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Will Fraxel Repair Help Acne Scars As Well As Hyperpigmentation?

If I get Fraxel repair (for acne scars, skin texture, etc.), do I also need to get IPL (for brown spots and redness)? Or does Fraxel repair also target red/brown spots?

Doctor Answers (4)

Fraxel Repair works for acne scars and brown spots

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  • Acne scars typically are smoother and less obvious after a series of treatments with the Fraxel laser.
  • If you also have the tendency for brown spots , treatment settings will need to be adjusted to help improve that as well. To minimize the risk of the spots darkening with the laser, I recommend a program of hydroquinone 4% + Retin A before and between treatments. Triluma or the Obagi lightening system are two brands that include the above ingredients.


Torrance Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Fraxel Repair may help, but it depends on the reason for the brown spots

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While Fraxel Re:pair does help with brown spots, if the reason for them is melasma, it may not be all that beneficial. I tend to encourage a great program of Retin A and Obagi prior to the Re:pair and it does wonders even before the laser.

This regimen takes care of melasma and guards against pigmentation after the procedure. It is important to use a strong sunscreen prior to and after the Fraxel.

As for the acne scarring, the results can vary greatly. I personally don't encourage it that often for acne scarring due to modest results.

One warning: If you have a tan, then Fraxel isn't a good choice for you. Same thing for after it - if you like the sun, you won't tan regularly after it, so think carefully before you do it.

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Fraxel repair Will Help Both Acne Scars and Hyperpigmentation

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Hi Newtoski,

Fraxel repair does target brown spots, and does improve some red spots. I would have our Fraxel repair treaments for acne scarring, and then re-evaluate. Most likely you will not need much if any IPL.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. p

Michael A. Persky, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

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Fraxel Repair for Skin Rejuvenation

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Fraxel Repair can address all of your concerns. Acne scars are extremely difficult to treat and you should ask your treating physician to see their before and after pictures to get an idea of the amount of improvement you can expect. In regards to hyperpigmentation, fraxel can cause or worsen this problem. For example this can happen with sun exposure after laser treatment, a condition known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

However, if you are referring to brown spots or melasma, the Fraxel can improve these significantly. While Fraxel can improve reddish discoloration of the skin, it is not my first line laser of choice for red dyschromia. I do agree that a IPL/photofacial can be better for reddish dyschromia while Fraxel seems to work better for brown. However, if you are looking for a laser which can address all of your concerns then the Fraxel Repair is an excellent choice.

John Burns, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.