Fraxel Vs Active FX

which is better for skin resurfacing by laser: Fraxel laser or Active FX?

Doctor Answers 6

Fraxel vs. ActiveFX: So you want to look younger?

Active FX is a fractional CO2 laser. Active FX penetrates to a maximum of about 300 um or 0.3 mm. It is a superficial treatment that treats pigment and fine to moderate wrinkles with minimal tightening of the skin.

Active FX can accomplish its effects in one or more treatments. The downtime is 4-5 days of swelling and redness.

Fraxel has two different lasers:

1. Fraxel re:store (and re:fine), which are non-ablative fractional Erbium lasers.

They treat pigment and fine to moderate wrinkles up to a maximum of 1400 um or 1.4 mm deep, again with mild tightening on the face. It requires a series of 4 or more treatments. There is very minimal downtime (sunburn for two days).

2. Fraxel re:pair, the newest addition, is an ablative fractional CO2 laser that treats up to 1700 um or 1.7 mm deep.

It can treat both superficial pigment (brown and red) as well as fine, moderate, and deep wrinkles with impressive skin tightening in a single treatment. The downtime is two days of weeping skin, and another 5-7 days of redness, but the results are dramatic.

Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Fraxel re:pair is better - deeper, smaller penetrations

Let me add a couple more points.

  • The Fraxel re:pair has microscopic zones that penetrate thru the skin - 1/10th the size of a human hair. The Active Fx uses a much larger spot size.
  • The Active Fx doesn't get nearly as deep as the Fraxel re:pair. The Deep Fx is closer to the Fraxel re:pair, getting about 1mm in depth, but the re:pair gets 1.6mm.

All 3 lasers - Active Fx, Deep Fx, and Fraxel re:pair are CO2 lasers and CO2 will be the best for scars, wrinkles, tightening and usually require only one treatment. (I'm fairly certain my depth numbers are correct; sorry for the conflicting data.)

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

I prefer the FX system because it is more highly powered

The FX system has a higher power source allowing for the energy to be delivered in shorter bursts. This creates less thermal heating and permits greater energy delivery in shorter durations and thus less discomfort.  Both systems can lead to good results if performed appropriately, but for my patients who have experienced both, mose seem to prefer the FX for comfort and results.

David W. Kim, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

ActiveFX was proven to be more effective than Fraxel

In a study, one ActiveFX was proven to give better results in skin texture, repairing discoloration and overall appearance than 5 treatments with Fraxel.

I hope my answer was helpful.

Steven E. Rasmussen, MD, FAAD
Austin Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Physician experience is more important than specific brand of Fractional CO2 Laser

In my opinion, the difference between Active FX, Fraxel Repair, Mixto etc is subtle. It is more important to recognize that the technology, Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing is the new gold standard for rejuvenation, acne scar revision and reversal of sun damage. It is equally critical for you to choose an experienced board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who has a team of aesthetic professionals who can personalize pre-op and post-op skin care routine specific to your skin type and priorities.

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

Fraxel Vs Active FX

The distinction between the Active FX and the fractional CO2 laser is nominal, and each laser has advantages depending on the treatment to be performed. The more important aspect is to choose an experienced and expert practitioner who understands when to choose a specific treatment and when you may need to combine modalities.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 41 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.