Fractional skin resurfacing has been around for about 15 years. The concept behind it is to create hundreds of microscopic punctures through the epidermis down into the skin’s second layer, the dermis. This triggers a wound response in the body where new collagen and elastin are produced, firming and tightening the skin.The problem with laser fractional resurfacing has been downtime, enduring redness, and even hyperpigmenation.
At Skintology Medspa, we now offer Fractora from Inmode. Fractora combines fractional resurfacing with radiofrequency energy delivered directly into the dermis. Fractora delivers impressive skin tightening for our patients with far less recovery.
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What Is Fractora?
Fractora is part fractional skin resurfacing treatment, and part radiofrequency skin tightening, all in one. Instead of using laser energy, Fractora creates the microscopic channels with two different handpieces (with either 20 or 60 needles), used depending on the treatment area. These pins move up and down as a group when the handpiece is pressed on an area, penetrating up to 1mm deep through the epidermis. As the needles puncture the skin the tips deliver radiofrequency energy directly into the dermis.
What Skin Issues Can Resurfacing Help?
Fractora delivers improvements in the broadest range of symptoms of aging skin:
- Fine lines
- Deep lines
- Texture problems
- Pigmentation irregularities
- Broken blood vessels
- Areas of redness
The most common treatment areas are the lower eyelid, upper eyelid, smile lines, cheeks, mouth, and neck.
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Would Fractora Be a Good Treatment for Me?
Fractora isn’t as aggressive as fractional laser skin resurfacing. If you need more extensive skin renewal it may not be strong enough for you. However, you also don’t have the same redness and downtime as with fractional lasers, and using RF energy doesn’t cause issues with hyperpigmentation in the same way that fractional lasers do. Because of that, Fractora is a better option for patients with darker skin types. Also, because Fractora isn’t as aggressive it can be used on more sensitive areas such as the eyelids, on the nose, and around the mouth.
How Does Fractora Resurfacing Work?
Fractora works in two ways: by creating hundreds of microscopic punctures and by heating the dermis. Both of these create skin rejuvenation.
Because the pinpoint punctures are surrounded by unaffected healthy skin, the body starts healing the skin immediately. This process breaks down areas with poor texture and involves the creation of new skin cells. This is the same reaction as occurs with microneedling and with laser resurfacing, as the punctures heal quite quickly.
The key to Fractora’s rejuvenation is the RF energy. In pure RF procedures, the energy first has to penetrate the epidermis. In order to not burn the outer skin, the radiofrequency energy has to be limited. But Fractora penetrates the epidermis with the handpiece pins, so it can deliver the RF energy directly into the dermis. This creates the desired wound response without the concerns about the outer skin layer. This wound response involves collagen remodeling and the production of new collagen and elastin. This tightens and firms the skin, improving the overall appearance.
The depth of the needle punctures and the amount of radiofrequency energy delivered control how aggressive Fractora is in resurfacing the skin.
What Can I Expect During a Fractora Treatment?
When you come in to Skintology for your Fractora session, we first apply topical numbing cream with lidocaine and also give you a sedative. This relaxes you and ensures you will be comfortable, as the microscopic punctures and RF heating can be uncomfortable for some patients, particularly at more aggressive settings. When the numbing cream has fully taken effect, we begin the session. As the handpiece is moved across the treatment areas, the head is pressed flat against the skin to allow even penetration by the needles. Some areas, such as the eyelids, are more sensitive than others. A cold air chiller runs simultaneously with the Fractora handpiece to increase patient comfort.
The length of your Fractora session at Skintology depends on the area or areas being treated.
Is Fractional Skin Resurfacing Painful?
We apply topical numbing cream and give you a sedative prior to your session, so you are kept comfortable.
What Will My Skin Look like Immediately After Fractora?
When your session is complete, your skin will be red and mildly inflamed. This can last for a few days. The skin begins to calm down fairly quickly, however.
Results After Fractora Treatment
You’ll begin to see results in two weeks as the existing collagen remodels. These improvements will continue to build for 3-6 months, and your results should last for up to one year. Improvements in skin texture and removal of broken blood vessels are permanent changes, but after a year your collagen levels will have dropped again.
How Soon After Skin Resurfacing Can I Wear Makeup?
Your skin will be red and somewhat inflamed. Applying makeup will only exacerbate this. It’s best to wait one or two days to apply makeup.
Do I Need to Use Specialty Skin Care Products After a Fractora Treatment?
No. Obviously, using the highest quality skin care products is better for your skin under any circumstances, but nothing specific is required here. One thing you must do is protect your skin from the sun’s UV radiation. After Fractora, your skin will be very sensitive to the sun as it heals and rebuilds. For a week or so, it’s best to stay out of the sun. But if you are out there, 30+ SPF sunscreen and covering up are necessary.
Are There Side Effects with Fractora Resurfacing?
These are topical skin treatments and are non-invasive, so there really aren’t any “risks” per se. The degree of redness following your treatment varies by the patient and the level of RF energy used. Redness may linger for 3-7 days. There can also be some abrasions on areas with thinner skin, such as the forehead. These are temporary. There can be some mild swelling in parts of the treated areas; it passes in 2-3 days. Some patents experience itching as the skin recovers, but keeping the treated areas moisturized should minimize this.