Fraxel Laser Treatment Results

Can you tell me more about the benefits you can get from Fraxel laser resurfacing? What sort of skin problems get the best results from Fraxel?

Doctor Answers 21

Fraxel laser

Until recently I was not a big fan of fraxel laser,  Most of my laser work was with the erbium laser which got me excellent results. However, aggressive erbium laser is difficult to do without reasonable anesthesia. Now I am using the new  CO2  fraxel laser and the results are excellent. It is a one time laser than gets a real and significant result, and can be done with simple numbing cream anesthesia. Fine wrinkles are nearly totally eliminated, medium level wrinkles are greatly improved. I personally think it is one of the best advancements in laser aesthetics over  the past decade

Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Fraxel laser resurfacing works for skin texture, mild tightening, mild to moderate wrinkle reduction

Thank you for your question.

Let's first talk about the science of the laser, and then talk about what it can do for you. The traditional first and second generation Fraxel lasers are 1550nm infrared lasers that are used to remodel the dermal collagen (second layer of the skin). Simply speaking, this laser targets the collagen in your second layer without causing damage to the surface of the skin.

The traditional Fraxel lasers are "non-ablative fractional" lasers that work by essentially "drilling" areas of heat damage into only the dermal collagen (avoiding crusting, scabbing, and downtime) and allowing the surrounding normal collagen to help speed up healing.

This differs from Erbium and CO2 "ablative fractional" lasers that do the same thing, but also "drill" these heat damage areas through the top layer as well (causing the scabbing, crusting, and increased downtime).

Now that you understand how they work, here's an explanation of what the traditional Fraxel laser can do. By working on remodeling the dermal collagen, you get a tightening in the second layer that will lead to reduction of rough skin texture, fine lines, and wrinkles on the surface. This is seen best when used around the eyes, but can make a great difference around the mouth, on the cheeks, and on most areas of the face.

This can also make some difference on the neck, although not great. The Fraxel is NOT a tightening laser like Thermage or Titan, rather it will improve the skin texture and fine lines/wrinkling instead of the more dramatic pulling of the skin as promised by those devices.

The traditional Fraxel is also used for mild acne scarring. It is best used for the mild rolling type of acne scarring, not for the "ice pick" or deeper rolling acne scars.

To get the best effects from Fraxel, you will need to do anywhere from 3-5 treatments. The effects are gradual and dermal collagen remodeling and tightening will continue even when you are finished with the last treatment, so you may see improvement continuing up to a year after you started. Fine lines will be less visible, skin texture will be improved, some pores may actually appear smaller (not guaranteed), and acne scars (if present) will be flatter. Your face will look younger and fresher.

In regards to downtime and side effects, the Fraxel will give you a "sunburn" appearance for anywhere from 2-7 days. There is no true crusting or oozing as the top layer of the skin is intact. It is safe for all skin types, but can lead to some hyperpigmentation in some patients.

It is best to avoid the sun 2 weeks before and after each treatment. Treatments can be spaced 4-6 weeks apart. Avoid makeup on the treated areas for 1 week after your treatment. You may need to go in once a year for a refresher treatment.

Hope this helps with all your questions!

Don Mehrabi, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Benefits of Fraxel

The Fraxel laser is a great treatment option for sun damage, rough texture, mottled pigmentation, brown spots, and fine lines and wrinkles.It is also a good treatment for moderate acne scarring. It can offer some skin tightening, but only minimal when compared to the ablative resurfacing lasers.Overall the Fraxel is a safe and effective treatment option for anti-aging.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Fraxel Laser Benefits

As originally developed, the Fraxel laser (Re:store) uses columns of energy to stimulate remodelling of your skin's dermal collagen.  The depth and density of the beam can be controlled depending on what condition is being treated.  The wavelength used in the Fraxel is such that the outer layers of the skin are left relatively intact, which is why it is referred to as "non-ablative."  It does induce some mild superficial resurfacing effects, but its forte is its effect in the deeper layers of the skin.  The renewal of the dermal collagen leads to improvement in fine skin wrinkling and acne scars.  The superficial effects induce improvement in skin texture and tone, and it can reduce "sun spots" and large pores.  It is also one of the few alternative treatment options for melasma and can be used to reduce scars and stretch marks.

