Fraxel -vs- Clear + Brilliant

Both devices are available for treatment. Determining which one to use can be difficult. In our complimentary consultations we are happy to give you more detailed results for your needs. The first non-ablative Fraxel device was cleared by the FDA in 2003. Many devices have been created using the Fraxel technology, but it is a patented system and other companies have done copy-cat designs. The Fraxel laser technology uses a tip that employs the use of rollers for more even, consistent, reliable and predictable results.

Resurfacing with the Clear + Brilliant is like mowing a lawn where all the grass is cut to the same height, whereas Fraxel resurfacing is more like aerating a lawn.

Clear + Brilliant

Fraxel Dual

What is it?

Clear + Brilliant utilizes the same technology as Fraxel, but it is far less intense and the depth at which it treats is relatively shallow. The laser energy generates heat in the skin which stimulates new collagen production.  There are two different hand pieces. One uses 1440nm and the other 1927nm. Each is geared to accomplish different results. Fraxel treatments use fractional laser technology, i.e., technology that exposes a controlled fraction of the skin to the laser. Non-ablative lasers stimulate collagen growth in the skin resulting in a healthy glow and smoother texture. The laser energy produces a wound healing response without injuring the skin surface. The Fraxel Dual has a greater range of treatment settings ranging from wavelengths of 1927nm to 1550nm and can multiply energy settings. The number of passes over the skin is also variable. This gives a wide range of applications.

What does it treat?

Depending on the hand piece used, it can target pores, fine lines, and pigmentation such as melasma, sun spots and other forms of sun damage. Fraxel is FDA approved to treat a broad range of skin damage, such as age spots, sun spots, wrinkles, other signs of aging, scarring, pigmentation and precancerous lesions.
How does it work? The Fraxel™ Laser technology creates thousands of microscopic thermal spots that form deep vertical columns or zones of treated skin tissue, which are separated and surrounded by unaffected, healthy skin tissue. This innovative approach allows us to treat a very small fraction of skin at a time as the skin heals much faster than if the entire area were treated at once. The laser energy eliminates old epidermal pigmented cells on the skin’s surface. Penetrating deep into the dermis, then it stimulates the body’s own wound healing response to produce new collagen growth. In this way, the body’s natural healing process creates new, healthy tissue to replace skin imperfections.

The laser treats only a fraction of the skin tissue at a time, leaving the surrounding tissue intact, which promotes rapid healing. This stimulates your body’s own natural healing process, replacing the old and damaged cells with fresh, glowing, healthy skin.

What will it do?

C+B is best for superficial resurfacing and pore reduction.  It is perfect for maintaining healthy, glowing skin. The Clear+Brilliant is a gentle laser that revitalizes the skin from the inside out.  Clear+Brilliant can improve fine lines, pore size, texture in addition to treating sun damage and melasma. It is the first device of its class that targets early signs of aging such as uneven pigmentation, fine lines and textural changes. The advantage of Fraxel Dual is the elegant manner in which it erases sun damage so evenly.  A series of non-ablative laser treatments can improve the appearance of fine lines, mottled pigmentation, melasma, acne scars, surgical scars, stretch marks and enlarged pores. It can remove any precancerous lesions also.

What is this laser used for?

This process replaces damaged skin with healthier, more youthful looking tissue. Depending on patient needs, Fraxel treatment can treat minor skin damage, help prevent the signs of aging, resurface moderately damaged skin or correct severe skin damage.

What is the downtime immediately following treatment?

Your first treatment you might stay red (like a sunburn for 1-9 hours). For all the treatments thereafter, the redness is gone in 1-3 hours and is much less intense. Typically we find people require social downtime of 3-7 days, depending on the individual’s response. You will see redness and swelling.
How does the healing progress? The sunburned feeling and look is gone within hours. Typically the next day you will feel a grit like texture to your face. It will not be visible and you can put make-up on. Over the passing days this grit will disappear.

You will not peel as you would with a chemical peel but your skin may be drier than normal in the week after your treatment. All that’s necessary is the use of extra moisturizer as needed.

The first morning after people tend to report more swelling. Over the next few days the swelling goes down and the redness eases. You will then start to experience a sloughing of the skin. If you keep the skin moist, most of this will happen while in the shower.

