Guest Blog from Christine Nell, N.P. Of Ava MD: The Science of Fraxel and Pelleve

You asked and we answered! See below:

The latest and greatest Fraxel machine is called the Fraxel Restore.  It is a fractionalized resurfacing laser that has two wavelengths (1550 nm and 1927 nm).  The 1550 penetrates deeper then the 1927, which means it is good for fine lines, wrinkles, acne and surgical scars.  The 1927 wavelength has more superficial penetration and is great for any hyperpigmentation spots (sun spots) as well as Actinic Keratoses (pre-cancerous lesions).  The laser puts microscopic pinpoint holes into the skin called microscopic treatment zones (MTZs), which in turn spares the surrounding area from injury compared to traditional CO2 laser resurfacing where the entire area is injured.  This also allows for less healing time and less risk than traditional CO2.  These small wounds trigger your body’s healing response system to produce collagen and elastin in the treated areas. There is about 5 days of redness and swelling after Fraxel before one starts to see the results. Even though results start to take effect within the first week, full results are not seen for 6 months.

Pelleve uses continuous monopolar radiofrequency technology to lift, tighten, and reduce wrinkles.  The treatment area is heated up to therapeutic temperature and then strategic passes are done to get the intended benefit.  The majority of patients see immediate results; this is because old collagen flattens over time and the treatment “fluffs” it up.  However, the treatment also promotes new collagen growth which takes time to occur (usually 6 months to see the complete result).  This treatment is ideal for a sagging jawline or hooded eyebrows.  It also smoothes wrinkles out anywhere on the face.  There is no downtime at all, which makes it very easy to schedule.

Although one sees benefits with both Fraxel and Pelleve after the first treatment, both modalities are meant to be performed in a series.  Each treatment builds upon itself and results get even better with time.

I also got a question about the difference between Ulthera and Fraxel and here is what Christine says:

There is a definite difference between the technology of Ulthera and Fraxel; however, both therapies use the body’s healing response to produce collagen.  They create a small thermal injury to the skin that isn’t enough to cause “real” injury but is enough to trick the body into sending fibroblasts, which produce collagen and elastin, to heal the “injured skin”.

Ultherapy by Ulthera utilizes ultrasound technology to lift and tighten the skin.  Sound waves penetrate the skin to allow for non-invasive tissue lifting for skin that has been dragged down over the years by gravity.  Although, one may see immediate improvement the full result does not take effect for 6 months.

Thank you, Christine! That is definitely some good info! I haven’t had any personal experience with Ulthera--as with everything, I am finding mixed online reviews, some raving, some not.



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