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Fractional laser is a laser procedure used to improve the overall appearance of your skin. It is used for the treatment of fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, sun induced damage and aged skin. It is a non-invasive treatment which uses a device to deliver a laser beam which divides into microscopic treatment zones and targets a fraction of the skin at a time.

Preparation for the surgery

Prior to the procedure your doctor will plan the treatment to target the areas of correction. Photographs will be taken before treatment and you will be asked to remove all jewelry and make up.  You are advised to wash your face with soap prior to the treatment. An anesthetic cream will be applied about an hour prior to the treatment. The anesthetic is then removed and a gliding gel is applied to the treatment area to help the laser spread evenly through the skin.

Procedure

The procedure takes about 15 to 30 minutes. The gliding gel helps the movement of the laser device across the treatment area. During the procedure, the laser beam enters the skin and divides into microscopic treatment zones surrounded by healthy untreated skin.  The treated areas trigger the production of collagen to plump the skin and remove wrinkles, scars and other irregularities creating a smooth skin surface. The zones of untreated skin allow for faster healing. A cooling device is used to reduce the discomfort during the procedure. You may have to be treated 4 to 5 times spaced about a month apart based on the energy level of the laser used. The results are very progressive and optimal improvement is visible after 3 to 4 months of treatment.

Recovery

After the treatment the gliding gel is washed off, and you may experience a mild sensation of sun burn for about an hour after the procedure. Your skin may look pink for 3 to 5 days. There may be flaking of the skin as new skin replaces the dead skin cells. It is advisable to use a good moisturizing cream for a few months after the surgery to protect the treated area. You can resume your daily activities immediately after the treatment.

Risks and Complications

Fractional laser is well tolerated in most of the patients. However some of the side effects associated with the treatment include excessive scaling or peeling of the skin, swelling for up to a week after treatment or patterning of the skin which returns to normal after a few months.