They all work well, there safety profiles may be different
When performed properly, all of the treatments (Portrait Plasma, Fraxel re:pair, and Active FX) give excellent results with skin resurfacing. When investigating the technologies and doing my "due diligence" before incorporating Fraxel re:pair into my practice, I spoke with many respected experts in the field.
It is my impression from these discussions that the safety window for avoiding permanent scarring is greater with fractionated CO2 lasers. One of my colleagues reported that he had seen some burns with plasma resurfacing. There can be complications with any technology, but in my practice I want to use the safest and most effective tool.
Whichever technology you choose to go with, the most important aspect is to choose your treating physician most carefully. Be well.
Portrait vs Fraxel re:pair
I have used both the Fraxel re:Pair and Portrait in my practice. Portrait was presented as a non ablative resurfacing treatment although the recovery course may suggest otherwise. Fraxel re:pair is an ablative laser, although being fractionated CO2 its recovery course is shorter than the traditional non fractionated CO2. Overall, I have seen a better wrinkle reduction with the Fraxel re:pair than with plasma rejuvenation using Portrait. Age spot reduction is the same for both the portrait and Fraxel re:pair in my opinion.
Pros and cons to each of these treatments
Portrait plasma resurfacing has been used for more than three years but Fraxel Repair has been on the market for less than a year so there is more information about long term results. Fraxel repair is promising; but the down time may be more than three or four days if the energy settings are more aggressive to get better results. There has been no evidence of unwanted delayed (one year) hypopigmentation (white coloration) from Portrait but it might be too soon to tell with Fraxel repair...although there haven't been reports with this laser yet either. I have no experience with Active FX, but its mode of action is similar to Fraxel repair.
Thank you for your question. In the right hands, acceptable treatment results can be had with any of these devices. They key is and has always been the provider performing the procedure. Very bad outcomes can occur with any of these machines, in the wrong hands. See a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Board Certified Dermatologist for your best results. The name of the machine is secondary. I hope this helps!
Portrait Plasma Fort Lauderdale
This continues to be my treatment of choice for resurfacing due to the color-blind nature of plasma as compared to true lasers which can result in lines of demarcation that are undesirable. My favorite response to my patients is simple, if you want a fraction of the results, choose a fractionated resurfacing laser. If you want a complete total resurfacing with even color & high patient satisfaction, choose Portrait.
Great question about devices
You ask great questions about devices. I have used both the Fraxel Repair and the Active Fx Deep Fx lasers. In skilled hands comparable results can be had with either. I think the more important decision is the skill and training of the physician you are seeing. I think you could get great results with any of the devices in skilled hands and you could get poor results or even injured in the hands in a poorly trained individual. Good Luck!