Why is the Rating of Fraxel So Low? Just 57%.

I have some shallow acne scars and Fraxel seems right for me.... but I am not convinced because of the "bad" results. I understand that the doctor is as important as the laser, but 57% is just bad. Have you any explanation?

Doctor Answers 6

RE: Low Fraxel Rating

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When it comes to cosmetic procedures, it is important to consider how they are performed on individual patients. There are numerous variables that come into play on an individual basis.

Although there are people who are dissatisfied with the procedures, there are others who are thrilled with the results.  Kim Kardashian spoke very openly about how much she loves Fraxel treatments and how much she recommends this to others.

The doctor needs to know what parameters are appropriate for specific people. They need to be adjusted high enough to create significant changes without overheating the skin.

Lasers like Fraxel, or fillers like Radiesse are just tools. How they are used is what is important.

Also, as the other doctors have mentioned, patients need to understand that more than one treatment is often necessary to get the results they want.  Some people do see profound improvements with just one treatment. Others may need more.



Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Fraxel Results

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It is important to differentiate between Fraxel Restore and Fraxel Repair.  The first is a series of milder treatments with incremental changes.  The Fraxel Repair is an excellent fractionated CO2 laser that proves immediate, impressive results in one treatment.  Fraxel Repair has 4-5 days when you are not presentable in public, but the results are much more impressive.  In addition, when performed under light anesthesia, I can be more aggressive, in a safe way, to get the maximal results.  It is fantastic in my hands for Acne scarring, but some patients may require a second resurfacing in 6-12 months if their scarring is severe.

Fraxel is a great laser, so why the low rating on reviews?

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Fraxel is a great laser for acne scars in particular, considered by most experts to be a "gold standard" for scars. I have seen excellent results for acne, and other types of scars. So why the low rating? There are probably several reasons:

  • It requires at least 4 to 6 treatments to see results. Final results will take several months to see after the final treatment.
  • The treatments must be done at the maximal settings. If not, the results will be less than optimal.
  • There will be 2 to 4 days of redness and swelling. If that is not acceptable to the patient, some practitioners will just turn down the settings which won't yield optimal results. 
  • The word Fraxel has been abused. All Kleenex are tissues, but not all tissues are Kleenex. There are lasers and light devices that may be used  that are less effective, but are still called "fraxel" lasers.
  • Non-physician personnel are delivering treatments without the input of an experienced physician who should be determining the settings and following the results.

Seek a consultation with an experienced physician who can discuss all your options and expectations with you!

Kimberly Finder, MD
San Antonio Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Fraxel works for scars

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Fraxel is a good treatment for all skin types. Fraxel is the brand name of the most popular fractionated laser machine. Fractionated means it treats only a fraction of the surface area at a time to minimize recovery time and unwanted changes in skin color and texture. I believe the satisfaction rating is low because people had too high expections ( like it would replace a facelift ) or they didn't do the recommended number of treatments (4-6). Best way to avoid disappointment? See an expert. Someone trained in cosmetic surgery with laser experience. Mall shops with a laser aren't a good idea.

Daryl K. Hoffman, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Fraxel for Acne Scarring

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Fraxel is still one of the gold standard lasers for acne scars. There are several reasons why people may have given a negative review. One is that it takes 4-6 treatments to see the best results. Many people have an unrealistic expectation of the results that can be seen with only a few treatments. Also, many people claim to have Fraxel when it is not the actual fraxel laser. 
The other issue I have seen is that much lower energy levels are used than are needed to treat scarring in order to avoid downtime. Unfortunately you will have 4-5 days of redness and swelling with the Fraxel. I hope this helps. We have had great results with Fraxel for acne scarring in my office


Rosalyn George, MD
Wilmington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

# Fraxel for acne scars

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Fraxel is one of the better lasers for acne scars. I have treated all skin colors and all kinds of acne scars with it without any problems. I have been using it for almost 10 yrs now. of note is the fact that a lot of practices, especially the so-called laser centers and spas claim that they have "fraxel" machine and can remove scars etc when in fact they dont have the real Fraxel laser rather a different machine which is not indicated for scar treatment. and the people who use the machines are often not medical doctors but medical assistants or aestheticians who dont really know much about lasers. Fraxel is a great machine when used in the right hands. do your research well and choose your doctor wisely.

Misbah Khan MD, FAAD, FACMS
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 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.