Will Fraxel Re:pair Clear Acne on Asian Skin?

Hi, I'm an asian male, between a 3 to a 4 on the Fitzpatrick scale. I have acne scarring as a result of the accutane I went on a couple of years ago. I have had seven fraxel re:store treatments in attempts to heal my scarring, but the results have been minimal. I have a few depressed boxcar scars and some rolling scars mainly on my cheeks, but I don't think I have any icepicks.

I am heading in for my 8th re:store treatment in a week or two. My doctor has offered the re:pair to me, but since he has never actually tried the re:pair laser before, I am a bit concerned. To me, hope seems to be dwindling as the days go by. I need to know if I should give the re:pair a shot or try any other options, whether it be temporary or permanent.

Since I have asian skin, the hyperpigmentation concern is a big one for me. Will fraxel re:pair work for me?

Doctor Answers 3

Keep hyperpigmentation in mind with Fraxel for Asian skin

I have done asian skin for acne scars with the Fraxel re:pair (See my photos). Hyperpigmentation can occur with asian skin but keep in mind, it is usually easily controlled if treated quickly and aggressively. It is usually not permanent. Preventative measures by applying hydroquinones before and after will minimize your chances of hyperpigmentation. Steve Weiner, MD Facial Plastic Surgeon Destin, Florida

Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

No, it won't. You have learned the hard way that acne scarring isn't usually helped by lasers

Having used lasers ranging from the older CO2 to the newer Fraxel erbium:glass and Fraxel re:pair, I can state emphatically that acne scars such as you are describing don't usually respond in any meaningful way to these lasers. That is why I turn down more patients than I accept when they come in for laser treatment of acne scars.

The bad news is that you have undergone 8 procedures and still haven't had improvement. The even worse news is that you are about to go back to the same individual who has misled you for a *ninth* procedure. Wise up and go get a second opinion, hopefully with someone who doesn't continually suggest the same procedure that isn't helping.

A couple of items to address: the accutane didn't cause your acne scars, in fact it probably kept you from getting more. Accutane is an incredible drug that typically improves acne scarring more than all laser treatments combined. In fact, it is the first thing I suggest for patients if they have severe acne and scarring.

Last point to address: Asian skin and lasers like the re:pair aren't a good match. It is quite possible that you will trade a bad situation for a worse situation, especially in someone who has little or no training with this type of laser. This is not a simple laser and certainly you don't want to be someone's experiment.

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Asian Skin Acne Scarring and Fraxel re:pair

Hi Hernis,

Fraxel re:pair should work for you given your description of your skin.  I agree with Dr. Weiner that you should use hydroquinones before and after your treatment to minimize the chances of PIH.  Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

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