I Have Active Acne/cysts, Should I Wait to Get the Fraxel Till Acne is Cleared?

Hi There,

I just wanted to let you know that it would be more helpful for the doctors if you stated why you are looking into the Fraxel treatment.

Doctor Answers 5

Fraxel treatment will remove acne scars

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Fraxel treatment is a very effective method of treating acne scars.  If you have some active acne it is best to treat the acne at the same time.  If you have severe acne and need to be treated with Accutane, you are better off being treated first and then wait a year for Fraxel laser treatment.  You will have the best results with this.

Fraxel for Acne Scars, not Acne

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Thank you for your question. At my practice, I have gotten excellent results for scarring with Fraxel. However, you should wait until your acne has subsided and there are scars to treat. Once this happens, Fraxel is outstanding for fine wrinkles, mild skin laxity, irregular pigmentation, acne scars, surgical scars, enlarged pores, stretch marks, age spots and Rosacea. It can be used safely on the face, neck, hands, arms, and chest.

First step is to get acne controlled before a Fraxel Treatment

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You should try to get your acne under control before doing a Fraxel Laser treatment. Oral antibiotics can be prescribed and taken both before and after your Fraxel treatments to control cystic acne. Fraxel laser treatment can flare cystic acne in some patients immeditalty after treatment.  Therefore, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed to be taken during the laser session even if your acne is already controlled.


You don't have to wait for you skin to clear to start fraxel

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There is one small recent study showing improvement of acne with coincident fraxel laser treatments for acne scarring.  So, I do tell patients they can pursue fraxel laser treatment while using traditional acne medications to help clear their skin.  The only exception is if you are using isotretinoin therapy.  If you are using isotretinoin you should have NO laser treatments of any kind for at least 6mo (and preferably 1 year) after your last does of isotretinoin.  There have been case reports of poor skin healing after laser treatments on patients recently taking isotretinoin for acne.

Jay Zimmerman, MD
Walnut Creek Dermatologic Surgeon

Active Acne ...

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Yes, it is not recommended to have Fraxel until acne is no longer active.  Once it is not active, Fraxel is great for any acne scars you might have suffered.


SkinCeuticals has an excellent acne system and products for post Fraxel care as well! 

Tim R. Love, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon

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.