Profractional laser VS Fraxel laser?

Hi, I have been researching both profractional laser treatment and fraxel laser treatment in order to help me decide which one to get. I have deep acne scars, some wrinkles, have a lot of large pores and also my facial skin's color seems to be off. From what I understand, Fraxel is the brand of laser and profractional is the type of laser (I might be wrong). I am getting contradicting facts and opinions regarding which one gives the best results. Expert advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 5

Profractional laser vs fraxel laser

Non-Ablative Fractional Laser Resurfacing is the name of the procedure, both Fraxel® and Profractional® are brand names of lasers which perform that procedure. Either may be appropriate for treating/ resurfacing your acne scars/fine lines/pores. They may be less effective (currently) for treating discolorations long-term (the Nd: yag laser may be more appropriate for this problem).Please see a board-certified Aesthetic Dermatologist to evaluate your specific issues and provide you with the best advice regarding timing and number of treatments you may need, as well as help with maintenance as you age.   

Miami Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews


Either laser can be used to treat acne scars, wrinkles, sun damage, or texture. But CO2 is better for sun damage, wrinkles, and texture while the Fraxel laser is better for acne scars. Some patients cannot have downtime and prefer to use the Fraxel laser for wrinkles. With the Fraxel laser some patients experience a reddness and some areas are puffy for a few days. Some side effects for the CO2 laser are scarring, hypopigmentation (whitened skin), also patients reported that they can see a difference where areas of the skin that were treated compared to areas that were not, which does not blend. The recommend number of treatments for the Fraxel is 3, many patients seen a difference just have 1 treatment.

Elliot M. Heller, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Expert Advice is Key

I think you answered your own question.  I think your best course of action is to seek the expertise of reputable and highly trained laser surgeon in your area.  Usually, the choice of practitioner is more important than the device selection.

Jerome Potozkin, MD
Danville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Fraxel makes two different lasers - an ablative and non-ablative laser

Fraxel is a wonderful laser.  There are two types of Fraxel Laser - one is ablative and one is non-ablative (pro-fractional).  Both types of lasers work well on acne scars but it depends on the nature of your scars, the degree of down time that you can tolerate, and your skin color.  Please consult a board certified dermatologist about the best treatment for your acne scars who has experience with these lasers.

Non-Ablative and Ablative Laser Systems

The first thing that you should do is to consult a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon skilled in laser surgery. Then you can learn first hand about these and other lasers that are used to help your skin concerns. Fraxel is a brand, and they have both non-ablative and ablative laser systems that can help in the concerns you have.

Profractional is also a brand – it is an erbium ablative fractional laser and can also be very useful. Other laser systems exist, other brands and other kinds that can have an effect to help your skin, including the RF fractional lasers and the RF microneedling devices. As I noted, someone knowledgeable in these different devices can work with you, determine the best approach for you, and along with a good skin care routine, help with all of your concerns.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 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.