Fraxel Restore Vs. Fraxel Repair

Is the Fraxel repair laser a new version of the Fraxel laser (restore) that is already out? I can't really find any information that explains how Fraxel repair is different from Fraxel laser. Does Fraxel repair do the same stuff that Fraxel

Doctor Answers 17

Any laser treatment can cause complications, including Fraxel restore and Fraxel repair

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With all due respect to my colleagues who have responded thus far, I totally disagree that any laser is immune to complications. In the proper hands and relying on significant experience, the potential for risks should be minimal.

Still, we have seen patients who have come to us after having Fraxel treatments outside of our practice who are not only disappointed in the promises made to them but who also have problems with hypopigmentation.

Traditional CO2 resurfacing can in fact tighten skin and reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles, but expecting the same of any procedure that heals in less than a week is probably not very realistic, based on my 15 years of experience in performing laser procedures.

I utilize both the traditional and fractional technologies in our practice, but I spend more time telling patients what to expect and making sure they have realistic expectations than I do in performing the actual procedures.

Fraxel repair is the best laser for skin tightening and wrinkles

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The Fraxel re:pair has fractional laser technology that made the CO2 laser much safer than completely ablative CO2 lasers. The company has seen none of the risks that the older CO2 had - hypopigmentation, scarring, and lines of demarcation. The CO2 laser has been long regarded as the gold standard for wrinkles and tightening, but with the previously mentioned risks happening in about 15 percent of patients, it fell out of favor.

Another benefit of the Fraxel re:pair is the depth of penetration, up to 1.6mm, much deeper than the prior CO2 lasers which went 0.3mm as well as the 2 competitive lasers - Mixto - 0.7mm, and the Deep Fx, which is 1mm. Deeper treatments mean better results.

The other Fraxel (re:store) is an erbium laser, and is considered non-ablative (does not remove tissue) whereas the re:pair causes ablation. Removing tissue will result in more wrinkle correction and tightening. The CO2 also causes some peripheral heat damage which also leads to more tightening. The erbium causes very little peripheral heating.

There is more downtime with the re:pair but it's only one treatment. All my patients are extremely pleased with the re:pair, and I can't say that about the re:store.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Fraxel repair...Pre-emptive strike against facelift

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Hi Kim,

The new Fraxel re:pair is made by Reliant Technologies Inc., which is the same company that made the first fractionated lasers including the "Fraxel that is already out" (has been out for the past 3 years).

Re: pair is a completely different laser (CO2) while the "older laser" is a non-ablative fractionated erbium laser. They have renamed the older version Fraxel re: store (aka Fraxel 750 and Fraxel SR1500). The new re: pair is an ablative fractionated CO2 laser that tightens laxity of facial and neck skin with minimal downtime, risks, and complications that have been seen with the older traditional CO2 lasers.

Like the Fraxel re: store, the re: pair also treats brown pigment, age spots, scars, wrinkles, melasma (brown pigment of birth control pills and pregnancy), but the big difference is in tightening and deeper lines. Also red discolorations respond well with re: pair.

Unlike the previous Fraxel re: store, re: pair achieves this in a single treatment. Re: pair is more painful so a local anesthetic nerve block can be used, and the recovery time is greater than with re: store.

Be well.

Dr. P

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

Fraxel Repair and Fraxel Restore are made by Reliant Technologies

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Great question. Yes, both are from the same company, Solta, formerly called Reliant. The Fraxel Restore was the first to be developed. The Fraxel Repair came to market this year.

Both produce small holes in the skin leaving behind normal skin between the holes. The skin heals faster than the older carbon dioxide laser, which blasted away all the skin in the area.

The Restore produces minimal down-time, with redness and flaking for up to several days, but you are expected to be in public right away. The Repair treatments are of a deeper level and you have a solid three days, if not up to one week, of very red, almost oozing skin.

The wavelengths of the lasers are different. The Restore may improve texture, coloration, acne scars and fine lines. The Repair may improve deeper lines and even tighten sagging skin of eyelids and jowls.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Differences Between Fraxel Restore and Fraxel Repair

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The Fraxel Restore is a non-ablative laser. The most recent version of this laser, the “Fraxel Restore Dual,” is literally two lasers in one. The thulium laser in the Fraxel Restore Dual is excellent for improving brown spots and brown pigment in the skin. The erbium laser in the Fraxel Restore Dual is excellent for improving fine lines, scars, and skin texture. Patients get the most benefit from this laser when they have a series of treatments, generally two to four treatments, depending on what needs to be treated. Because this is a non-ablative laser, treatments with the Fraxel Restore Dual have no down time. If this laser has a weakness, it is that it does not tighten the skin very much, if at all.