Some people experience a faint “bronzing” tan like appearance that lasts anywhere from three to 14 days after treatment, followed by the exfoliation.

Is it painful?

The C+B is a very comfortable procedure to have done. We can apply a topical anesthetic 60 minutes prior to treatment. You do not need to take medications prior to the procedure or have a driver transport you. Most patients tolerate the procedure very well and do not even need the topical beforehand. It feels like a sunburn for a couple of hours after the treatment is finished. A topical anesthetic is used to help minimize the discomfort, which is often described as a feeling of increased heat.   There is some moderate stinging during the therapy, the treatments are well tolerated by most. Many patients also take Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen prior to the procedure to reduce the stinging. It feels like a sunburn for a few hours after the treatment is finished.

How many treatments will I need?

Clinical studies advise a series of 6 that are 7-10 days apart to get maximum results. We are constantly aging so it is recommended to do 1-2 treatments a year for maintenance. Clinical studies advise for the best results 3 treatments with 4 weeks between each. If you have had a series of Fraxel treatments, once a year is a good maintenance.

What will I look like after the treatment?

Immediately after your treatment it will feel like a mild sunburn but  will subside quickly.  You can return to your daily activities after your treatments.  Over the next few days your skin may feel like sand paper when you apply moisturizer but will not be noticeable to anyone but you.  It can take 7 to 14 days for the skin to return to normal.  New collagen synthesis takes about 4 weeks from the first treatment so best results are seen 4 weeks after your final treatment. Depending on the aggressiveness of the treatment, you may experience redness or swelling after the procedure that diminishes after 1-3 days.

What will be my results

Immediate and transient results of skin firming and brightened are seen days after the treatment. Improvements will be seen during the process of a treatment package. Your skin will feel softer, look brighter and show more even skin tone. Other benefits of treatment may include:

– Smoother, fresher, younger looking skin

– Improved tone and texture

– Erasing of unwanted brown spots

– Reduced fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth

What will I do to care for my skin during the treatment period?

Protect your new skin by  avoiding aggressive exfoliation and by applying moisturizers and sun screen frequently. Avoid the use of retinoids and topical corticosteroids for 1 – 2 weeks before and after treatment. Avoid systemic steroids (e.g., prednisone, dexamethasone) throughout the course of the your treatments.  As you continue your treatments, your skin will look increasingly radiant and healthy. Sun-damaged areas and other areas of concern will be replaced by more even pigmentation, tone and texture, and skin that glows with health.

What skin types and what parts of the body can be treated?

Skin types iv-vi must pretreat with hydroquinone 4% 2-4 weeks prior to their first procedure to prevent any post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or “darkening of the skin.” This procedure is safe to do on all skin types. Skin resurfacing is safe for all skin types and causes only minor discomfort during treatment. Fraxel lasers can treat women and men of all ages and skin colors. Fraxel treatment also works on delicate skin areas like the neck, chest and hands. Those prone to hyperpigmentation will be given topicals to use in the weeks prior to treatment.

Ideal candidate

People in their 20’s and 30’s are great candidates. It is a good time to begin repairing skin damage and giving it the boost that is needed as the aging process does its damage.  Our typical patient is someone in their 30s or older who has photo damaged skin – lines and wrinkles, skin discoloration, dull or rough texture, age spots, etc. Clients that have deep pitted acne scarring respond very well to this treatment.

Longing for a more “splotch-free complexion”?  Even skin tone is a sign of youth.  Our brains perceive contrasts (uneven pigment) as aging.  After Fraxel treatments, one of the most common comments that we hear is, “Well, I certainly don’t miss wearing foundation (makeup)!”  Not having to wear makeup is a definite sign of youthfulness.

Clear + Brilliant laser system has been nicknamed the “baby fraxel” since it utilizes the same technology as traditional Fraxel.  Approved by the FDA, the Clear + Brilliant Laser System is ideal for men and women who want to improve the look of their skin and get a head start on preventing the signs of aging from appearing. Your skin is refreshed from the inside out, replacing damaged skin with healthy, glowing skin. Clear + Brilliant can enhance all skin types and rejuvenate the deeper layers of skin.