13 07 fraxel skin treatmentDescription: The Fraxel laser offers the results of ablative lasers without the downtime.

How it's done: First, a blue tint is applied to the skin, then a topical anesthetic ointment is applied to the treatment area. The blue tint darkens the tiny folds of the skin's surface to increase contrast and allow the hand-held device to read the contours of the face. The laser produces microscopic sites of thermal impact to the skin. The healthy tissue between treatment zones contains cells that promote rapid renewal of the outer skin layers. Meanwhile, each microthermal wound penetrates into the dermis to remodel collagen. Five to six treatments a week apart are recommended. Each treatment lasts 30 minutes.

Complications: Possible scarring.

Recovery: Mild swelling that subsides within a day or two, and redness fades over several days.

Cost: $400 to $1,500 depending on size of treatment area.