Morsani College of Medicine

Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery

Photofractional Laser & Light Treatment: A comprehensive treatment designed to renew your skin in less than an hour!

The Lumenis® Photofractional™ treatment is a complete skin rejuvenation solution that enables your provider to address a range of skin aging concerns including but not limited to age and sun spots, fine lines, acne scars, uneven texture and skin tone…all in one office visit!


How does it work?


Intense Pulsed Light is a light based therapy that emits broad spectrum pulses of light instead of a single wavelength as a laser does. These pulses of light penetrate below the skin’s surface at different depths and treat either skin pigment (brown spots), blood vessels (redness), or both. The use of different wavelengths of light is why IPL can be used for a variety of skin concerns, including but not limited to hyperpigmentation, diffuse redness, photo rejuvenation, and sun damage.  In most patients, this treatment causes little to no pain or downtime.  Think of IPL as being used to treat many “color” concerns in the skin.


The Lumenis ResurFX laser utilizes modern fractional laser technology that delivers tiny, controlled injuries deep within the dermis (the deepest layer of the skin) where collagen is produced. Collagen is a major structural protein within the skin that helps to give it the supple, youthful, and healthy appearance that we all desire. As we age, our skin’s storage and production of collagen begins to deplete, leading to the development of fine lines and wrinkles, laxity, texture irregularities, etc. The ResurFX laser uses energy and heat to send injuries into the dermis, which in turn stimulates the fibroblasts to increase collagen production.

Fractionated delivery of energy means that only a fraction or chosen percentage of the skin is affected by each pulse of the laser. By delivering fractionated injuries we are able to leave healthy, unaffected tissue surrounding the injured skin.  Once injured, a holistic healing response occurs where the surrounding healthy tissue helps to heal the injured or ablated skin tissue.

Our unique rejuvenation technology combines two treatment modalities, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and the ResurFX™ non-ablative fractional skin resurfacing. By performing these treatments back to back, both skin tone and texture can be treated simultaneously.


What should I expect during the treatment course?


Expect to be in the office for approximately one hour. Your Intense Pulsed Light treatment will be performed first, then you will be numbed with our topical numbing cream for approximately 30 minutes followed by the ResurFX treatment. Immediately after treatment you will have red, puffy squares across the treatment area and the skin will feel very warm.


This warmth should fade over the next couple of hours. The swelling should fade over the next couple hours to 1-2 days. The redness will resolve over the next day to a couple of days. Mineral makeup can be worn on the  day after treatment. It is important to avoid sun exposure and use sunscreen diligently throughout the treatment course.


We typically recommend a series of 3 treatments to start, spaced 4 weeks apart from one another. After the first session, patients typically see improvements in pore size, skin tone, and pigmentation. It is after a series of 2-3 treatments that you will start to see improvements in fine lines, wrinkling, and other textural concerns. You can, however, continue to see improvements in skin tone and texture up to 6 months after your last Photofractional treatment.



Book a consultation with one of our Advanced Cosmetic Nurse Practitioners today to learn if a Photofractional treatment is right for you!


Written By: Carli Pasquerella Himelman, MSN, ARNP-C


Advanced Cosmetic Nurse Practitioner at USF Health Cosmetic & Laser Center