Can You Do a "Light" Fraxel Treatment to Reduce Redness and Swelling?

Is it possible to do a light fraxil treatment to prevent redness and swelling? I am told the fraxil is a very extreme treatment compared to IPL, and I was wondering whether there were varying degrees of the treatment? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 2

Light Fraxel treatment

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Fraxel Restore can absolutely be done at light settings so as not to acquire too much redness or swelling. The lighter settings could be a lower density of the fractional beams of laser energy per unit area as well as lowering the energy fluence. Higher energies penetrate deeper so that acne scars receive up to 50 to 70milliJoules whereas improvement of photodamage begins at 10 mJ or so. Densities can range from 6 or 7 to 11 or more. If the reaction is not significant than there won't be substantial deep treatment.  You want to make sure that your condition will respond to a light setting, otherwise it's not worth going through the treatment. Fraxel Repair is a more aggressive laser and it would not give you a minimal downtime even with light settings.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Fraxel downtime

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Fraxel is a fractionated laser meaning that the laser beam is broken up into tiny pieces known as microthermal zones.  It targets water in the skin in comparison to IPL devices (broadband light sources) also known as Fotofacial devices.  There are 3 different lasers in the Fraxel family of lasers:  Re:Fine, Re:Store, and Re:Pair.  The Re:Store is the most commonly used Fraxel.  The recovery with Fraxel Re:Store usually is limited to one to two days of redness and swelling which is generally longer than with an IPL device. 

The amount of redness and swelling increases with stronger treatments.  A less aggressive treatment would result in less redness and swelling but the result would also be minimal.  More aggressive treatments will give better results so there is a balance between too much and not enough power.  Discuss carefully with your surgeon and make sure you are on the same page before proceeding. 

John L. Burns Jr., MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 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.