Fractional Co2 Vs. Fraxel Restore - Which is Better?

Is fractional Co2 better than Fraxel re:store in treating acne scars & large pores?

Doctor Answers 5

Fractional CO2 laser is an Excellent Resurfacing Modality

Although there are many "brands" of fractionated CO2 laser (eCO2, Deep FX, Fraxel Repair), you would be hard pressed to find any reliable data which showed one laser produced consistently better results.  There is no doubt, however, that fractionated CO2 lasers are able to produce more significant results than fractionated erbium lasers (Fraxel Restore).  The appropriate resurfacing modality used must be applied to treat the problem at hand.  Fractionated erbium lasers can help when the aging or sun related findings are minimal, but are less impressive as the indications are more significant.

Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 92 reviews


Hi Fed,

Fractional CO2 (Fraxel re:pair) is ablative and more powerful than the non-ablative erbium Fraxel re:store laser. In a 1-3 treatments acne scars are very much improved. Fraxel re:store is good for those patients unable or unwilling to undergo an ablative treatment. Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

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

Fractional CO2, like DEEP FX is a good choice for acne scarring treatment

There are several different kind of fractional CO2 lasers now. Active/ Deep FX and Fraxel Repair are the ones that are best studied, and also the ones that will probably give you the best result, provided you are a good candidate. Fraxel Restore is not likely to give you much improvement for acne scars or large pores.

Stella Desyatnikova, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Choosing the Right Fraxel for You

Both Fraxel Re:Pair ablative CO2 laser and Fraxel Re:Store non-ablative laser can do an excellent job in reducing acne scars and tightening pores. Which is best for you will depend partly on the evaluation your board-certified dermatologist makes of your skin and partly on your preferences. 

Re:Pair is a more heavy-duty treatment that can resurface your skin in only one session but will have up to two weeks or more of side effects, such as a reddened face and/or dryness. It is usually not appropriate for darker skinned individuals, as it may cause hyper- or hypopigmentation. 

Re:Store is gentle enough to resurface even extremely dark skin. It has no real side effects and is sometimes referred to as the “lunchtime laser,” as you can have a treatment during your break and go straight back to work. It takes several sessions to get results that are comparable to one treatment of Re:Pair. Please see a board-certified dermatologist with expertise in laser resurfacing to find out which Fraxel is best for you.

William Groff, DO
San Diego Dermatologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Fraxel For Acne Scars

Thank you for your question. At my practice, I have gotten excellent results for scarring with Fraxel. This treatment eliminates irregular skin discoloration, and stimulates new collagen production, tightening the skin without prolonged recovery. After a series of 2 to 4 Fraxel treatments, the cumulative cosmetic improvement is near more aggressive lasers, but unlike more aggressive lasers, redness and swelling eliminated within 2 to 4 days after each treatment. 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.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 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.