Fractional treatment of aging skin with Tixel, a clinical and histological evaluation

J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2016;18(1):31-7. doi: 10.3109/14764172.2015.1052513. Epub 2016 Jan 20.


Objective: This study presents clinical results of Tixel, a new fractional skin resurfacing system based on thermo-mechanical ablation technology. Tixel employs a hot (400°C) metallic tip consisting of 81 pyramids. Treatment is performed by rapidly advancing the tip to the skin for a preset tip-skin contact duration. Thermal energy transfer to the skin creates micro-craters by evaporation.

Methods: Treatment results with tip types, D and S, with high and low thermal conductivity, were evaluated. Twenty-six subjects received three facial treatments, with 4-5-week intervals between treatments, without analgesia or cooling. In addition, histopathologies of Tixel and CO2 laser were performed.

Results: Crater properties are related to contact duration and to thermal conductivity. The D tip created char-free ablative craters 100-320 μm wide with a thermal zone 100-170 μm deep. The S tip created non-ablative coagulation preserving the epidermis. Skin complexion improvement was achieved in all subjects; average treatment pain of 3.1/10, downtime of 0-1 days, and erythema clearance of 3.5 days. Subject's satisfaction was 75% and wrinkle attenuation was achieved in 75% of the cases. There was no incidence of bleeding, scarring, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Conclusions: Tixel may be used safely for ablative and non-ablative resurfacing with low pain, low downtime, and quick healing.

Keywords: ablation; fractional; resurfacing; skin rejuvenation; thermal model.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Ablation Techniques / adverse effects
  • Ablation Techniques / instrumentation
  • Ablation Techniques / methods*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Energy Transfer
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / adverse effects
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / instrumentation
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods*
  • Lasers, Gas / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Skin Aging* / pathology
  • Swine
  • Wound Healing