Does fraxel help acne?

I have really bad acne and I want to know, will Fraxel help treat my acne?

Doctor Answers 9

Fraxel is not indicated for acne treatment

Fraxel is generally not indicated for the treatment of active acne. There are better options for this and one of the most aggressive is ALA phototherapy.

However, Fraxel can be beneficial in providing some improvement to the scarring or irregular pigmentation that occurs as a result of acne.

There are numerous other modalities including IPL treatment which have demonstrated varying responses.

It is best to consult with a physician who has multiple modalities on hand to offer you the best treatment for your specific conditions and concerns.

I hope this helps.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Fraxel for Acne Scars

Fraxel is not the best treatment for active acne, though it is quite effective for the treatment of both acne scarring and hyperpigmentation from acne.  The most effective laser and light treatments for improving active acne are the Isolaz laser (which uses a broad-spectrum light to kill bacteria and a gentle vacuum to clean out the pores) and Photodynamic Therapy (which uses LED light and a medication called aminolevulinic acid to kill the acne-causing bacteria on the skin.)

Eric Schweiger, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Fraxel treats acne scars but not acne.

When I see patients who have significant acne, I tell them that first we have to get the acne under control and then treat the scars from the acne.  If there is pigmentation, then the 1920 setting of the Fraxel Dual would be a adjuvant treatment for that condition. Other lasers such as the V-Beam or Blue light lasers will treat acne.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Fraxel laser is not a treatment for active acne.

Fraxel laser is not a treatment for active acne. Fraxel laser will significant help acne scarring, but has no beneficial effect on active acne. Other lasers with 'green' light wavelength (such as KTP lasers) as well as Blue Light sources (not a laser) can improve active acne.

Leyda Elizabeth Bowes, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Does Fraxel Laser Work for Acne?


Fraxel Restore and Repair both help with acne scars but do not help with active acne.  In fact, after Fraxel Restore, some patients may have minor breakouts as the laser treated dots start to exfoliate.  For acne scars, a series of Restore Treatments performed on a high energy setting help a lot with minimal down time.  Repair does the most improvement as a one time treatment but be prepared for one week of downtime.  Ask you physician what is best for you and your lifestyle.

Grace Liu, MD
Newport Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Fraxel for acne

Fraxel is a great way to treat acne scars, but it is not a good treatment for active acne breakouts. Fraxel will resurface the skin and smooth away acne scars.

However, the treatments may trigger an acne breakout in people who are prone to acne. And some people will notice the appearance of little acne-like bumps, even if they do not normally have a problem with acne.

If you have acne and acne scars, get treated for your acne first before you have Fraxel.

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

Fraxel for Acne Treatments

We do not advocate using the Fraxel laser for active acne. The resurfacing benefits of Fraxel are suited for acne scars, but not acne. If you are looking for acne options, consider photodynamic therapy with ALA (amino luvulanic acid), the Aramis laser, the Smoothbeam laser or Blu-u treatments. All would be better options than Fraxel. Good luck.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Fraxel for Acne

Fraxel can be used to improve acne but there are many other methods that are less costly than Fraxel. Fraxel is good for acne scarring but not as a treatment modality for acne itself. A variety of other lasers can be helpful in the treatment of acne.

David Goldberg, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Fraxel or Fractionated CO2 Laser Resurfacing may make active acne worse

Acne should be in remission prior to fractionated laser resurfacing such as Fractional CO2 Laser or Fraxel. You would be asked to apply copious amount of emollient which can be comedogenic and trigger more acne outbreak. Ideally, you should get a board-certified dermatologist involved who can guide you steps to minimize acne outbreak and customize a post-op skin care routine to prevent acne flare after laser resurfacing.

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 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.