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.