There’s a fraction too much friction…

In 1983 Tim Finn sang ‘There’s a fraction too much friction’ which listed as New Zealand’s 41st most popular song of all time according to APRA (the Australasian Performing Rights Association).

In 2008, ‘fractionated’ lasers are have become the new craze in laser technology with multiple laser companies releasing various versions of fractionated lasers. Instead of treating the whole skin surface, fractionated lasers, as the name suggests, treat only a fraction of the skin surface. Usually, multiple individual microscopic columns of laser energy are fired into the skin.

The creation of fractionated lasers were a response of the laser companies to the needs of people in today’s society who cannot afford prolonged recovery times, yet still want to look their best. Most commonly, fractionated lasers are used for reducing acne scarring, and reversing the hallmarks of sun-damage (wrinkles and pigmentation).

Fraxel was one of the first fractionated laser systems on the market. Mosaic is the latest fractionated laser to hit Australian shores. Their patented Controlled Chaos Technology randomises the beams and helps to even delivery of the laser. Other examples of fractionated lasers include Cynosure’s Affirm, that combines two laser wavelengths in the same pulse to help to target various skin layers.

The concept of fractionated treatment of the skin is something that is not limited to lasers however. Skin needling is a non-laser treatment that involves involves puncturing the skin multiple times with small needles attached to a cylindrical roller to induce collagen growth and improve similar skin concerns.

The Victorian Cosmetic Institute will soon be trialling various of the new fractionated lasers including Cynosure’s Affirm and comparing them to skin needling to test which provides the best results in terms of skin rejuvenation, reduction in acne scarring and skin pigmentation.

Dr. Gavin Chan
Dr. Gavin Chan

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