Winter is the perfect season for laser skin rejuvenation. If you’re weighing options, you’ve probably come across these widely talked-about devices: Clear + Brilliant® and Fraxel®. With such a wide variety of lasers to choose from it’s easy to get lost. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jessica Krant can help you determine which laser treatment is best for your skin type and goals. Let’s dive into two of the most popular laser treatments.
But first, what is Fractional Resurfacing?
Fractionated lasers don’t affect every single cell in the treatment area, but rather target a computer-generated grid of dots known as microthermal zones (MTZ). This is valuable because it reduces the risk of over-injury and scarring, and allows faster healing since the untouched neighboring cells lend support. Both Fraxel and Clear + Brilliant are fractionated technologies, as opposed to “full-field” treatments that target and remove the entire skin surface, which can create a more dramatic result but which also come with a much higher risk of scarring and infection.
What is Ablative vs. Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing?
Ablative laser technology heats the target cells so fast that they vaporize and disappear, leaving a microscopic wound that neighboring tissue fills with new cells to heal. This technology can be used for laser-assisted drug delivery and dramatic rejuvenation but also comes with more downtime and risk. Non-ablative lasers heat cells in target zones but don’t actually remove the cells from the area, which means no bleeding or scabbing during healing, and less healing time overall, even though your skin is still working to replace those damaged cells with new, healthy, younger cells. Both Clear + Brilliant and Fraxel Dual Restore are non-ablative fractional lasers (NAFLs). Both Fraxel and Clear + Brilliant laser systems are produced by Solta Medical.
What is Clear + Brilliant?
Clear + Brilliant is the less intense of these two families of lasers, though it’s still an effective way to address a variety of skin concerns, like uneven skin tone, mild fine lines, overall dullness, melasma, and other pigmentation issues. The two handpieces on the Clear + Brilliant are 1440 nm wavelength and 1927 nm wavelength (C+B Perméa).
The Clear + Brilliant wavelengths are tailored to people who are looking to prevent the signs of aging before they appear or address the early signs of aging. Perméa’s wavelength is optimized for improving skin tone and texture, as well as increasing skin permeability, helping specialty skincare products to be absorbed more easily following treatment.
What’s great about Clear + Brilliant is that it is reliably effective but comes with virtually no downtime after each session. Results appear gradually over the course of a few weeks and you can come back for multiple treatments one month apart.
What is Fraxel?
What people commonly mean when they say “the Fraxel laser” is the popular Fraxel Dual Restore fractionated laser. Fraxel is a brand of skin resurfacing lasers, with different settings for different treatments. The powerful Fraxel Dual laser consists of two settings with different wavelengths: 1550 for deeper stimulation and improvement of issues like scarring, and 1927 for superficial concerns like pigmentation, anti-aging rejuvenation, sun damage, and fine lines. Fraxel Dual Restore is more intense than Clear + Brilliant, resulting in more downtime but also more significant results.
Fraxel Dual Restore is highly effective at treating concerns like moderate lines and wrinkles, acne scarring, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and rough skin texture. During the recovery process, the skin will appear sunburned and tender, and there may be mild peeling throughout the skin. Most people take 2-3 days to heal before returning to their normal activities.
Which One is Right For Me?
There are many different factors that play into which laser is right for you: current skin condition, amount of desired rejuvenation, skincare routine, recovery time, skin texture, skin type and even skin color. The best way to figure out which one will best suit your individual needs is to consult a licensed dermatologist, such as Dr. Krant.
Fraxel Laser Treatment in NYC
Because both of these anti-aging facial treatments have many settings and features that can be fine-tuned for each individual, knowing which one will truly help you often rests on Dr. Krant’s expertise and awareness of these two devices. Both Clear + Brilliant and Fraxel have helped many New York patients achieve anti-aging benefits without the need for surgery or injections. To learn more or schedule your consultation for laser skin resurfacing, call our office at 212-488-5599 or contact us online today.