Our society is obsessed with youth. Achievement, a youthful appearance – and beauty. These are possibly the three qualities modern society seems to value most. These days, even social worth seems to be measured by beauty and a youthful appearance.
People are now ready to invest considerable sums of money and time – and even undergo pain – in order to look more like the current ideals of physical perfection.
With more and more people living longer and healthier lives, it is hardly surprising that the demand for cosmetic procedures that reduce or eliminate signs of old age is growing significantly.
And this is where Fraxel Laser comes in …
Fraxel – or fractional laser – is a skin resurfacing treatment that helps reduce signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, reduces pore size and scars. It works by stimulating the skin’s collagen – which in turn rejuvenates skin cells, making the skin more elastic and reducing signs of aging. The result – it greatly improves skin texture making your skin look younger and smoother.
In essence, Fraxel works because it causes the skin to heal itself. By stimulating collagen, the damaged skin cells are replaced with fresh cells. It’s a relatively safe and non invasive procedure and does not have prolonged downtime that you could expect with some other skin treatments. And it’s very effective. It this these that make Fraxel so attractive to so many people.
Here’s what you can expect Fraxel to be effective against …
To understand how Fraxel laser skin resurfacing really works, it’s essential to understand collagen – and it’s importance in keeping your skin looking younger. Collagen is one of the main proteins in bodies. It plays a key role in giving our skin structure, durability and strength. Collagen fibres have a mesh like structure and you could say they provide structural scaffolding to the skin. When the collagen levels are healthy, skin is elastic, smooth look to it. But as we age, collagen levels fall and signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles and age spots appear.
But if the collagen levels in aging skin is boosted, signs of aging are reversed as well, and skin takes on a more youthful appearance.
Fraxel laser works by stimulating the production of new collagen under the skin. The heat from the laser beam stimulates skin cells -fibroblasts – to produce more collagen. The heat is not intense enough to vaporize skin tissue. But on the other hand, it is intense enough to “heat up” the collagen layer underneath the dermis layer of the skin to cause it to shrink in size. This shrinkage causes fibroblasts to step up their collagen production – and this may continue for several months after the initial tretament.
In fact, studies have shown that after each Fraxel treatment, collagen production is increased. And this continues for several months after the treatment. So with each treatment, you are actually boosting the amount of collagen in your skin, and with repeated treatments, you will end up with significantly more collagen in your skin than what you had at the start of the treatment.
The end result? Your skin looks more youthful and healthy, scars are less visible and pore size is reduced.
You will want to bear in mind that it can take up to 90 days for you to notice the results. It takes that much time for enough new collagen to be produced in your skin to reverse the signs of aging to a noticeable level. The result is not instantaneous as some people want it to be.
That said, here are some frequently asked questions about Fraxel laser treatments …
Some amount of pain and discomfort is to be expected with just about any kind of skin treatment. Waxing can be really painful too, and so can be dermarolling. So you should be prepared to endure some amount of discomfort. With the right kind of numbing cream (a topical anesthetic), pain and discomfort can be reduced to a bare minimum. You would want to ask your doctor about the numbing cream they use. The degree of pain you will have to endure depends a lot on the numbing cream used. Usually, the more expensive creams are very effective in reducing pain very significantly. But using the wrong ones can mean you will have to endure a lot more pain than neccessary. You might also experience some bleeding, but that will most likely be minimal.
There is one other thing you would want to note – there are now two kinds of Fraxel laser treatments – repair and restore. The main difference between the two is restore does not remove skin tissue whereas repair does remove skin tissue. While restore is a lot gentler relatively, repair is a far more aggressive approach.
So if you are going in for repair, you would expect more pain and discomfort. You woulkd also expect more downtime as well with repair – upto a week of red, sometimes swollen and oozing skin.
After any kind of Fraxel treatment – repair or restore, you are going to be experiencing some amount of redness and swelling. You might also experience dry skin, peeling and itching. A lot depends on how aggressive your treatment was, and how well you followed the post treatment procedures recommended by your doctor.
You would also want to note that every person’s skin has its very own unique characteristics. So not everyone responds the same way. While some people have relatively few sife effects, some others have more.
How long the effects last depends mainly on how well you care for your skin. You see, what happens with Fraxel treatments is that your skin’s cells are stimulated to increase their collagen production. So as long as the collagen levels are high, your skin will remain youthful looking. But once the levels of collagen underneath your skin’s layers start dropping, the effects of the treatment will start wearing out.
Luckily, there are several things you can do to keep your collagen levels healthy …
Vitamin C : Vitamin C is critical to keeping your collagen levels healthy. When your skin cells are supplied with plenty of vitamin C, they produce more collagen and your skin stays youthful looking. But using topical creams with vitamin C or collagen may not be helpful. What you would want to do is to eat plenty of foods that have high amount of vitamin C regularly – like oranges, kale and broccoli. Taking vitamin C supplements may not have the same effect as our bodies are designed to assimilate nutrients from natural foods.
Foods like tomatoes, romaine lettuce, lentils and beans, dark green vegetables, citrus fruits, berries, nuts, garlic and oatmeal are all very good for your skin. They fight inflammation, boost collagen production and increase immunity as well.
Collagen is essentially a protein. So it only seems logical that your diet should have sufficient quantity of protein in it for best results.
Likewise, there are foods that are really bad for your collagen. These are …
Processed carbohydrates and sugar : Bread, sugar, baked foods – and junk foods in general – are really bad for your skin’s collagen levels. It’s well known that these are harmful to your organs, but hardly anyone seems to be aware of the effects these foods have on your skin.
So what you really want to do is cut down on the bad stuff and load up on the good stuff – that’s how you can keep your collagen levels helathy.
In general, Fraxel laser works best for fair skinned people.
Olive and dark skins contain a lot more melanin, and this increases the risk of developing post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
But if you are olive or dark skinned and really want to try Fraxel laser treatment, you would want to discuss this with your doctor. It’s possible that your doctor might be able to put you on a pigment control program which would reduce the risks. You would also want to ensure your skin is always protected with a sunscreen. Any exposure to the skin will immediately boost pigment production in your skin, making the pigment control program a lot less effective.
There are a number of reasons sports stars excel in their given sport. Practice, psychology and diet are just some of the ways to achieve total victory in any sport or in any field in general. However, there are some who believe in superstitious methods and take them very seriously. Maybe something as trivial as wearing lucky sports socks before the game could be the difference between winning and losing.
Here are some of the world famous athletes who reigned supreme in their sports and also had a penchant for superstition:
Is being superstitious truly effective? It may be, up to a certain degree in that it helps sports stars to perform. It may have some form of placebo effect just like in medicine. Nevertheless, these superstitions help world-class athletes perform at their best. In other words, superstitious beliefs and routines help them, but this is not the sole reason why they find success in their sports.