Fractional facial photothermolysis

Fractional rejuvenation procedure of facial skin

Fractional photothermolysis or photorejuvenation is a fairly new hardware technique that appeared a little over ten years ago. During this time, it has gained high marks from experts and positive feedback from patients, today it is in great demand.

Partial laser action allows you to improve skin condition, get rid of a lot of imperfections and slow down aging.

The essence of partial laser renewal

Fractional photothermolysis- This is a technique based on destroying skin cells and soft tissues by exposing them to laser radiation of a certain frequency. In the process of partial thermolysis, a laser beam passes through a special grille and breaks down into very thin microphone beams. Thus, not a persistent lesion is provided, but a point of the dermis.

Fractional action is much more popular than traditional laser renaissance because it leaves untouched around destroyed areas. The remaining cells begin to actively divide, filling the damaged areas, which significantly accelerates the regeneration process. The skin is renewed, becomes denser, more elastic, defects (scars, scars, age spots) disappear.

Fraxel is considered to be one of the most popular partial laser devices for the procedure.

Indications for partial thermolysis and contraindications

Fractional thermolysis is indicated in the following cases:

  • the appearance of age-related changes (weakness, excessive dryness, wrinkles);
  • floating oval of face, ptosis;
  • unhealthy complexion, age spots;
  • the presence of scars, wounds, stretch marks;
  • uneven, bumpy skin.
Uneven facial skin is one of the indications for the fractional thermolysis procedure

Like any other laser technique, photothermolysis has contraindications:

  • pregnancy, breastfeeding period;
  • redness of an allergic nature, inflammation, fresh scratching or burning in the target treatment area;
  • active viral or bacterial infection;
  • skin diseases (dermatitis, psoriasis);
  • tendency to scar formation;
  • diabetes;
  • autoimmune pathology;
  • epilepsy;
  • oncological diseases.

If the patient has recently undergone a chemical peeling procedure or has been injected with filler, then photothermolysis can be done no earlier than after 2-3 weeks. A more precise time frame will be determined by the cosmetologist during the consultation.

Fractional areas of laser impact

Fractional photothermolysis helps to get rid of defects not only on the face but also on the body. In particular, it is used to remove stretch marks, scars and wounds. The most common areas for partial laser treatment are:

  • face (periorbital region, forehead, nose, nasolabial triangle, cheeks, chin);
  • neck;
  • décolleté area;
  • chest;
  • hands, forearms;
  • buttocks, thighs;
  • stomach;
  • BACK

Depending on the area in which and which defects need to be eliminated, the doctor offers one or another type of procedure.

Fractional photothermolysis of the abdominal skin

Types of fractional photothermolysis

There are 2 main types of laser photothermolysis: non-ablative and ablative. They vary in the intensity of the radiation, the depth of penetration into the skin layers, and the type of device used.


Non-ablative photothermolysischaracterized by less intense laser radiation. Microbes do not damage the surface layers as they pass through the epidermis. They penetrate into the deepest layers of the skin, where damaged areas are formed. Such an effect activates not only the process of cell regeneration, but also the synthesis of collagen fibers. Thanks to this, the skin becomes more elastic, wrinkles and creases are smoothed, the surface becomes smoother.

Non-ablative photothermolysis is less traumatic, there is no risk of infection and the recovery period is short. Disadvantages include insufficient efficiency in eliminating pronounced defects.


Ablative photothermolysis- a more radical procedure, during which the skin is exposed to more intense radiation. Laser rays damage areas both on the surface of the epidermis and deep in the dermis.

Thus, the processes of regeneration, and thus rejuvenation, begin both outside and inside the skin. This provides greater efficiency, but includes disadvantages in the form of pain of the procedure and a longer rehabilitation period after it.

Preparation and course of the procedure

The rules for preparing for the partial rejuvenation procedure are expressed by a cosmetologist in a preliminary consultation. Most often, the recommendations come down to a number of restrictions that must be met over a period of time:

  • 2-3 weeks before the procedure, you should refuse to visit the solarium, beach, bath, sauna, your face should be protected from the sun;
  • for 2 weeks, do not perform procedures that damage the skin, for example, chemical or laser skin;
  • stop taking blood thinners and antibiotics in 7-10 days;
  • 2-3 days before the procedure, it is undesirable to drink alcohol.

Fractional facial thermolysis takes place in several stages:

  1. The skin surface is cleaned of impurities, then treated with an antiseptic.
  2. An anesthetic agent is applied to the skin.
  3. Once the pain relief has worked, the skin is covered with a thin layer of gel, which ensures better contact and even sliding of the sensor.
  4. The doctor places the device and begins treatment.
  5. At the end of the procedure, the remaining gel is removed from the skin and a soothing mask is applied.

The duration of the session is about 1-1. 5 hours.

Before partial skin rejuvenation, you should leave the sun room

Number of sessions

Fractional photothermolysis is recommended to be done in courses. The required number of sessions is determined by the cosmetologist, focusing on the age of the patient, the condition of his skin, the desired result, the severity of the defects.

On average, the course consists of 3-6 procedures. There should be a break of 3-4 weeks between sessions. During this time, the skin has time to heal completely.

Possible side effects

Laser thermolysis is considered a relatively safe procedure, but side effects can still occur. Most common:

  • redness;
  • feeling of tightness, burning of the skin;
  • edema;
  • brown skin color in the treatment area;
  • peeling;
  • burning;
  • scars;
  • inflammation;
  • hyperpigmentation.

Most often, complications are caused by insufficient qualifications of the cosmetologist, errors in equipment settings or during the procedure, non-compliance with the doctor's recommendations during the rehabilitation period.

Rehabilitation period

To accelerate skin healing after fractional photothermolysis, the following rules should be followed:

  • the first days do not use decorative makeup;
  • do not use aggressive cleaners, peels, scrubs;
  • do not shred the displayed crusts;
  • for at least 2 weeks, refuse to visit the spa, sauna, swimming pool, avoid physical activity;
  • limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages, do not smoke.

Post-procedure skin care includes:

  • skin treatment with agents prescribed by a doctor (antiseptic, sedative);
  • regular skin hydration;
  • application of regenerative masks, which include a tissue regeneration stimulant;
  • Mandatory use of sunscreens with an SPF of at least 30.

Protect your skin from the sun for at least 2 months after completing the photothermolysis course.

The effect achieved

The effectiveness of photo updating has been proven not only by clinical studies, but also by reviews of satisfied patients who have tested the technique on themselves. After fractional photothermolysis, the following results are observed:

  • skin color improves, pigmentation disappears or becomes less noticeable;
  • elasticity increases;
  • skin relief is leveled;
  • the skin becomes more hydrated;
  • wrinkles, folds, scars and scars soften.

Moreover, the procedure provides a lifting effect, due to which the skin is tightened, the oval of the face acquires a sharper outline.

The results of the procedure last from one and a half to 3-4 years. The duration of the effect is influenced by many factors, ranging from the skin type and the type of aging of the patient, ending with her lifestyle.


Fractional photothermolysis is mainly suitable for those who want to restore youth to their skin, maintain its health and attractive appearance, without resorting to the services of plastic surgeons. The technique has many advantages, but there are a number of contraindications that need to be considered. A cosmetologist will help you determine the need and possibility of performing the procedure.