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Beauty Tech Review: Fractional Resurfacing - Fraxel re:pair


We talk to Dr. Christopher Zachary about ablative skin resurfacing and get the facts on Fraxel re:pair.

Uneven skin tone and texture are signs of aging skin which can often be helped with a fractional resurfacing treatment. There are several devices available now, making it difficult to decide which one is best for your skin type. At the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), American Health and Beauty Editor Keith Veseleny spoke to Irvine, CA dermatologist Dr. Christopher Zachary about Solta Medical's Fraxel re:pair.

Dr. Zachary explained how fractional resurfacing works, "The fractionated carbon dioxide ablative laser drills millions of tiny holes into the skin. These holes can go down to a millimeter, maybe a millimeter and a half or deeper but they're very narrow. Each one of these beams is about 110-120 microns in diameter, but each one of these cylinders of damage or vaporization is surrounded by normal skin, and it is amazing how quickly these holes heal up. Probably within about 12 hours these holes have all healed up. Whereas the treatment itself causes a significant amount of oozing, and some bleeding, swelling, redness, etc., really when the time the patient leaves the clinic to the time they're fully healed, they have very little discomfort. They're at home, it's definitely a downtime procedure, probably 4 or 5 days, and if these patients catch their reflection in the mirror, they're gonna see that they've got some serious injury going on, but they feel fine. They're on the phone, they're on the computer, they're around their workplace if they want, but they can't be out in the public during that time. But they feel fine, there is no pain, or very little pain, and the wound healing is very fast."

dr. zachary fraxel repair before and after photo
Actual Fraxel re:pair Results, 3 months after treatment

Fractional treatments can be performed on different parts of the body, but most often they're done on the face which suffers the most sun damage. "Traditionally you're treating the face because that has lots of adnexia - hair follicles, sebaceous glands, sweat glands - but with [Fraxed re:pair] you can actually treat off the face." He says it's useful on the chest and the neck which both have adnexial structures.

Treatment time doesn't take very long at all. As Dr. Zachary describes, "In terms of doing the full face laser ablation with the fractionated CO2 laser, it probably takes me about 35-40 minutes, but I tend to get patients in about an hour earlier." The speed of healing is also a benefit of the Fraxel re:pair, " I'm impressed with these fractionated systems. How well the skin heals up after the treatment so that after 4 or 5 days it's completely healed up and the patients have very little discomfort." To see full results takes some time as new collagen growth continues. "We get continued improvement at 3, 4, 5, 6 months, up to about a year."

Dr. Zachary has found this useful in combination with other treatments. He says it's important to make sure to visit a physician with experience in skin resurfacing and who also has a full set of tools. "For the patients to get the best results, they have to see somebody who's had the experience and who can actually use all these things interchangeably. One of the problems about a patient seeing a physician who has one laser is that the likelihood is that they're going to recommend that one particular laser for the treatment, whatever it is. If you go to see somebody who's got 20 different devices then they have a choice and they can optimize the treatment for that particular individual."

Dr. Zachary says treatment for the full face costs about $5000 and $6000 for the face and neck at his office in California. Treatment prices will vary greatly depending on your location.

View the entire interview here:

dr. christopher zachary
Dr. Christopher Zachary
Dr. Christopher Zachary was born in Yorkshire, England. Following his medical school education at the Royal Free Hospital, University of London, Dr. Zachary subsequently trained in Internal Medicine and Dermatology. During his time at the Institute of Dermatology, Guys and St. Thomas' Hospitals, he gained an interest in Dermatologic Surgery. His formal surgical education was received at the Department of Dermatology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. Currently, Dr. Zachary is Professor and Chair, Department of Dermatology, University of California, Irvine, specializing in cutaneous oncology and reconstruction, cosmetic and laser surgery.

Frac Resurf TOC Header
American Health and Beauty, in an effort to provide the most up-to-date information to our readers, presents the Beauty Tech Review. Our first installment in this ongoing series discusses Fractional Resurfacing technology. Join American Health and Beauty editor, Keith Veseleny, as he speaks with leading physicians who share their knowledge on each laser platform.

The Beauty Tech Review: Fractional Resurfacing - will include: Dr. Heidi Waldorf on {!Fraxel Re:store Dual | Fraxel} Dr. Etai Funk on Matrix IR, Dr. Michael Kaminer on ProFractional Dr. Janee Steinberg on Sandstone Matrix, Dr. Lori Brightman on eMatrix Dr. Deborah Sarnoff on SmartSkin Dr. Christopher Zachary on {!Fraxel Re:pair | Fraxel} and Dr. Bill Johnson on SmartXide DOT Therapy