Is Fraxel my only option? (24/f, Caucasian, tan easily, light olive skin, hyperpigmentation from acne scars)

Hello. I have some acne scarring/hyperpigmentation, the acne itself is mostly under control with the occasional pimple during my period (used to be a LOT worse). I saw my dermatologist and he said that the only thing that would work for my type of scarring and my type of skin is Fraxel, at least 4-5 treatments, at $400 a pop (!!). I would like to know if there are other options, perhaps with less dramatic results, like peels or other lasers. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 7

Is Fraxel my only option? (24/f, Caucasian, tan easily, light olive skin, hyperpigmentation from acne scars)

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The current gold standard treatment for resurfacing acne scars is Fraxel® laser. Please consult a board certified aesthetic dermatologist for a consult.

Miami Dermatologist

More Than One Option for Acne Scars & Hyperpigmentation

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Hi there. Your question is an excellent one. My first piece of advice is to be wary of any physician who says there is only one treatment option. That is rarely, if ever, the case. In your specific situation, Fraxel and Fraxel DUAL offer the versatility needed to get the results you want. The skin condition you describe can be stubborn when treated with other lasers, so Fraxel may indeed be your best bet. Nonetheless, other treatments may also work, although the results may not be quite as extensive. That may be enough of an improvement for you. I suggest you get a second opinion from a practice that offers you multiple options at different price levels, from at-home skin lightening products to physical treatments to lasers. Ultimately, the best treatment choice is one that you and a board-certified dermatologist agree on after a thorough discussion of each factor, including your skin condition, lifestyle, and budget. Good luck with your decision!

Susan M. Stuart, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

Acne scars and hyperpigmentation

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There are different types of acne scars, and the ideal treatment for you varies depending on which type of scarring you have. This is best determined with an in-person consultation.

Some options available to you include laser treatments (including Fraxel), hyaluronic acid fillers, microneedling, and subcision. Chemical peels with trichloracetic acid are useful to treat hyperpigmentation, and sometimes can improve the appearance of acne scars also.  

I recommend you consult with a Dermatologist who has experience with several different techniques.  For many patients with acne scarring, multiple methods of treatment are available.

Jill C. Fichtel, MD
Columbus Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Acne scars and hyperpigmentation

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Fraxel is a great treatment option for acne scarring and is sometimes a good choice for hyperpigmenation, but there are many other treatment options. I often treat acne scarring and hyperpigmentation in different ways. The best treatment depends on the type of scarring and the degree/type of hyperpigmenation you have. It is best to have a consultation with a board certified cosmetic dermatologist to determine the best plan. Based on your description above, a good treatment option for you, might be microneedling. Chemical peels are often very helpful for hyperpigmenation, but are not a great treatment for most acne scars. No matter which option you go with, you will likely need a series of 4-5 treatments. Take care.

Anne Marie Tremaine, MD
Naples Dermatologic Surgeon

Acne Scars and Hyperpigmentation

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There is a bid difference between acne scars and hyper pigmentation from acne.  The dark spots can be treated with bleaching creams and chemical peels.  The scars themselves require lasers.  I prefer the eMatrix for the type of acne scars that you are describing with your skin type.  Please consult a board certified dermatologist with expertise with lasers and scars.  Best, Dr. Green

Hi, I'm sorry that you're having to deal with complexion problems. There are a number of thi

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Hi, I'm sorry that you're having to deal with complexion problems. There are a number of things that can be done for you. There are many products that can help to lighten discoloration, many of them are very effective and not very expensive. Chemical peels and microdermabrasion are less expensive techniques that can help with pigmentary problems. I hope this heps ! 

Anna Magee, MD
Charlottesville Dermatologic Surgeon

Fraxel / Fractora

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Dear PineconeSquash, 

Thank you for your very valid question. Actually, indeed there is a much more advantageous treatment that comes in the form of Fractora, a fractionated radio-frequency treatment with hardly any downtime to speak of, that achieves great results both for chronic acne scars and for active acne as well, in addition to tightening and also  taking care of other texture issues such a s brown spots, large pores, fine wrinkles and deeper wrinkles too. This occurs in just one treatment. Specialising in non-invasive rejuvenation(in addition to surgery), I have eleven different machines in my office, including the Fraxel and have had the opportunity to compare results throughout the different modalities. You will love the Fractora results in just one treatment !

Best of luck in your quest, 
Dr. Anna Petropoulos
Boston's North Shore

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.