Why do we get scars and stretch marks?
Collagen is an important structural protein present in the deeper layers of skin, which keeps skin taut and smooth. Undue stretching of skin, (such as in pregnancy, growth, sudden weight or muscle gain/loss) damages the skin structure and collagen, producing unsightly stretch marks.
Tissue injury and inflammation also damage skin structure and causes the synthesis of new unruly collagen in the skin, leading to the formation of scars.
Unusual collagen synthesis in wound healing and the formation of scars:
What is Fraxel?
Fraxel lasers are a group of US FDA approved resurfacing lasers, which include three different machines: Fraxel Refine, Fraxel Restore and Fraxel Repair, in increasing levels of aggressiveness of treatment. Of these, the Fraxel Restore is the most popular across the world and is best suited to Asian skin than other similar devices, due to its high margin of safety, excellent results and minimal downtime.
Fraxel Restore is a USFDA approved laser technology for the treatment of stretch marks and scars such as those left by acne, chicken pox scars, surgery, injuries, burns etc. Fraxel works by stimulating the production of new, orderly collagen protein in the skin, which helps fade away scars and stretch marks.
How does Fraxel work on scars and stretch marks?
The Fraxel Restore laser employs Erbium-glass technology for non-ablative fractional resurfacing of the skin and uses a Zimmer cooling device for protecting treated skin and increased patient comfort. Put simply, this means that the focused beam of light used in the Fraxel Restore laser targets cells in deeper skin layers, while protecting the topmost layer of skin. It creates MTZs or Micro Thermal Zones in the dermis, around which collagen remodelling occurs.
Mechanism of Action of Fraxel Laser in the skin:
By targeting a fraction and not all cells at the same time, the treatment causes progressive improvement in skin texture and concerns, with minimal recovery time. As the epidermis remains intact, the patient can apply make-up or concealer immediately after the treatment to mask any redness and continue their usual activities.
What can Fraxel do for you?
Fraxel treatment is currently the only treatment available in the world which produces visible improvement in stretch marks and scars, making them less conspicuous. The treatment is comfortable, quick and virtually pain free, as it is done with application of a numbing cream. Fraxel has a minimal downtime of 3-4 days, as compared to several weeks needed for skin healing after aggressive lasers such as CO2 laser.
For best results, 4-5 treatments are usually recommended at 4-6 week intervals. After completion of the treatment, results are visible even after the first session, with progressive improvement till six months after the treatment.
Fraxel laser treats scars and stretch marks, making them less noticeable:
This is the time taken for complete collagen remodelling which makes scars shallower, lighter and fades away old and new stretch marks. Smaller superficial scars may vanish completely. 60-80% improvement may be seen in deeper scars & stretch marks. For best results, early treatment is recommended as recent scars and stretch marks respond better and faster to treatment with better end results.
Treatment of acne scars with Fraxel Restore:
Treatment of stretch marks with Fraxel Restore: