Fraxel Refine Vs Fraxel Restore for Lip Lines?

I am 57 and can't decide if Fraxel Re:fine is worth doing or should I just do Fraxel Laser (Re:store). I am particularly interested in minimizing lip lines and smoothing the skin (which looks pretty good for my age given I haven't ever even had a Facial). Thanks.

Doctor Answers 7

CO2 laser resurfacing is the best!

Hi Cowgirl Sue--the best way and the only way to predictably remove lip lines is to use, traditional, multiple-pass CO2 laser resurfacing in combination with an erbium laser. We own the Fraxel repair and restore, as well as the Active FX laser, and I can tell you that these can be disappointing for this problem. Fractional devices are not the gold standard for this......traditional CO2 laser resurfacing is. Don't get me wrong, I love my Fraxel repair, but not for this. I will often times combine this technique on the upper lip with the Repair on the rest of the face. Check out my before and after photos on Realself and you will see some great examples of this. Take care, Dr. Groff

San Diego Dermatologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Second CO2 as the best!

Agreed, CO2 is the best, I usually treat with either full CO2 resurfacing, depending on the severity of wrinkling, or a combination of Erbium laser AND fractional CO2. 
Good results can be achieved with multiple fractional treatments, but the time tested full resurfacing combo works best. The trick is to BLEND the surrounding skin so the lips don't look too obvious. I never do just one area- blending achieves the best results. 


Dr Davin S. Lim 
Laser and Cosmetic Dermatologist

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Fraxel re:Pair for lip lines

Neither Fraxel re:Fine or re:Store would likely give you enough improvement in lip lines. The Fraxel re:Pair has been a workhorse in my office for such problems and with quite good results. Depending on how deep the lines are, a second session can be performed several months later. A fully ablative CO2 laser just has too much down time for most patients to consider this treatment mode. Withing about 3 days you will be able to cover the Fraxel re:Pair with makeup because at that point you are only red for 2-3 weeks.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Lip lines and Fraxel

Lip lines are very stubborn. Even with the most aggressive laser resurfacing procedure, the lines often reappear once the swelling goes away after a few weeks. The muscle moves below the skin during speech and eating, two habits we don’t want to avoid doing, and the skin creases again. Fraxel Re:fine is not expected to give you much long term improvement for these lines. Sometimes Fraxel Re:store helps along with maintenance very low dose Botox for the upper lip; but, there is a chance of undesired muscle weakness in the lip creating difficulty with pronouncing certain letters. Sometimes a small amount of a filler can also help. You will need to see a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to have an examination and discuss your options.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Your best option for lip lines is Fraxel Repair not Refine or Restore

Lip lines are usually deep and Fraxel Refine or Restore will not improve them much.

You can improve these lines  by injecting a filler and Botox however your best bet is Fraxel repair although there is down time with this procedure but the results are usually great.

Good luck.

Nissan Pilest, MD
Irvine Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Fraxel Re:fine or Re:store for Vertical Lip Lines; Neither, Go for Fractionated CO2

Howdy Cowgirl,

Round up a Fraxel re:pair or Deep FX for those lines partner.  The re:fine is a tuned down re:store, and re:store doesn't do a whole lot for vertical lip lines.

Dr. Lupo has answered your question thoroughly.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

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

Go for the gold- get the Repair

Refine would be a total waste of time. Even Restore gives little benefit to those pesky lipstick lines. The only lasers worth doing are the Fraxel Repair and the Lumenis Deep FX. Even those very good lasers may require 2 sessions.

Another option is combining a tiny bit of Botox with either Juvederm or Restylane. This would give an immediate benefit with no social downtime, but will need to be repeated every 6-12 months. The fractional lasers (Repair and Deep FX) at least give results that last years (but does have 7 days downtime)

Talk to your board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to discuss your best option.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 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.