Which option is better to treat acne scarring: IPL or Fraxel on pigmented skin? (Photo)

I have an olive complexion and would like to treat my acne scars and broken capillaries. The texture of my skin is also an issue. I've gone to two dermatologist, one says Fraxel is better and the other says Fraxel shouldn't be done on patients with pigment in their skin and recommends IPL. I have been on Minocycline and Tazorac for over a year and my acne is under control. I'm ready to treat the scarring, but would like to make sure I'm choosing the correct treatment for my skin.

Doctor Answers 6

Acne Scarring -- Requires a Combination of Fractional Laser Resurfacing, Fillers Like Bellafill, Subcision and Eclipse Micropen

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I find that a combiatnion approach is best with lasers, fillers, microneedling, subcision etc.  Please see an expert for a formal consultation.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 204 reviews

EMatrix for acne scars in dark or pigmented skin

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Fraxel and eMatrix are great options for acne scar treatment but eMatrix is advantageous because it is great for pigmented skin.

Dr Karamanoukian

Acne scarring treatment

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Fraxel is fine for olive skin, however, Infini is my choice for acne scarring. It is even safer for your skin type. IPL is not a good choice for acne scarring. "Broken capillaries" or telangiectasias, should be treated with the VBeam, IPL, or Excel V laser. See link.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Fraxel or IPL for acne scarring

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Thank you for your question.  Between fraxel and IPL, Fraxel is the way to go.  Fraxel is colorblind and safe in all skin types.  When treating scars, there are a number of treatments available and often people require a combination of treatments.  I do use Fraxel in most of my patients, but often combine it with PRP and/or subcision.

Good Luck!

Dr. Shah

Sejal Shah, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Multiple methods for skin concerns- Fraxel vs other lasers

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Always see someone who has the experience and equipment to find the best METHOD to treat your skin concern. The lasers and devices can be targeted to treat key problems e.g. Acne scars, or broken capillaries. Usually Specialists use different tools (lasers or energy devices to find the correct solution for your skin type). 

See the brief video below in the web reference that discusses various types of fractional devices and their role. 


Dr Davin Lim 
Laser Dermatologist
BRISBANE, Australia. 

Acne Scarring on Dark Skin Patients and Best Treatment

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I am so glad that you asked that question.  I have all of these lasers.  IPL will work as well as the V-Beam for the red marks.  IPL will not help for the acne scars.  Fraxel and eMatrix both work well on acne scars but if you have darker skin you are much better having the eMatrix since this laser can penetrate deep into the skin and does not cause any hyper pigmentation.  Please consult an expert.  Best, Dr. Green

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.