Fraxel or Photofacial for Fine Lines?

If cost is not a factor, which would be more effective between Fraxel or Photofacial for one series of treatment for fine lines and sun damage on my face and neck area? Thank you for your time.

Doctor Answers 6

Fraxel or Photofacial for fine lines

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A series of Fraxel Re:store treatments is much more effective in treating fine lines than intense pulsed light.

Toronto Dermatologist

IPL versus Fraxel for Fine Lines: There is a Clear Choice

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Intense Pulse Light (IPL) is scattered broad wavelength light and is not a laser.  IPL is good for a number of functions, including addressing brown spots, broken blood vessels, and addressing unwanted darker hair.  However, it is not ablative and the collagen regenerative function derived from IPL is mild at best.  In order to address fine lines, some form of ablative laser is best (CO2 or Erbium).  Fraxel is a brand of fractionated laser and exists in both Erbium and CO2 varieties.  In my practice, a form of fractionated CO2 laser is employed for fine lines (the eCO2made by Lutronic) and more sever changes.  The depth and severity of the lines dictates the power that is used; the more severe the sun damage and/or aging changes, the greater the intensity of treatment.  Fine lines can be addressed by a series of low energy treatments, whereas more significant changes (frequently seen in SW Florida) dictate greater energy for best results.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Fraxel vs IPL for fine lines and wrinkles

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IPL is a broad band light source and not a true "laser."  It is useful for office treatment to improve skin quality: tone, texture, pore size, and color.  IPL is more useful for problems with red color problems than brown pigment (melasma).  Fraxel Re:Store is a fractionated Erbium glass laser which improves skin quality as described above.  Like IPL, the Fraxel Re:Store is generally not very effective in improving fine lines and wrinkles.  The Fraxel Re:Store is more effective than the IPL in improving brown skin discoloration.  The Fraxel Re:Store Dual has an added wavelenght to help with removal of brown pigment.  Both the IPL and Fraxel Re:Store require multiple treatments (3 - 5)

For fine lines and wrinkles, I would recommend the Fraxel Re:Pair which is a more aggressive ablative laser.  Treatment of fine lines and wrinkles can be accomplished in a single treatment with the Re:Pair.  You can expect about a week of "downtime" before the skin has healed enough to allow wearing of cover-up mineral make-up.   

John L. Burns Jr., MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

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Fraxel or Photofacial for fine lines?

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Hi Reggie,

A series of Fraxel treatments will usually give you better results than a series of photo-facial treatments for fine lines and sun damage.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Most likely a combination of lasers is best

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Hi Reggie--contrary to popular belief, there is not one single best laser for treating what you describe. I often combine the Fraxel restore or Fraxel Repair with 2-4 other lasers in the same treatment session to get the best result. This doesn't increase your social downtime and the results are much better than using just one laser. Each laser has a very specific job....the laser that is best for wrinkles will not be the best for brown spots or capillaries. If a physician only owns one laser, thats all they are going to be able to recommend. Look for a dermatologist that performs all his/her own treatments, and has multiple lasers to address all of your concerns. Take care, Dr. Groff

William Groff, DO
San Diego Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Best treatment for fine lines

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Between photofacial and Fraxel, I would choose Fraxel for fine lines.  The Dual is more intense, therefore effective with skin texture than a photofacial.  However, the best laser would be an ablative laser, such as a CO2.  As you increase the intensity and efficacy of the laser, you increase the amount of downtime that you may need.  You should have a consultation with a skin evaluation by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to determine the best one for you!

Angela Sturm, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.