Fractional laser treatment is a non-invasive treatment that uses a device to deliver a laser beam divided into thousands of microscopic treatment zones that target a fraction of the skin at a time. This is analogous to a photographic image being enhanced or altered pixel by pixel.
To understand how fractional laser treatment works a basic understanding of skin structure is required. Briefly skin consists of 3 layers, the epidermis (uppermost layer), dermis (mid-lay) and sub-cutis (lower fat layer). The epidermis contains pigment-producing cells called melanocytes, which are responsible for skin coloring. The dermis is made up of collagen and elastin fibers that provide skin with strength, toughness, elasticity and pliability.
As the body ages, the appearance and characteristics of the skin alter. The epidermis becomes thinner so blemishes become more visible, and collagen in the dermis is gradually lost which contributes to the formation of facial lines, sagging skin and wrinkles.
Fractional laser treatment works by targeting both the epidermis and dermis. It does this by delivering a laser beam that is divided into thousands of tiny but deep columns of treatment into the skin. These are called microthermal treatment zones (MTZs). Within each MTZ old epidermal pigmented cells are expelled and penetration of collagen in the dermis causes a reaction that leads to collagen remodeling and new collagen formation.
By using MTZs, the laser targets and treats intensively within the zone while surrounding healthy tissues remain intact and unaffected. Fractional laser treatment results in a faster healing process because not all of the tissues in the treatment area are exposed to the laser.
Fractional laser treatment is used for the treatment of facial lines and wrinkles and skin pigmentation associated with photoaging, surgical and acne scarring, and chloasma. Fractional laser treatment can be used on any part of the body, but is particularly useful on the face, neck, chest and hands.