Fractional skin treatments have been around since 2004. The idea has been to use laser energy to create hundreds of microscopic holes in the skin across the treatment area. The holes are small enough that they begin to heal almost immediately. The laser energy also delivers heat into the dermis. The dermis responds as if it has been wounded and it triggers an increase in the production of collagen and elastin to “heal” the wounds. The skin also firms and tightens as a result of the fractional treatment.
The problem with fractional laser treatments has been the downtime. Patients have noted some lengthy periods to recover from the redness after the procedure. Plus, patients with darker skin tones have had issues with hyperpigmentation.Fractora is a new fractional skin treatment offered at Dr. Fisher’s. Instead of using laser energy, Fractora creates micropunctures in the skin, while at the same time delivering targeted bipolar radiofrequency energy into the dermis. The result is the same kind of skin rejuvenation with less recovery.
What is Fractora?
Fractora is a fractional skin resurfacing treatment, similar to fractional laser resurfacing. The difference is that Fractora uses radiofrequency energy rather than laser energy deliver heat into the dermis. The Fractora handpiece has a small head with 20 pins or a large head with 60 pins that create microscopic channels of up to 1mm deep through the epidermis. As the needles puncture the skin they also deliver the RF energy to heat the dermis.
What Can Skin Resurfacing Correct?
Fractora delivers improvements in the broadest range of symptoms of aging skin:
- Fine lines
- Deep lines
- Texture problems
- Pigmentation irregularities
- Broken blood vessels
- Areas of redness
The most common treatment areas are the lower eyelid, upper eyelid, smile lines, cheeks, mouth, and neck.
Would A Fractora Skin Treatment Work For Me?
Fractora isn’t as aggressive as fractional laser skin treatments, so if you need extensive renewal of your epidermis, Fractora may not deliver strong enough results. However, the downtime isn’t the same, and using RF energy doesn’t cause issues with hyperpigmentation in the same way that fractional lasers do. Because of that, Fractora is a better option for patients with darker skin types. Also, because Fractora isn’t as aggressive it can be used on more sensitive areas such as the eyelids and around the mouth.
How Does Fractora Work?
Fractora works in two ways: by creating hundreds of microscopic punctures and by heating the dermis.
Because the pinpoint punctures are surrounded by unaffected healthy skin, the body starts healing the skin immediately. This process breaks down areas with poor texture and involves the creation of new skin cells.
By heating the dermis with RF energy through the microscopic pins, Fractora initiates a wound response in the body. This wound response involves collagen remodeling and the production of new collagen and elastin. This tightens and firms the skin, improving the overall appearance.
The depth of the needle punctures and the amount of radiofrequency energy delivered control how aggressive Fractora is in resurfacing the skin.
What Can I Expect During a Fractora Treatment?
The microscopic punctures and RF heating can be uncomfortable for some patients, particularly at more aggressive settings. Before your Fractora session, we apply topical numbing cream and give you a sedative, if desired. As the handpiece is moved across the treatment areas, the head is pressed flat against the skin to allow even penetration by the needles. Some areas, such as the eyelids, are more sensitive than others. A cold air chiller runs simultaneously with the Fractora handpiece to increase patient comfort.
How Soon Will I See Results After Skin Resurfacing?
Results are not immediate. After your treatment, your skin will be red and mildly inflamed. This can last for a few days. There can be some abrasions on areas with thinner skin, such as the forehead. But as the skin calms down and gets to work building new collagen and new skin cells, you’ll begin to see results. You should begin to see noticeable improvements in two weeks. These improvements will continue to build for 3-6 months. Your results should last for up to one year. At that point, your collagen levels in the treated areas will begin to drop again. Improvements in skin texture and with issues such as broken blood vessels are permanent.
Are There Side Effects With Fractora?
The degree of redness following your treatment varies by the patient and the level of RF energy used. Redness may linger for 3-7 days. There can also be some abrasions on areas with thinner skin, such as the forehead. These are temporary. There can be some mild swelling in parts of the treated areas; it passes in 2-3 days. Some patients experience itching as the skin recovers, but keeping the treated areas moisturized should minimize this.
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