The Fraxel Repair is an ablative laser and is a much more intense treatment. The treatments with the Fraxel Repair laser have five days of true downtime, a week off of work, and ten days to two weeks of significant redness. The benefit is that this laser is a very effective non-surgical tissue tightener and that most patients only need one treatment. These are two significant advantages that the Fraxel Restore Dual does not have. In addition, like the Dual, the Fraxel Repair will improve brown spots and brown pigment, fine lines, scars, and skin texture.

Talk to your doctor and explain clearly what you are trying to achieve. Both of these lasers are outstanding. This conversation with your doctor will help determine whether you are better served with the Fraxel Restore Dual or the Fraxel Repair.

Take care.
George Anterasian, MD

George Anterasian, MD
Santa Monica Facial Plastic Surgeon

Fraxel Repair and Fraxel Restore

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The Fraxel Restore is a nonablative laser (does not remove skin). The Restore is an Erbium glass laser. Because it is nonablative, it can be used by physician extenders such as physician assistants, nurses, aestheticians, or nurse practitioners. The Fraxel Restore laser is an excellent dermatologic lasers which will improve skin color (dyschromia), skin tone, texture, pore size, and overall quality. It is best for patients with early signs of aging who have minimal wrinkles and gravitational changes in the face (example: jowls). The Restore is used in a series and a recommended 3 to 5 treatments are necessary to achieve the desired result. There is very little downtime with this laser and it can be done as a "lunchtime" procedure. In addition, the Restore can be used periodically to keep the skin rejuvenated through a process called collagen remodeling.

The Fraxel Repair is a carbon dioxide fractionated laser (CO2) which is ablative meaning that skin or tissue is removed. An average of 20% of the skin surface can be removed in a single treatment which dramatically tightens the skin and improved wrinkels and gravitational signs of aging. The Fraxel Repair is usually done as a single treatment by a physician. The recovery is about 5 days to get back into makeup. This laser will do everything that the Restore will do but in a single treatment and has the added benefit of skin tightening and wrinkle reduction. It is generally best for patients in their 40s, 50s, and 60s who desire wrinkle reduction.

Fraxel repair vs Fraxel restore - Ablative vs non-ablative laser

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Fraxel Restore is a non-ablative laser. By that I mean, it does not remove the top layer of skin(epidermis). It works at a 1550nm wavelength. Because it is non-ablative, recovery time is faster, although multiple treatments are necessary to achieve desired results. Recovery time is minimal.

Fraxel Repair is an ablative fractional CO2 laser, that works at 10,600nm wavelength. It achieves better results for skin rejuvenation, often in a single treatment. It does have a recovery healing time of 3-7 days

When I consult with patients, not only do we look at the patient's skin concerns ,but also their skin type ,and what type of treatment program they are looking for. Many patients want a one-shot treatment ,even though there is downtime, whereas others would rather have multiple treatment sessions with no downtime.

Fraxel Re:store vs Re:pair

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Fraxel re:store
• Results are immediate and progressive. Optimal improvement is usually visible in about 2 to 3 months. This time frame and treatment structure allows for complete healing and replacement of damaged tissue with new collagen and elastin, and viable healthy skin cell growth.

Fraxel re:pair
• Results are immediate and progressive. In the three to six months after treatment, you'll get even more results as the deeper layers of skin continue to heal. Although, there are several different types of laser fraxel machines so make sure the laser is the right one for what you want treated.

Difference between Fraxel re:store and re:pair.

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Both lasers use fractionated technology, which means that they treat a fraction of the skin instead of the entire surface. They do this by treating microscopic columns of skin. The lasers differ in the way they treat those columns.

The re:store is non-ablative, which means it is not destructive, and the re:pair is ablative, which means that it destroys the columns of skin. The nonablative lasers heat the tissue and cause damage, and as the skin heals it pushes these damaged columns of skin up and out by laying down new healthy skin and collagen below them. The ablative lasers vaporize and remove those areas of skin at the time of treatment and the skin heals from the untreated skin between these columns.

What this means for the patient is that the nonablative laser will be more gentle; there is no oozing or crusting, and you will have much less downtime (2-3 days) whereas with the ablative laser you will have 7-10 days of downtime. And by downtime, I mean that you will need to take time off from work and all social activities. But what you can do with the re:pair in 1 or 2 treatments may need 5-6 with the re:store. It's a bit of a trade-off; downtime and aftercare on one hand and number of treatments on the other.

It's best to have a consultation with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon. You should explain your goals and expectations and understand what each laser will do and exactly what is involved in the process.

Jordana S. Gilman, MD
Washington Dermatologic Surgeon

Big differences

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Repair is fractional CO2. Restore is fractional erbium glass. The wavelenghts of energy are different. Repair is ablative. Restore is non-ablative.

Although others may disagree, I find Restore is more versatile and able to be safely used on more skin types. 

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.