It might be best to find out from a doctor who uses both devices. I only have the Fraxel but IPL is less expensive per treatment usually and can lighten the dark spots well in many individuals. Fraxel can help texture and dark spots and is more costly, but can produce long term improvement even in scarred skin from acne. There are several different IPL devices and the older ones had more complex settings. Newer devices are safer.
IPL or Fraxel for brown spots
For most discreet brown "age" spots I agree with Dr. Pilest. I usually use an Alexandrite laser and treat each individual lesion. The results with this laser are usually very good and relatively few treatments are needed (1-3 on average). If there is a lot of background blotchy brown skin or redness then I may use an IPL or fractionated laser device to address the entire skin surface, but I STILL use my Alexandrite for those individual spots because it is so effective and easy for the patient. The Alexandrite laser can usually be performed at the same time as these other lasers for a more directed and effective treatment overall.
I do not think either Fraxel or IPL is great for removal of individual "age" spots.
IPL vs Fraxel for age spots
Without seeing your "age spots" and their location and number, it's hard to give a definite answer. If you have only a few spots, you might find a simple diode laser (like Diolite) will do the trick at a very low cost.
IPL is good for more diffuse pigmentation and redness, so if you have that dual problem, then I'd suggest IPL.
Fraxel is recognized for both smoothing the skin and evening out color. Typically you'd have several treatments of Fraxel Restore but you get multiple benefits of Fraxel.
Another option could be an alexandrite laser. We use all four of these plus other treatments to deal with brown spots caused by sun exposure (and that's where ages spots start!)
It's a good idea to see a dermatologist who has a wide selection of lasers. That way you have options that give you benefits in
- how quickly a treatment will do what you want
- how much you wish to spend
- downtime or no downtime options
- other extra benefits that may be attached to specific treatment choices
After any of these treatments, you'll want to prevent new spots. An SPF 30 sunblock is a good idea. Some of our patients have their hands treated and then start using driving gloves. Hands wrapped around a steering wheel are consistently prone to spotting.
Fraxel re:store Laser or IPL for "Age Spots"?
Both IPL and Fraxel re:store laser have been used successfully for the treatment of "age spots". Our experience has been that the reappearance of the spots is less frequent with Fraxel re:store. Fraxel re:store treats fine to moderate lines better, while IPL treats red spots better.
After both treatments it is essential that you protect the investment that you have made in your skin by using excellent skin care products, sun block, and avoid excessive sun exposure.
Good luck and be well.
Which between IPL or Fraxel Laser is better for age spots?
Good question -
Let's define age spots. They can be generated from sun damage, "other" factors -medication, trauma, hormones, just getting older.... It there is a hormonal component, it could make things more difficult for you / anyone.
Either technology can reduce undesirable brown. There are brown spots and then, there are BROWN spots all over. I wish you sent a picture of your problem so that i could be more specific. You should also consider a light chemical peel as a possible option.
Given what I know, I would suggest IPL. It gives you the advantage of also reducing undesirable "red" that may be disguised by the brown discoloration. This is very important - there are many unhappy patients that see more red on their face after the brown is reduced. Both Fraxel and IPL can help with fine wrinkles. In general, IPL has less of a recovery time.
Hope this helps. If you can send your picture, I may be more helpful