Fraxel Laser Surgery Recommendation

i saw a brochure for fraxel laser at my dermatologist.  it seems like it works on lots of skin problems.  is fraxel better for some skin problems than others?

Doctor Answers 14

Fraxel laser surgery works

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Yes, Fraxel works well on uneven brown discoloration (sunspots) and uneven texture from pores or sun damage, and acne scars. Considering the very low down time of Fraxel, it’s amazing that we do see the results that are achieved!


Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Fraxel treats skin texture and pigment irregularities

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Fraxel laser is a treatment for textural problems, such as fine lines, sun damage, acne scars, and pigment irregularities (such as melasma, sun spots, and discolored scars).

The name Fraxel is a brand name and refers to one type of fractionated resurfacing laser. There are many brand names of fractionated resurfacing lasers, but all operate under the same basic principles. Instead of treating the entire skin surface at once, which would require a lot of downtime and carry increased risks or scarring and discoloration, fractionated resurfacing treats tiny spots and columns of skin at a time-- it treats a fraction of the entire skin surface. This allows for much less downtime while still providing great results.

There are 2 different types of fractionated resurfacing lasers, ablative and non ablative. The difference between these is that with the ablative lasers there is some downtime, usually about a week, and people typically need only 1 or 2 treatments in order to see the results they want. With the non-ablative fractionated lasers, there is very little downtime, usually no more than 2 days, but you need to have more treatments (3-6) in order to achieve the results you want. The number of treatments required also depends on the condition of your skin before you begin treatment, and the issues you are trying to address and correct.

Jordana S. Gilman, MD
Washington Dermatologic Surgeon

Fraxel laser surgery for skin improvement

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Fraxel works well to improve the texture and tone of the skin, to improve acne scars, to address facial lines, and treat some sun-damaged skin (e.g. brown spots).

It is not as useful for rosacea, melasma, or stretch marks.

Like most modalities, the treatment's success is dependent on the expertise of the user and the ability to use the correct modality or to combine to have the correct mix of modalities for a given problem.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Looking younger with Fraxel treatment

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Fraxel repair works well at making patients look younger. It works well on wrinkles, brown spots, vascular dyschromias, pre-cancer skin lesions, acne scars, surgical scars, and on tightening the lax skin around the eyes and neck.

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Fraxel is great for improving skin texture and treating acne scars

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We have had great results treating acne scars in patients with many different skin types. It takes 4 to 6 treatments but even after one treatment the skin feels softer, looks brighter and has less irregularity.

The downtime is minimal with redness and swelling lasting 2 to 5 days but easily covered with makeup.

We have treated quite a few men with fraxel for pigmentation, fine lines and enlarged pores and they love the results. Their skin looks more youthful and they tolerate the treatment quite well with only a sunburn look for 3-5days.

Brenda Dintiman, MD
Fairfax Dermatologic Surgeon

Fraxel is very versatile

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I moved from another frational resurfacing sysytem to Fraxel several months ago, and the difference in my patients' results have been dramatic. The newest Fraxel system is fast, and pain is definitely reduced. I find it is safe for more skin types.

I use Fraxel for aging skin to reduce the fine lines that are too shallow to fill, and the bonus is that since it stimulates your OWN collagen, the results last longer. Brown spots fade and the skin gets a dewy, luminous glow, even better than Intense Pulsed Light treatments achieve. Fraxel is also my first choice now for acne scars and the results rival dermabrasion, albeit it does require multiple sessions.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Fraxel is the only collagen laser I use on myself

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Fraxel is a unique laser because it has the ability to rejuvenate the skin in a non-invasive, effective fashion with minimal downtime. It can be an ideal treatment for sun damaged skin on the face, neck and chest. In addition to brown marks, it can used to improve scars, stretch marks, fine lines and wrinkles and age spots.

By placing tiny columns of energy into the skin, the Fraxel laser promotes the body’s natural healing response and development of new collagen. The Fraxel laser is used fractionally treating a patient’s skin in specific areas, while leaving some skin unaffected nearby, allowing for an easier and less invasive rejuvenation.

The net result is tighter, smoother, and more radiant skin.

Treatment with the Fraxel laser begins by first using a numbing cream to make the procedure comfortable. Generally three treatments are needed for great results.  Because the process requires new collagen to form, maximum results take few weeks to show. After each treatment there is about a 1 week period of “downtime” where a patient may experience light redness and discoloration in the skin while the skin is undergoing this healing and rejuvenation.

Best of luck with your decision. Talk to your derm about it!

Tanya Kormeili, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologist

Multiple indications for Fraxel laser

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The Fraxel Dual laser is my go to for many problems I see commonly in my patients:  wrinkles and brown spots from years of sun damage, stretch marks and acne scars.  I frequently combine it with other lasers and treatments to speed results.  I can use it to treat the face and body safely and effectively.

However, remember that when you have a hammer, everything may start to look like a nail.  So speak with your physician not about what the Fraxel can treat, but about what you want treated and the best way to accomplish your goals.

I hope that answer helps.  Best wishes.

Heidi A. Waldorf, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Fraxel for skin improvement

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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.

Neil Fine, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Fraxel Ablative and Non-Ablative

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Fraxel offers both non-ablative and ablative laser treatments. Fraxel’s non-ablative treatments, such as the Fraxel re:fine® offer patients a quick recovery, with little downtime and work well for candidates who are looking for prevention and maintenance treatments, or who have mild skin damage. Fraxel’s ablative treatment, the Fraxel re:pair®, is typically a one-time treatment with a 5-7 day recovery period. The ablative laser is used in correcting moderate to severe skin damage, acne scarring and rejuvenating aging skin.
Before electing to have a laser treatment done, it’s important to discuss with your provider if you are a candidate, the anticipated recovery time and outcome expectations.

Scott Chapin, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 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.