Palomar Fractional Resurfacing

What is Palomar Fractional Resurfacing?

Palomar produces a series of lasers which form quite an arsenal in facial resurfacing. In order to treat specific skin disorders, specialists can control the length and intensity of the laser energy being delivered to obtain more or less ablation and thermal damage. Some of the skin problems which can be treated by Palomar Fractional Resurfacing include irregularities in the texture or coloring of the face, scarring, freckling, and environmental damage.

How does Palomar Fractional Resurfacing work?

Palomar Fractional Resurfacing is done with a laser which pulses the light energy to preserve tiny bands of untreated skin, allowing patients to receive both ablative and non-ablative skin resurfacing while encouraging the skin to regenerate quickly. With the Palomar Fractional lasers, care providers can individualize the skin tightening, ablation level and coagulation by changing hand pieces especially created for different treatments.

What areas of the body does Palomar Fractional Resurfacing treat?

Palomar Fractional Resurfacing is used to treat the face, neck, shoulders, chest, and back. It can also be used for signs of aging on the hands.

What are the advantages of Palomar Fractional Resurfacing over other similar treatments?

This treatment only requires two to four days of recovery which is less downtime than needed after treatment with a carbon dioxide laser. This treatment takes less than an hour, and the depth and intensity of the Palomar laser can be tailored to individual needs. Patients also find this treatment less painful than traditional laser resurfacing.

Who is a candidate for Palomar Fractional Resurfacing?

Palomar is appropriate treatment for people with sun damage of the face, chest, and arms. It can also be used to treat rosacea, spider veins, and pigmented lesions. This fractional laser treatment can be performed on adult males and females, but those with a weakened immune system are not candidates. Diabetics should also approach this treatment with caution.

How is Palomar Fractional Resurfacing performed?

After protecting the patient’s eyes, the care provider will hold the laser just above the treatment area to send pulses of light and heat energy to the cells underneath the epidermis. The heat will cause the blood within the vessels to coagulate and collapse. New cell growth and collagen fibers will be energized in the area of treatment. With a fractional laser treatment, the epidermis is undamaged and remains as a protective surface until healing of the treated skin layers is complete.

What is the recovery like?

The doctor may cover the treated area with sterile bandages or apply cold compresses. The patient may take acetaminophen for pain but should not take anti-inflammatory drugs. Although the skin may be red for a few days, the patient may use cosmetics immediately in most cases. Within a week, patients should be back to their usual activities. As the skin heals, it may begin to flake a bit, but this can be alleviated with creams or lotions.

What will the results be like?

The face will be smoother, tighter, and younger looking. The tone should be evenly colored and scars will have faded significantly. Sun damage will fade within the first two weeks following treatment.

What are the risks?

Major complications are uncommon, but swelling and bruising sometimes occur. Occasionally, irregularities with pigmentation develop. A slight risk of infection is possible with some procedures.

Is Palomar Fractional Resurfacing approved for use in the U.S.?

Palomar Fractional lasers are approved for cosmetic resurfacing by the Food and Drug Administration and are frequently used by dermatologists in the U.S.

Is Palomar Fractional Resurfacing covered by insurance companies?

Insurance companies will not cover Palomar Fractional Resurfacing because it is labeled a cosmetic procedure, however, many providers will work with patients to find a method of financing their treatments.

Disclaimer: This information is intended only as an introduction to this procedure. This information should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor does it guarantee results of your elective surgery. Further details regarding surgical standards and procedures should be discussed with your physician.

By Staff
Updated: November 24, 2009

Have specific questions?

All Article Categories

Before & After Photos

Suggested Doctors

Recently Asked Questions