Here in Canada, we tend to think that any laser resurfacing treatment should be avoided in the summer. The thought process has always been that when the sun finally appears, Canadians are outside to enjoy it while it lasts – and as a result, they may be getting more sun exposure than they normally do and may be more tanned and therefore not ideal candidates. However, for patients that are already compliant to their sunscreen, sunglasses and hat, we want to challenge this myth! Patients that enjoy the sun wisely can be good candidates for Fraxel treatments – after all, physicians down in Scottsdale and California offer Fraxel treatments year-round without blinking an eye. Plus, summer is often an easier time to take time off if you feel like recovering at home (although Fraxel’s downtime is manageable even if you have to keep working!)
A few weeks ago, our Business Director Vanessa had the opportunity to get a Fraxel re:store, even though the sun was shining brightly outside. Knowing that she’s been diligent with her sun exposure for years, she was a good candidate to discuss this treatment option with.
Vanessa has been struggling with melasma since her first pregnancy and even more so after Baby #2. Melasma is a condition where dark brown patches appear on the skin in symmetrical patterns. Vanessa’s appear primarily around her temples and cheeks. It is believed that the increased levels of progesterone that accompany a pregnancy can overexcite melanocytes that will then deposit extra pigment in the skin (sigh!). Unfortunately, to this day there is no cure for melasma – but at Project Skin MD we offer many solutions to lighten and control it.
One of Dr. McGillivray’s recommendations is to perform what he dubbed a “Baby Fraxel”. A baby Fraxel uses less energy than a regular one – it’s a sweet spot whereby enough energy is delivered to pull some pigment without building heat in the skin and risking aggravating the condition.
Vanessa’s Fraxel Journey
Vanessa has been thrilled with her results – read on to explore her journey. Needless to say, she’ll be keeping her face in the shade this summer but will certainly be outside enjoying the sun with her kids!
Thinking about trying one yourself? Book your free consultation with our patient concierge today and learn more about Fraxel and other laser solutions that can be done in the summer!
Our LPN Kyle ready to do the “Baby Fraxel” treatment on Vanessa
Vanessa’s face immediately after the treatment. The pigment appears darker and there will be lingering redness for 12-24 hours.
The next morning
Skin redness has completely settled. Vanessa was flying with her family this day, so she applied her recovery products to avoid the dryness normally associated with air travel. A thick layer of SkinCeuticals Epidermal Repair (physical barrier) will keep the skin moist and free of contamination.
24 hours later
The pigment is darker and when looking up close, the skin looks like sandpaper.
Being sun wise even in summer! Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen (SkinCeuticals Fusion SPF 50) to the rescue.
48 hours later
Pigment continues to be pulled. Don’t worry, seeing it darken is a good sign; that means it’s on its way out! At this stage, as tempting as it may be, the skin shouldn’t be picked at. It’s important to carry on with the skincare recovery regime to ensure optimal healing and no risk of hyper- or hypo-pigmentation.
Don’t be scared! Day 3 is always the worst one as pigment has migrated up and is really dark but hasn’t started to slough off yet. Skin looks and feels rough and itchy.
Hint: When you schedule your Fraxel treatment, plan it for a Thursday so you can be home for this one!
Finally! That sandpaper feeling is getting scarcer as pigment starts to peel off. Keep the skin well hydrated and don’t pick at it!
It’s happening! The new skin revealed is clear and rosy. Treat it like baby skin – lots of moisturizer and SPF!
Every day gets better! Pigment will be slower to slough off around the edges of the face. Pigment can stay there for up to 10 days but don’t rush it. Proper healing requires attention and patience!
Voila! No make-up, sunscreen only! Check out Vanessa’s final before and after shots below.