How Effective is Fraxel Repair for Acne Scars?

Honestly, is Fraxel repair really that great? Why don't I see any really happy stories regarding acne scarring with it? Why don't i see photos? Where are these ''great results for acne scars'' or is this all marketing ploy?

I know I'm not going to able to leave my house for at least another week. This isn't fair. We deserve better techs than this. A bloody red face for 3+ days and erythema for SURE for the next 4 months and then either no improvement or what I've been seeing mostly 5-10% reduction in scars.

Doctor Answers 3

Fraxel re:pair for Acne Scars

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Hi Sami,

I have seen very nice results with Fraxel re:pair for acne scarring. The four patients that I treated who had very nice results after one treatment will not give me permission to put their before and after photos online.

Most patients with moderate to severe acne scarring will require 2 to 3 treatments, separated by about 6 months. As the technology has only been out since January 2008, there are not any patients in my practice who have completed multiple treatments to post.

Erythema (skin redness) should last 4 to 8 weeks, not 4 months.

As you know, acne scarring is a very debilitating and difficult condition to treat. Fortunately, Fraxel re:pair gives acne scar patients the hope of improving the tone, texture, and color of their skin.

I wish you well with your treatments. Be well.

Dr. P

Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Acne scar photos have been on Realself

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I have posted photos on Realself of at least 2 acne scar clients. I don't think there is a better treatment available. If you have deep, icepick or boxcar scars, you need to have these treated first with TCA cross. The physician must be upfront regarding the results and post operative care.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

I don't do it for that indication because it doesn't give very good results.

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Sadly, there are way too many claims and doctors who are willing to do procedures that have little or no benefit. After having done the much more aggressive CO2 laser procedure for acne scarring back in the 90s, I found that very few patients had good or great results.

Some results were pretty good, but it wasn't predictable enough to make me feel good about taking folk's money and being able to deliver. Does it give some results? Yes. But are the results demonstrable enough to make it worth the prolonged recovery time, danger of infection and potential scarring from the actual procedure? Not in my mind.

Although I own the Fraxel re:pair and re:store, I rarely encourage patients to do the re:pair. The re:store (or Palomar 1540) is a fair treatment for scarring and doesn't result in much, if any down time.

By the way, in my estimation, the best treatment for acne scarring is a little well-placed Restylane. It works much better on the types of scars that respond to it, has literally no down time and is much less expensive than re:pair.

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 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.