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Although there are no miracles when it comes to anti-aging skin care, the popularity of fractional laser skin resurfacing (Fraxel), indicates that the search is still on.  For those who are looking for a non-invasive procedure with minimum downtime, fractional laser skin resurfacing may be the rejuvenation technique for you.

Fraxel is a procedure which uses the latest laser technology to reverse visible signs of aging – dark spots, fine lines, acne scarring and pigmentation, including [Link Removed] .  Unlike other laser resurfacing procedures which take off the top layer of the skin and require weeks of recovery before the results are evident, fractional laser skin resurfacing only affects a "fraction" of the skin's upper surface. Microscopic pixels of laser are used to burn away old skin cells in small dots that target only 15-20% of the skin's total surface.  This allows the intact skin free to support the treated areas, which speeds up  recovery time.

Here's what to expect during a typical Fraxel treatment:
•Topical anaesthetic is applied an hour prior to the procedure to numb the face.
•A handheld laser, calibrated specifically for your skin condition and concern, is rolled over the skin in a gliding motion. A cold air fan is used during treatment to minimize discomfort.
•Expect a light sunburnt feeling on the first day, then mild swelling for two to three days after that. Small whiteheads may come to the surface of the skin but should be left alone. They should disappear within a day. These first few days are best spent at home.
•Skin will have a bronzed appearance with slight peeling for approximately a week. Frequent application of a [Link Removed] can help to alleviate this side effect.
•Results may be seen as early as 7 days after the procedure and should continue to improve over time.

For optimal results, a series of 3-5 treatments is scheduled 2 to 4 weeks apart. Each session costs anywhere from $800 to $2000.

Before you run out and book a Fraxel appointment, keep in mind that fractional laser skin resurfacing will not give you perfect skin.  Have realistic expectations and seek out an experienced and highly trained dermatologist or plastic surgeon to provide the treatment.

If you have darker skin you may run the risk of uneven results, a shadowing of lighter and darker areas.  Melasma may be improved with Fraxel, but recurrence is in the nature of the condition, particularly without proper prevention and sun protection. Protecting your skin with a stable and effective [Link Removed]  is more essential than ever after the procedure.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].
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