Good or Excellent Response
46%
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
1
2
3
4
5
Moderate Response
81%
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
1
2
3
4
5
Side Effects
Medium-High
How to Get It
Have a dermatologist or plastic surgeon? Make an appointment to get this procedure done.

Don't have a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon? See The American Academy of Dermatology Physician Database to find a dermatologist or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to find a plastic surgeon.
Read All About Ablative Fractional Laser
5
16.2%
4
22.5%
3
20.7%
2
8.1%
1
32.4%

Used Ablative Fractional Laser? Rate It:

Choose from 1 to 5 stars
April 25, 2017
Non CO2 laser resurfacing experience
It helps. I did my first course 4 months after acctune, on a mild setting, and did not experience any extra scarring. I am after third course right now, im 20 and a female As someone who did both mild and high settings, there is a huge difference. So for people considering lasers, to avoid scammers doctors who will do mild settings to make you pay more, after a high setting laser your skin is red for at least 4-7 days. You get scabs and peeling off for at least week or two. And on mild setting it didnt hurt as much as on high one! Also, remember that aftercare is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!!!! SUN EXPOSURE MONTHS AFTER PROCEDURE MAY RUIN YOUR SKIN, you need to wear spf 50 everyday. That is why usually laser procedures should not be done in summer... By the way, breaking out after procedure is completely NORMAL! what is not normal is getting cystic acne For me, it works. No miracles, but its helping to gain my confidence back. Did anyone else have done non co2 laser resurfacing too?? Im interested how did it go for u.
August 16, 2016
fraxel
Fraxel has significantly reduced the depth of my scars. I still have the scars but they are definitely not as noticeable. I had two rounds of Fraxel in the deepest setting and I will recommend it. The first few months its going to be a nightmare. Your face will look terrible and it can bring acne. Right now I am battling with acne I will start on Tretinoin and antiobiotic.
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May 6, 2016
ok
i have acne scars on my cheek and big pores and my dermatologist recommended me to this treatment(fraxel co2). i had treatment abt 5 times. i can see the different abit my pores were smaller but didnt help with my scars and its cost too much
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March 15, 2016
Fractional Co2 laser resurfacing Active FX (not Fraxel)
There are so many different types of laser treatments and pros and cons for each. -> Ablative (most intense, more down time) Erbium YAG or fractionated CO2 -> Non-ablative (more gentle, little down time) NdYAG, Fraxel I attended a Dermatologist, for moderate scar treatment. He recommended a combination of IPL for the pigment from sun damage and acne scars as well as Fractional Co2 laser (Active FX is the brand name) for collagen restoration of the scars (this happens over 3 to 6 months post op) I am 10 days post op today. I can already see a real difference in the pigment (I'm fair to medium - this treatment is not recommended for medium to dark skin) the down time is about 5 days, you can wear make up after day 3 (I used mineral make up powder over the La Roche Possay B15 recovery cream). I did not experience peeling, like when you get sunburned, it was more like micro peeling, the dead skin came off gradually when I cleansed my face. The texture is still slightly rough in places, I guess a little dehydrated. I think I should be back to soft skin come day 14, I still have some pinkness and a few lines, like feint grid marks but these are fading each day - as I was told they would. I am scheduled for the same treatment again in 7 weeks. After that they have told me that they may need to give me one additional Co2 treatment to target specific scarred areas, but we won't know that until I have completely healed from the second treatment. The cost is €550 per treatment in Dublin, Ireland.
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June 25, 2015
It works very well
I am very surprised with many of these negative comments. I work at a medical spa, where we have a CO2 laser, and we use it for many things, including acne scaring. We have had very little complaints, no matter what the doctor was using it for. The doctor I work for teaches other doctors how to perform these procedures, so maybe that is why he is so good. Anyway, best of luck!
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February 10, 2015
Laser will Destroy your life
Please don't go to laser whatever the issues. I've done lasers & it ruined my face completely: super large pores, lines, wrinkles, scars, pot holes, ice pick holes will suddenly appear out of no where. my skin aged 10 years & now i look like I am an old man with wrinkled face!!! I believe all doctors know the side effects but lie to patients because of $$$. please do not trust them. I am warning you there is no turning back!!! I am so depressed that I often contemplate suicide coz my face is in a mess & i look very very ugly. If u want to be like me go ahead & do lasers!!!!
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September 2, 2014
Fraxel co2 treatment
I am 29th and have been suffering from acne since i was 10. My face is left with ice-picked scarring and uneven skin tone. I have just had my third fraxel co2 done yesterday. I had my second fraxel done six months ago. The skin consultant decided that he could go try a more aggressive approach as my skin seems to be tolerating the laser well, e.g. no pigmentation problem issue as yet. My face looks really red and swollen at the moment and my face goes redder as the hours passes by. I am using Vaseline at the moment to keep the skin hydrated and provide an ideal environment for the skin to repair/renew. It is important that i clean my face with ph5.5 product or cetaphil as i have oily skin and by the end of the day, i could see blister/new pimples forming. If it is not cleanse throughly, the pores would be blocked and instead of new skin forming, i would get breakout on the treated part of the face. I was given aciclovir and flucloxacillin for my past 2 visit; not sure why i wasn't given this time and i had just realised the fact so can't query with the consultant. I will update you with my post treatment for the next few weeks. I would like to post the picture after the treatment so that you could have a look and know what to expect but unfortunately i don't think we are allowed to post picture on this site. I'll try my best to update my skin condition with everyone and hopefully you find my sharing useful.
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January 20, 2014
DOT Co2 Laser:
I have had a total of three Co2 DOT lasers performed by a well-known dermatologist in Washington State. I had all three done within ten months, basically three months apart. Some background on my skin: I had SEVERE and I do mean severe acne from a horrible reaction to Accutane in August of 2008. It was so bad that I had to be home-schooled by a tutor for the first half of my sophomore year because on my first day of school, people thought I was diseased. Yes, it was that bad. The acne however, cleared up - but as you know, sever acne usually leads to severe scarring (which is worse.) Some how, my scars were not traditional acne scars - they did not indent, but they were a dark-red color, mixed with raised scarring and hypopigmented scars. It is/ was a mess. I was left with shallow-indented scars which were reduced by the three laser treatments, however, my hypopigmented scars and redness were never reduced. Now I'm sure you're thinking that these red scars I mentioned were just post-inflammatory and that they went away. WRONG. They have not gone away. I will tell you what has somewhat helped with my hyperpigmentation/ white scars: Hyperpigmentation - not washing my face. Not using retin-a. Not using moisturizer. Not using exfoliants. ONLY using sunscreen. Hypopigmentation - Rubbing ginger root on those areas. BTW - this review is probably choppy and terrible because I'm wayyy tipsy right now. But if you have any questions, please ask :) WE CAN BEAT THESE SCARS/ ACNE, PEOPLE. XOXO Steven
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September 4, 2013
Don't use this treatment, if you don't want ur skin look worst.

