Laser Peel, Profractional, What’s the Difference?

In previous posts, I’ve touted the benefits of the microlaser peel.  But if you’ve spent any time reading up on laser peels, you’ve likely heard of either Fraxel or Pro-Fractional laser peels as well.  They’re essentially the same thing, but Fraxel uses a CO2 laser, and Pro-Fractional uses an Erbium laser.  The lasers themselves behave similarly.  What sets the Pro-Fractional apart from a traditional microlaser peel is the way the skin is removed.

The Microlaser Peel removes a thin layer of the outer layer of skin (the epidermis).  This can remove some shallow wrinkles, but what it really helps with is skin texture and some of the more superficial pigmentation problems.  See a diagrammatic representation of this below- the  portion highlighted in blue is what the laser would remove.


Profractional Peel  works a bit differently.  Instead of removing 100% of the outer layer of skin as a micropeel does, a profractional removes only portions of the skin in a pixellated pattern (see below).



Microlaser peels heal quickly because only a superficial layer of skin is removed.  Profractional removes a deeper layer of skin (check out the last image, below), but because there is healthy skin in between the areas hit by the laser, the recovery time is about the same as a micropeel.

When you look at the diagram, you’ll see that the profractional reaches all the way down into the dermis.  Those squiggly gray lines you see represent collagen.  When some of the collagen is damaged by the laser, the surrounding collagen is stimulated into a healing response. This results in a tightening, smoothing effect that you don’t get with a regular micropeel.  What patients actually see is an improvement in wrinkles (deeper wrinkles than those treated with a traditional micropeel).  It also means the profractional can be used to improve the appearance of scars.  A micropeel and a profractional can also be combined for even better results.  If you would like to see some before and after pics, check out the Sciton website here.

Do you have any questions regarding ProFractional?

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

2 thoughts on “Laser Peel, Profractional, What’s the Difference?

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