How Does EMatrix Compare to Fraxel Laser?

I heard that Fraxel Laser is permanent but it won't stop the signs of aging. I know that. Is eMatrix also permanent like Fraxel??

Doctor Answers 5

EMatrix and Fraxel - both permanent effects but by different technology

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Both eMatrix and Fraxel Resurfacing systems do create some permanent changes in skin tissue. How much is noticed by you (or others) depends on your initial "problem" and the energy levels applied.

Fraxel is a laser and eMatrix is not a laser as the energy type used is not the same.

Fraxel (Restore, not the Repair*)  uses focused  laser energy to superheat the skin in linear columns to create a thermal response. When you heat skin tissue, the desired reaction is new collagen formation. The single drawback to Fraxel or other true laser as opposed to nonlaser energy such as Radio Frequency (as in eMatrix) is the higher degree of risk for post treatment hyperpigmentation with skins that have more pigment producing cells. (*The Fraxel Repair is a CO2 laser which actually vaporizes columns of tissue - for comparatives this response refers to the Restore which is erbium laser)

Fractional vs Full surface technology: Because fractional laser does not treat the entire skin surface, you have far less downtime and risks as with full surface laser and accordingly, you have a lesser response to the treatment. This is why most patients will require more than one session to get appreciable results for anything more than mild sun damage or textural irregularities.

eMatrix also uses focused fractional energy but it is Radio Frequency energy, not laser. The thermal response is not confined to a column as laser is - it tends to spread out more broadly beneath the top layer of the skin, so you get the collagen response without a direct corresponding level of external damage to the skin.

The company has termed the effect as "sublative" in that much more is going on than you actually see....somewhat like a pyramid shape as the heat energy fans out after it penetrates the skin. For the most part, RF energy doesn't stir up melanin production so it's seen as a more desirable treatment for some skin types.

Collagen response continues after the superheating from either system for about 6 months at which time what you see is the final response.

As far as stopping the signs of aging, we continue to age no matter what process we apply to our skin, and collagen breakdown will continue as before - With Fraxel or eMatrix you just got a push back in time  with the new elastin and collagen fibers your body created as a result of the heat energy.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

EMatrix for acne scars versus Fraxel - Williamsville, NY

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Thank you for this question, as it guides patients as to which procedure (Fraxel or eMatrix) have utility in scar management.

Fraxel uses laser energy and is disruptive in a good way, violating the epidermis and causes 'fractional depth' injury to the skin to help stimulate collagen production.

eMatrix is SUBLATIVE as it avoids the superficial most layer of the skin, the epidermis. It also uses radiofrequency (RF) energy source, not laser. As such, it has no effect on the pigmentary properties of the skin. This is used as a beneficial way, esp in darker skin Fitzpatrick scales 4-6.

We use eMatrix in our Santa Monica, CA office (Kare Plastic Surgery) and our Williamsville, NY office.

It depends on many factors

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Like Dr Fitzgerald says, Fraxel is a laser whilst EMatrix is RF or Radiofrequency. Comparison of each machine is different as one uses focused energy in a SPECIFIC wavelength ie. laser, and the other uses energy from resistance to heat up the lower surface of your skin, remodelling collagen, with relative sparing of the upper surface of the skin. Laser on the other hand has to penetrate the upper surface to get to the dermis. 

Ematrix and Fraxel can be adjusted according to wavelengths, passes, energy levels etc... so comparison is very difficult. 

I would flip the question and ask 'What are you trying to achieve with your skin type in mind?'

Dr Davin Lim
Cosmetic Dermatologist

Ematrix versus Fraxel Laser

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Both Ematrix and Fraxel are excellent lasers.   They use different technologies.  Fraxel is a laser that uses fractionated heat and works with two different wavelengths - the 1927 for pigmentation and the 1550 for wrinkles and acne scars.  Ematrix works by RF technology by heating up the skin.  Both devices work through heating the skin - just in different ways.  Both machines will improve the signs of aging.  "Permanent" would mean that we are not going to continue to age.  They both give excellent results.  One advantage for Ematrix is that it can be used on darker skin such as Indian or Black skin and I prefer it for darker skin types for rejuvenation. 

Ematrix for acne scars

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Ematrix is not a laser and uses sublative energy to improve acne scars. We have obtained excellent longterm results with the ematrix. 


Dr. Karamanoukian 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 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.