Active FX Vs. Fraxel Repair - What's the Difference?

Can you compare Lumenis Active FX and the Fraxel Repair, Which one works better on wrinkles, brown spots, skin tightening? How about pain and recovery time? Which is easier to use and less room for error? If a fractional CO2 only treats a certain % of the skin, how can it totally remove brown spots. Can it get rid of pre cancerous spots?

Doctor Answers 3

Fraxel Repair goes much deeper than ActiveFX

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Fraxel repair and ActiveFX are both fractional CO2 lasers but made by different companies. Fraxel Repair is made by Reliant, and ActiveFX is made by Lumenis.

The ActiveFX is a superficial treatment that is excellent for removing pigment and superficial sun damage, but wrinkle removal is less than with the deeper penetrating Fraxel Repair.

Lumenis, the company that makes ActiveFX also makes a laser called DeepFX which is comparable to the Fraxel Repair.

In addition to these fractional CO2 lasers there are also fractional Erbium lasers-Profractional, Lux2940, and others. Generally speaking recovery times are less and pain is less with the Erbium lasers.

Properly done by an experienced doctor, end results of the best CO2 and Erbium lasers are similar.

ActiveFX & Fraxel are both CO2 Fractional lasers. Different companies, same wavelengths.

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They are BOTH CO2 Fractional lasers. Different companies same wavelengths. Often companies claim that "deeper is better" for the tightening aspect. Deeper also means, longer recovery times and I have yet to see 1 study that shows it is necessary to achieve similar results.

There are many CO2 fractional lasers on the market today such as: "Affirm CO2 Micro Ablative" (which I have and LOVE IT!) and many more. My "Affirm CO2 is extremely comfortable as I can dial in the depth of penetration and proximity of 1 spot to another and is extremely fast with my scanner taking about 10-15 minutes for a full facial treatment. I also use what my patients tell me is by far the most comfortable on the market a "Frozen Air Cooling system" called a SmartCool 6.

So it would be great for you if they have this cooling feature which greatly increases your comfort and safety. Great questions! Multiple treatments to remove it all but very good results in just 1 treatment. Really depends on the individual skin conditions. Usually 1-2 with my unit. As far as brown spots,

I utilize an Alexandrite laser to remove benign brown pigmented lesions. In this way I can remove in 1 fast, inexpensive treatment and I check them for cancer 1st. It is critically important to have these checked by a Dermatologist before you "blast them off"! If they are precancerous or cancer and you remove all but a few cells you may have cancer and not know it as, it is this type of "indicator" (the spot) that us Dermatologists look for to screen you for cancer.

Always check before lasing over any suspicious spots or moles! I also utilize 3 forms of Photodynamic therapies to remove precancerous lesions with Levulan, L.E.D. IPL and my Cynergy Multiplex Dual (wavelength sequentially firing) Vascular laser (Which I feel is the Gold Standard" for vascular).

As far as, the CO2 Fractionals, Micro-ablatives, Same lasers really, it all depends on "who is operating it. Choose the most experienced doctor with a great selection of premier technologies.

Shino Bay Aguilera, DO
Fort Lauderdale Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Active FX vs. Fraxel Repair

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The Active FX is a much more superficial treatment than is the Fraxel Repair. The Active FX will do a better job on brown spots than the Fraxel Repair. Conversely, the Fraxel Repair will do a better job on wrinkles.

The real comparison is between the Fraxel Repair and the Deep FX laser. We recently completed a study comparing these two systems. Neither the Fraxel Repair nor the Deep FX laser is as effective on brown spots as is the Active FX laser. However, both the Deep FX and the Fraxel Repair work equally well on treating wrinkles.

David Goldberg, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 4 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.