- The Tixel treatment involves the application of a heated (400 degrees celsius) metallic plate with 81 pyramid-shaped spikes to the skin.
- It vapourises channels in the skin to stimulate new collagen to reduce concerns such as wrinkles, or acne scars. It has also been used to treat active acne.
- The channels formed in the skin can also be used to infuse products into the skin, for example, tretinoin (vitamin A) or skin lightening agents to treat concerns such as melasma.
- The Tixel produces similar injuries and results to fractional CO2 lasers. However, the Tixel leaves no char or debris on the skin and has relatively less downtime for a similar end result.
What is Tixel?
The Tixel is not a laser, but a novel device that uses thermo-mechanical energy to remodel and improve skin. It utilises a gold-plated metallic tip that is heated to 400 degrees celsius within a handpiece. This tip has 81 pyramid-shaped spikes that are pressed momentarily on to the skin with a highly accurate linear motor contained within the handpiece. The tip measures 1 X 1cm and the treatment involves systematically applying this tip to the whole face. Adjustments can be made to the depth of penetration into the skin, and the duration of the tip application.
The tip is able to self-clean and sterilise by heating to 540 degrees celsius after the treatment.
What does the Tixel do to the skin?
The heated pyramid-shaped spikes on the tip creates micro-channels or craters in the skin through evaporation of skin. The treatment is fractional, that is, a matrix of channels is created with healthy untreated skin in between. This helps reduce healing times and complications in comparison to treating all the skin at once.
This induces new collagen formation or neo-collagenesis by stimulating the skin’s natural healing process.
This process helps with improve general skin quality, skin texture, and can also improve acne scarring.
The Tixel also can be used to infuse skin care products into the skin. Products such as vitamin A or skin lightening agents can be infused into the skin after Tixel treatment to help induce further changes in the skin
What is the difference between fractional CO2 and the Tixel?
Although fractional CO2 and Tixel have a similar effect on the skin, there are some key differences between the two treatments.
Because Tixel is not a laser device, there is no need to use protective eyewear for the patient or operator. It is possible to treat around the eyes, even very close to the eyelashes, without causing injury to the eyes. There is also a special Tixel handpiece that is smaller and designed specifically for the eye area. CO2 lasers do require corneal shields (metal shields that go under the eyelids) should treatment be performed within the bony orbit around the eye.
CO2 lasers also do leave a layer of char or debris on the skin whereas Tixel does not do this.