Sun damaged Skin? Go get Fraxelled!

Two of the most commonly goggled phrases as it relates to skin are ‘sun damage skin’ and ‘Fraxel’. In fact so strong is the brand awareness of the Fraxel technology that we have people regularly ring the clinics wanting to book straight in for one without even having had a consultation. I have even had consumers trying to price match it with a Groupon voucher from some random clinic; concerning for a medical procedure.

Over the years our clinics have performed over 3000 Fraxel treatments. I personally have lectured at five Cosmetex Cosmetic Surgery conferences on Fractionated lasers and have participated on the iNova Advisory Board for Fraxel re:store® Dual. I have the experience to give advice as well as pass opinion on this well-recognised device.

Before Fraxel re:store and 1 month after 5 treatments by S. Wall, M.D.

Before Fraxel re:store and 1 month after 5 treatments by S. Wall, M.D.

Fraxel re:store treatment to resurface neck. Baseline and 1 month after 3 treatments by J. Burns, MD

Fraxel re:store treatment to resurface neck. Baseline and 1 month after 3 treatments by J. Burns, MD


If you have heard of it and are wondering if it may right for your skin, then let me answer some questions you may have.

What is Fraxel?

Fraxel is a fractionated laser that treats the skin by putting pinpricks of heat in the skin, which creates an injury below the surface. This then stimulates a repair and renewal process whereby the damaged cells are bought to the surface and shed, and new collagen and hyaluronic acid is generated.

Why fractionated lasers are better for you?

With fractionated lasers you can have a significant treatment with a ‘fraction’ of the recovery time that you would have with traditional ablative lasers, which can be anything from 6 weeks to 6 months. With Fraxel it is 4-7 days of ‘social’ downtime, meaning you are perfectly able to go about your daily activities but your skin is noticeably redder and drier for that time. Makeup is fine to use as well.

Who can benefit from a Fraxel?

Fraxel significantly improves the quality and overall health of skin so anyone who has prematurely aged their skin with too much sun exposure will benefit enormously from treatment. Not only will the skin be stronger and more hydrated, wrinkles will be softened and pigmentation reduced. The overall effect is a noticeably younger complexion.


Does it hurt?

An understandably common question! We use a strong topical analgesia and so the sensation is hot pinpricks on the skin – not comfortable but certainly tolerable. I have never had a client who cannot go through with a treatment.


What will you experience post procedure?

It’s an important question as it is crucial you know what to expect. You will have a healing phase of 7 days, of which the first 3-4 is the most obvious. You are extremely red post procedure, with a sunburnt feeling. Mild swelling starts post procedure and is at its peak the morning after, lasting a day or so. The skin will feel rough for up to a week. This is actually a really positive thing as it is all the dead and damaged cells shedding off the skin, leaving fresh, vibrant, healthy skin.

What are possible side effects?

What impresses me about Fraxel is there are relatively few side effects as compared with other light technologies such as laser, and the results, in experienced hands, are very predictable. Bleeding, bruising and blistering are extremely rare. However, if performed on an unsuitable client, post inflammatory pigmentation can occur post procedure, sometimes months later. It is crucial to have skin imaging prior to the procedure to assess suitability. I always err on the side of caution and have often said no to clients when I have had to.


How many and how often?

It depends on the extent of damage and that’s part of the reason you need a consultation. I have clients who have done 3 treatments 6 weeks apart and others that just do a treatment once a year. We will advise you.
What’s my verdict on Fraxel? This is a ‘get your moneys worth’ treatment. The results are obvious and addictive – totally refreshed skin. I have a fraxel twice a year personally and am still pleasantly surprised at what a difference it makes. It is the gold standard for treating sun damaged skin.


Suzie x



For more information on how to care for your skin, contact a Clear Complexions Clinic near you.

About the author: Suzie Hoitink is a Registered Nurse and the Founder of the award winning Clear Complexions Clinics. At Suzie’s clinics the doctors and nurses treat everyday skin conditions using the latest technology available, and in doing so, not only improve the health and appearance of their clients skin, but their overall confidence as well.