Does Fraxel work for acne scars?

I never had acne to the point that it stopped me from doing whatever I wanted but since the age of 13, I've had more than my fair share of pimples of all types and I'm 36 and I still get ingrown ones every few months. So I have scars - and they really stand out. I have them around my mouth and on my chin. Since my skin has aged, they stand out even more. Can Fraxel effectively treat that type of acne scarring? They don't seem that deep overall but some of them are a little long in the tooth! Seriously, some may have been there for 20 years. They're not deep, they're just deep enough to stand out. I'd love to learn that Fraxel could correct that and with a scenario like mine, approximately how many treatments would I need?


F, 39, Indiana

Tags:woman age 35-44 acne acne scarring scar

Fraxel laser treatment is a very good option for treating acne scars. Unlike some other types of laser treatments, Fraxel is very precise, which means it can be used on delicate areas of the face and body.

Fraxel acne scar treatment works by using a non-ablative fractional laser to destroy old, damaged skin cells, which in turn triggers the production of new collagen. This rejuvenates the skin, improves skin tone and the appearance of fine lines, and minimizes the appearance of acne scars.

Exactly how many sessions you’ll need depends on the severity of scarring, your skin type, and how your skin responds to Fraxel therapy. I find that most people require three to six sessions to get the best results, with a few weeks in between sessions.

The procedure is straightforward. Your doctor will cleanse your skin and apply a topical numbing cream about an hour before the treatment. The treatment itself takes less than half an hour to do the entire face. Most patients find that the process isn’t very painful, but your skin will feel hot. We use cold air, in conjunction with the numbing cream, to minimize discomfort.

After the treatment, you'll find that your skin looks red and feels sunburned. These side-effects usually fade within a day or two as the skin heals. Follow your doctor’s post-treatment skin care instructions carefully, and be sure to wear high-SPF sunscreen and avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible to prevent sun damage.

Lastly, I think it’s important to note that while Fraxel can deliver great results, it’s just one of many options for treating acne scars. Acne scars vary in terms of size, depth, and anatomic location, and usually respond best to a combination of treatments. For example, subcision, microneedling, punch excision, and chemical peels are all effective forms of acne scar treatment.

I recommend booking a consultation with an experienced dermatologist to find out which approach will best suit your needs.

Yes, Fraxel can help acne scars, but often needs multiple treatments and 5-6 days of redness and swelling afterwards. 

There are many options to treat acne scars, Fraxel, Halo, fractional CO2, fillers and Intracell.

we will have patients come in for a free consult and find the best treatment that matches results, downtime and finances.

Ken Oleszek, MD

La Fontaine Aesthetics

Denver, CO