Does Fraxel Repair Require Fewer Treatments Than Fraxel Restore?

I have been hesitating between fraxel restore and repair. After reading some feedback, I have noticed that many people do not get remarkable results with the old version of fraxel. Now, with the new version of fraxel repair, I have become aware that the risk of getting scars and dark spots on the face is higher.

It has been almost 6 months of researching any procedure that will finally help my skin but I am still so confused! I am a 27 years old, latin (light tan), with minimun wrinkles under my eyes and small but many acne scars spread all over my face, some hyperpigmentation from sun exposure and most importantly, medium size pores next to my nose. Bottom line, I want to improve the overall look of my skin.

Would any Fraxel lasers help me? Please, I would appreciate if somebody can help me decide. I live in south Florida, and I am also in need of a good doctor that will perform this procedure. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 5

You probably need neither of these, but could use botox and IPL

Fraxel restore is not really all that amazing. We have one that hasn't been used for about 2 years. Now, the repair is pretty good, but it is best for women in their 40s who have crepey skin or major wrinkles. My guess is that you don't have these yet and can get by with intense pulsed light treatments, botox and maybe getting on the Obagi system.

Don't fall prey to a doctor trying to talk you into a major procedure. Laser procedures that are invasive such as the Fraxel repair are not usually good for people with Latin American type of skin and can cause all sorts of problems.

Make sure to go to a good dermatologist in your area or in Miami to see what they say and whatever you do, avoid medispas like the plague as they usually have little or no medical oversight and can end up causing problems that will be impossible or very difficult to reverse.

Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Fraxel restore may be a better option for acne scars in light hispanic skin

Both types of Fraxel, the restore and repair, will smooth the skin and decrease acne scars.  You mention you have a few wrinkles, too, but not many.  The repair is quite aggressive and may be more than you need.  It also has much more downtime and a higher risk of discoloration, especially in someone of your skin color.  In the right hands, the restore can give great results. 

It smooths and refreshes the skin, and smooths acne scars.  It is also safer option for darker skin types, with much less risk of discoloration and no reported scarring.  You will only have 2-3 days of downtime but you will need to have 4-6 treatments.  You need to see an experienced dermatologist who can look at your skin and evaluate your scars so you can determine which is the best option for you.

Jordana S. Gilman, MD
Washington Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Fraxel may help improve your skin

Deciding on which treatment is the best can be very frustrating and you do need to rely on your physician evaluating your risk/benefit profile and recommending what is the right treatment. This can not be done for you without seeing you in consultation. Fraxel Restore helps fine lines and coloration and with multiple treatments can help acne scars. There is a risk with this laser for darker skin color developing as a result of the treatment. The Repair laser is more aggressive, no doubt, and does carry more risks than the Restore. Its results can be better for wrinkles and scarring. You can research doctors in your area by searching for The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Yes, Fraxel should help

Hi Kiara,

Light Hispanic skin is the darkest skin type that can be safely treated with Fraxel re:pair. You would need to avoid that nice South Florida sunshine for at least 4 months after your treatment, using sun block, hats, avoidance. If patients want a dramatic result and can afford the 5 to 7 days of downtime, then I prefer Fraxel re:pair. If patients prefer a less aggressive therapy with nearly no downtime, then a Fraxel re:store series is the choice.

Your risk of dark spots is real unless you religiously avoid the sun and use protection. The risk of scarring is minimal if the treatment is performed properly. Choose your physician carefully.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Repair more effective, fewer treatments

The fraxel repair is a fractionated CO2 laser and the original Fraxel Restore is a lighter more gentle laser. Because of this, the Repair works faster with fewer treatments ( usually 1-2) but has more downtime. The recovery is usually 5 days of redness, mild swelling versus 1-2 days of mild redness with the Restore or comparable lasers. The more gentle Restore would normally require about 5 treatments for significant acne scars.

Both are good options for obtaining improvement in scars, but you should also consider the following. Acne scars come in many different shapes and types. When I treat a patient with scars I usually perform combinations of treatments to treat the different types of scars. These can include surgical removal, excision, of scars, focal treatment with TCA and then laser resurfacing. Fillers such as Radiesse can then be used to fill any residual scars.

Make sure you see a doctor who treats a lot of acne scars and who offers you a combination approach so that you can maximize your results.

Edgar Franklin Fincher, MD, PhD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.