Your dermatologist has probably been doing dermabrasion for many years for deep acne scarring and therefore recommends it for deep scarring. That said, a series of Fraxel treatments do offer a more precise, less risky treatment for stimulating collagen remodeling in scars with fewer risks of loss of pigmentation and prolonged redness. Our practice (active since 1982) did dermabrasion for 15 years until we replaced it with CO2 laser and later erbium, and then Fraxel--all to help reduce healing time and minimize risks and discomfort.
Yes, Fraxel is a series of treatments rather than a one-time dermabrasion---but it is less painful, has less recovery, fewer risks,in our practice costs less, and the data all show longterm collagen improvement. Improvement from Fraxel doesn't go away after 6 months. Some patients may benefit from ongoing treatment as they age, but there is no clinical data to show only a temporary benefit from Fraxel.