional laser treatment can treat:
- Lines and wrinkles on the face
- Damage caused due to extensive exposure to the sun
- Pigmentation caused due to photo-ageing, scars caused due to surgery or acne
- Other pigmentation disorders such as melasma
- Stretch marks
Fractional laser treatment can be used to treat almost any part of the body, but it is most effective on the hands, face, neck and chest. In addition, the treatment can be used on all skin types – only the method of treatment will vary according to the age and degree of damage to the skin. Fractional laser treatment can also be combined with other surgeries and skin treatments.
How does fractional treatment work?
The skin has three layers – the outermost layer is epidermis, the middle layer is dermis and the lower layer of fat is the subcutis. As the body starts to age, the epidermis starts to become thinner, which means that the blemishes start to become more obvious. Similarly, the collagen in the dermal layer starts to fade, which leads to fine lines and wrinkles.
Because fractional laser works on both the epidermis as well as the dermis, the results are much better. A laser beam gets divided into multiple columns, as it enters the skin. The zones that are created are known as microthermal treatment zones or MTZs. Each MTZ has cells that are no longer functioning properly and the laser beam removes them. This causes new cells to proliferate and even collagen production is increased, making the skin look healthier. The directed laser beam will touch only the unhealthy cells, ensuring that the healthy cells are intact and untouched. This means that the healing is also faster and the person undergoing the treatment will need lesser down time.
What is the actual procedure of fractional laser treatment?
There are actually three steps in the process of fractional laser treatment:
|Before the start of the treatment||· The doctor will start by defining the problem
areas and customising a treatment plant for you.
· Photographs will be taken for post treatment
· All makeup and jewellery will have to be removed and
the face will have to be cleaned.
· An anaesthetic cream will be applied to numb the area.
· Once the skin has become numb, the cream will be
removed and gliding gel will be applied to demarcate
|During the treatment||· The role of the guiding gel will be to provide
· The device will glide across the skin, emitting
laser beamsin the demarcated areas.
· The time to complete the treatment will dependon
the area that needs to be covered.
· A cooling device will also be used to reduce the pain
and associated discomfort.
|After the treatment||· The gliding gel will be washed off and there could be a
slight burning sensation.
· There could be some swelling, but it will subside in a few days.
· The skin will feel sensitive for a few days.
· The new epidermal skin will start to form within about
24 hours and there could be some flaking,
which can behandled with some moisturising lotion.
· Your doctor will tell you about the protective measures
you will have to take, while stepping out in the sun.
This would include wearing sunscreen and clothing
that will cover the treated area.
The number of required treatment sessionswill be something a doctor will decide, based on the condition of the skin. The sessions will have to be spaced about a month apart and the results will start to become visible after two to three sessions.
What are the possible side effects and complications of fractional laser treatment?
If the procedure has been done by experienced hands, there is little chance of anything going wrong. But as is the case with any medical procedure, there are possible side effects and complications and some of the these associated with fractional laser treatment include:
- Excessive scaling, peeling or crusting
- Post procedure swelling
- Post-inflammatory pigmentation
- Contact dermatitis
- Bacterial and candida infections