What laser is better for brown spots and broken capillaries on face, Fraxel Dual or IPL?

Doctor Answers 6

Treating brown spots and broken capillaries on the face

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Your question is an excellent one.  Most people have sun damage and have a combination of red and brown spots.  I would suggest the Fraxel laser for the pigmentation and the V-Beam laser for the broken capillaries.  I have the IPL  but do not find it as effective as either in treating the brown or the redness.  

I Would Suggest IPL Treatment

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In your specific case, IPL may be best to address the broken capillaries and hyper-pigmentation issues. Fraxel also helps to rebuild and strengthen collagen in the skin which provides the best results. A series of treatments is likely going to be required to obtain optimal results. The IPL method should be the best treatment for brown spots and broken capillaries. Be sure to discuss the potential complications, if any exist with your board certified surgeon.

In your case IPL probably a better option

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IPL is a will address both hyperpigmentation (commonly referred to as brown spots or liver spots) and dilated (broken) capillaries. Usually a series of IPL treatments is needed to accomplish the desired result. If broken cappilaries are your main priority, stick with IPL
Fraxel, a true laser, will offer a faster and more dramatic result when addressing your hyperpigmentation. Fraxel also stimulates and rebuilds collagen in the skin.

Fraxel v. IPL

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If you are treating brown spots AND small veins IPL will address both.  If the goal is to treat brown spots and sun damage then Fraxel Dual is the best.  Fraxel Dual does not address superficial veins on face.

Dr. Grant Stevens              Marina Plastic Surgery Associates             Marina del Rey, CA The Institute


Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Fraxel Dual vs IPL

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IPL is a gentle treatment that uses broad spectrum light to treat the skin. IPL will treat both broken capillaries and brown spot on the face.

Fraxel Dual Laser uses microscopic laser columns that penetrate deep into your skin to stimulate your body’s remodeling of collagen. Fraxel Dual treatment resurfaces your skin by stimulating the growth of new, healthy skin cells from the inside out.

Both will treat brown spots however only the IPL will treat both. It’s important to keep in mind that an IPL treatment is a superficial treatment. If the pigmentation or broken capillaries are mild then you might be happy with the improvement from an IPL. If it is more severe then I recommend treatment with Fraxel Dual for pigmentation and Vbeam Perfecta for broken capillaries. Consult with a Board Certified Dermatologist to see what treatment is best for your concerns.

Nissan Pilest, MD
Irvine Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Radiowaves Work Well For Lightening Brown Spots And Clearing "Broken Blood Vessels."

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Brown spots (liver spots) or more precisely solar lentigines and "broken blood vessels" on the face (telangiectasias) respond will to radiowave treatments. I have not been impressed by the results of many of the lasers currently available, including fraxel lasers, nor by the results of many of the other current energy-based therapies, such as IPL. 

Unfortunately, there seems to be more marketing hype to these machines than rigorous scientific substance. One need only contemplate the fact that in the laser field every day seems to bring with it claims for the "next greatest thing"  with a new set of bells and whistles.

When it comes to treating common problems like brown spots and broken blood vessels, the KISS principle ("keep it simple) is a worthwhile approach. For years I have been successfully fading face and hand brown spots and facial broken blood vessels using a simple radiofrequency device. The treatment area is numbed to make the procedure painless and then the desired area is given a few tiny bursts of energy and the brown spot is wiped away with a gauze pad or the broken blood vessel sealed off. Treatment takes only a few seconds for treating brown spots and just a few minutes for treating a faceful of telangiectasias. 

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 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.