How Often Can Fraxel Treatments Be Done?

Is it dangerous to undergo Fraxel treatments yearly? Is it common to have certain area of the body treated more often than others? For example, would the face and decolletage upper chest area need treatment more regularly?

Doctor Answers 4

Fraxel treatments and frequency

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Treatments done with the Fraxel restore laser are usually done every 4 weeks for a series of three to four treatment sessions depending on the condition being treated.  Treatments done with a Fraxel repair device, which are more aggressive treatments, are generally done as a single procedure.  In patients with acne scarring or deep wrinkles, additional procedures may optimize results.

Dallas Dermatologic Surgeon

How often should you get maintenance Fraxel treatments

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No matter what type of Fraxel treatment you get (ablative or nonablative), it is safe and smart to get yearly treatments. Your skin will, unfortunately, continue to age, and re-treating will help you regain lost collagen and help smooth out wrinkles that are re-forming.  Areas with more photodamage will probably show signs of aging more quickly, so they may need more frequent treatments.  This is something you should follow and discuss with your Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon.  Remember to protect your skin from ongoing sundamage with sunscreen and antioxidants, and to continue the repair process with topical retinoids and growth factors. A good skincare maintenance regimen will help you to continue the good results from Fraxel treatment. 

Deirdre O'Boyle Hooper, MD
New Orleans Dermatologic Surgeon

Frequency of Fraxel Laser Treatments

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It is safe to have multiple Fraxel treatments with all of the Fraxel lasers including restore, repair, and Dual.  As long as the skin heals without problems, once it has healed it is okay to go ahead with another Fraxel treatment.  It is certainly safe to have yearly treatments on the face and body.  Most importantly, choose your Fraxel physician most carefully.  Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

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

Fraxel Is Safe And Effective - Maintenance Treatments Can Be Performed Several Times Per Year

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The Fraxel laser is a fractional laser that treats only a (fraction) portion of the skin at one session. It therefore is associated with significantly less 'downtime' than more ablative and traditional laser resurfacing procedures. Following Fraxel treatment there is no oozing, no painful or lengthy recuperation, and less chance for infection, scarring, and hypopigmentation.
The Fraxel is a mid infra-red (Erbium Fiber, 1550nm) laser whose target is water. Using a robotic scanning mechanism, the individual laser beams create many microthermal zones (MTZs) of injury in the skin. Each is surrounded by small areas/amounts of untreated, normal epidermis. So each individual laser beam injury (MTZ) is an island of treatment surrounded by normal untreated skin. It is for this reason that the treatment is better tolerated and the recovery is faster. It is also for this reason that multiple treatment sessions are required to achieve a complete result.

Treatment is accomplished with the use of topical anesthesia and an external air cooling device for patient comfort. By design, each Fraxel laser treatment session usually targets about 25% of the skin’s surface.  Usually four treatments are therefore required to achieve at least 100% coverage of the skin surface. The skin surface is dry following treatment and can be treated similar to an intense sunburn. Flaking sometimes occurs, and the redness and swelling usually resolves in 5 -9 days depending upon the amount of treatment performed. Each Fraxel laser treatment session is spaced three to four weeks apart. Results are immediate and progressive. Sun protection is important between treatment sessions. After an initial full treatment series is complete, a maintenance treatment performed once to twice annually is helpful to maintain results. Areas that exhibit more sun damage, such as the face and décolleté, will look better with biannual maintenance as opposed to just a single maintenance treatment.

The Fraxel works well for acne and other types of scarring, as well as fine lines, wrinkles and photoaging. The Fraxel can be used on most skin types, and all over the face and body. It is good for off-face resurfacing of the neck and hands.

The Fraxel Laser is FDA approved for soft tissue coagulation, skin resurfacing procedures, and for the correction of periorbital lines and wrinkles and pigmented lesions, including age spots, melasma, sun spots and skin discoloration.  

Kenneth Dembny, II, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
4.9 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.