If Fraxel is So Great, How Come It Didn't Work for Me?

Doctor Answers 8

Fraxel has indications

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Depending on your condition you're seeking to improve, Fraxel Restore may not be the right laser for you. Possibly you would have benefited by Fraxel Repair or Dual, or vice-versa.  If you had Restore, you might not have had sufficient energy settings or not enough treatment. Improvement also occurs for six months after the treatment as more of your own collagen forms.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Does Fraxel Work?

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The Fraxel laser works by punching tiny holes in the skin, that with healing, leads to an improved cosmetic appearance.  Fraxel laser requires requires multiple treatments.  The number of treatments is determined both by the target goal as well as the settings of the laser.  If the laser is used a low level, more sessions are needed, but there may be less down time.  If it is used a higher setting, you may require fewer sessions, but the procedure is associated with more down time.

Joshua Zeichner, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist

Several reasons as to why Fraxel may not work

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The are many different potential answers to the question of why a particular laser "worked" for you or not. Below are a few.

  • Practitioners must choose the correct patients for the correct lasers to get good outcomes.
  • Practitioners must set realistic expectations to end up with satisfied patients.
  • Lasers must be used specifically for the conditions they are designed to treat.

Regarding the Fraxel laser treatment. We have found that most of our patients that have undergone Fraxel treatments at other facilities that they were not happy with did not have the correct expectations set for them, especially when it comes to the amount of downtime. Every Fraxel patient that we have ever met that has been happy with their results has had at least 5-7 days of redness and swelling. The old saying "no pain, no gain" really does apply when trying to get the best results for your laser treatments.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Does Fraxel work for everyone?

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The questions I have for you are:

1. What were you trying to improve?

2. What skin type are you?

3. who did your treatment and what is their Board certification in?

4, Did the doctor do your treatment?

5. How many treatments did you have and which Fraxel was used?

With this info I can help you. Thanks, Dr. Groff

Fraxel is a great laser but there are several indications

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If you are having Fraxel laser for deep lines or perioral wrinkles around the mouth or acne scars, you will need a series of treatments.  It depends on what condition you are treating and the settings that you are having and the energy used to treat the area.  True collagen remodelling goes on for several months after the treatment.

Fraxel Re:store

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This depends on several factors. If you only scheduled one treatment, this could be a cause of
your dissatisfaction. Fraxel Re:store was created to be used over the course of several treatments
for optimal results. Some patients are skeptical about needing upwards of three and four
treatments, but this is very normal given the nature of the nonablative laser. Again, if you are
unhappy with your results, I would consider a follow-up procedure or consulting a medical
professional. You want to make sure that whoever is administering your treatment is certified
and experienced enough to give you the results you deserve.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Evaluating Fraxel outcome

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Fraxel laser treatments improve the skin's condition in everyone who is treated, but people see different degrees of results. The results you see will depend on multiple factors. You must consider your starting point and your expectations when thinking about whether Fraxel "worked" for you. Some of the important points to consider are: What exactly were you treating? Do you want an overall gentle smoothing and refreshing or do you have pitted acne scars or deep wrinkles? Did you only have one treatment or did you have a complete series? Depending on the issue you are trying to address you may need 6 treatments or more, or you may see great results after 3 or 4 treatments. What was the strength of your treatment? Stronger treatments give more noticeable results but also cause more redness and swelling. If you are not able to tolerate 2 to 3 days of downtime and require lower strength treatments, then you will have more subtle changes from your treatments. What is your skin type and do you have a history of melasma? If so, then the doctor may need to keep the energy settings lower. And just as important as the treatment itself is the care you give your skin after the treatment, including using sunscreen and staying out of the sun, and not smoking.

Jordana S. Gilman, MD
Washington Dermatologic Surgeon

Fraxel works!

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It is tough to answer this question.  Expectations must be in line with what the Fraxel can do.  It is ideal for pigment, fine lines and photodamage as well as acne scars.  Multiple treatments are necessary. Some conditions such as melasma may not respond.  If Fraxel did not give satisfactory results you might consider a more aggressive laser such as Active Fx.  If severe skin laxity is the problem then the appropriate procedure may in fact be a face lift.  Discuss your expectations with your physician or get a second opinion to get a better idea of your options.

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 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.