Narin (Joe) Apisarnthanarax, MD
Houston Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Fraxel laser treatment results depend on the problem you will be treating

There is no easy way or one way to answer this question. With the Fraxel re:store (which is the less invasive laser treatment) you can treat acne scars, sun spots and skin discoloration.

However, since this treatment does not have much downtime (slightly pink for a day or two), the results from one treatment are not that great. It usually requires 3-5 treatments to see lasting and very noticeable results.

What I mean by that is that acne pits improve but not go away, hyperpigmentation spots may completely go away and your skin texture and complexion is very improved. It is not great for skin tightening. Remember, that your skin type as well as how bad your starts out, plays a role in how good your results can be.

With the Fraxel re:pair (the more invasive one), you treat similar conditions except that it also significantly improves skin tightening. This is a one time (sometimes two times) treatment that can improve your skin by 50-70%.

However, there is a week of downtime and then another week where you look like you have gotten a bit too much sun. Acne pits really improve but not go away, spots improve by 70% and the skin is smoother and tighter in one treatment.

I hope this helps.

Kari L. Colen, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Fraxel Laser Benefits

Fractional ablative laser resurfacing is a great treatment for your issue. At our office we use an advanced hybrid fractional laser called the HALO manufactured by Sciton. This state of the art device combines simultaneous fractional ablative laser resurfacing with a full-field erbium laser in a synchronized handpiece. It’s a customizable treatment that precisely targets skin damage, improves tone, texture, fine lines & wrinkles, and reduces pore size along with treating acne scars. The hybrid technology allows us to combine the benefits of fractional and full field ablative laser therapy while dramatically reducing down time and recovery. I would recommend 2-3 treatments to get the best results.

Marco Ellis, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Fraxel Restore: Great results with little downtime and only topical anesthesia

Fraxel helps restore your skin and give it a more youthful appearance. In addition, it will soften fine lines and wrinkles.  Fraxel is also very effective for the treatment of Acne scars, and can be used to diminish other types of scarring on the face or body.  We have recently been doing Fraxel with great success on the hands to rejuvenate the skin and to give them a more youthful appearance appearance.

We recommend 5 treatments for the face, and usually at least 3 for the hands and other scars on the body.

Melissa Lazarus, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Fraxel Laser Treatment Results

Until recently, aggressive laser resurfacing of the face (ablative laser treatment) was the only way to achieve superior cosmetic results in rejuvenating significantly aged or sun-damaged skin. Unfortunately, this treatment is associated with open healing, with prolonged recovery time and redness. With the advent of fractionated laser resurfacing (non-ablative laser), specifically the Fraxel laser, significant results can be achieved through a series of “fractional” treatments whereby multiple tiny columns of skin are aggressively treated, with surrounding areas of skin untouched. This enables faster healing than if the entire area were treated at once, and since there is no skin surface disruption, healing times are very short. This treatment eliminates irregular skin discoloration, and stimulates new collagen production, tightening the skin without prolonged recovery. After a series of 2 to 4 Fraxel treatments, the cumulative cosmetic improvement is near more aggressive lasers, but unlike more aggressive lasers, redness and swelling eliminated within 2 to 4 days after each treatment. Fraxel is outstanding for fine wrinkles, mild skin laxity, irregular pigmentation, acne scars, surgical scars, enlarged pores, stretch marks, age spots and Rosacea. It can be used safely on the face, neck, hands, arms, and chest.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Fraxel re:store results

We have had approximately 5 years of experience with the Fraxel re:store laser. This laser offers a lot of benefits with few side effects. Because of its gentle nature, patients can undergo skin rejuvenation with little to no down-time. The Fraxel laser will improve fine lines, particularly around the eyes.  Laser treatments will also improve sun spots, pigmented lesions, improve pore size and generally give the skin a more smooth complexion.

Because each laser treatment covers approximately 15% to 20% of the skin's surface, patients can vary their level of improvement based on the number of treatments they undergo.

Gilbert Lee, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Fraxel Laser Treatment

Fraxel is a laser skin rejuvenation treatment that resurfaces your outer skin, erasing imperfections. It also encourages the production of collagen, a protein found in connective tissue. Collagen is instrumental in maintaining firm, youthful, healthy-looking skin, but its production drops off as we age. The result is clearly visible lines, folds and wrinkles. Typically, you will start to notice the difference within days after your first treatment. Clinical studies have shown that maximum results are usually achieved in 3-5 sessions spaced 4-6 weeks apart.

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.