Pros:

Minimal result

Cons:

Expensive
Painful
Severe acne/sensitivity

I'm 31 years old. I had two treatment of fraxel n one more to go. But after my two treatment my skin get so sensitive and irritation that give me pimples and blackheads around my cheeks area. I noticed that my skin get so red n inflamed from all types of products that contain alcohol or acid in it. Right now, I'm so embarrassed to go out without any make-up on. I also take picture before and after from my camera. When I had a look at my before pic for fraxel treatment my skin didn't had any pimples or blackheads. After two treatment my skin getting worst and the acne scar doesn't look any better after 6 month post treatment. Honestly, don't waste ur time and money, bcus it is a lot of pain if you're not high pain intolerance.
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May 1, 2013

Pros:

Quick
Firm, fresh skin
Scarring is less severe

Cons:

Expensive
Minimal information
Painful

I had fraxel restore done in 2012 and I am going to have my second (first fraxel C02) treatment done in may this year. I was very happy with my results, I would say about 20-30% improvement from 1 treatment. I've seen alot of negative reviews and "horror stories" and I feel bad and often think, who did these treatments? I have vlogged my results on my youtube channel [link edited out] removed] and showed my daily recovery. If you have any questions just let me know :)
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Finding a Doctor

The right dermatologist can make a big difference to your patient experience and the success of your acne treatment plan. Here are the steps to find a dermatologist who is a good fit:

  1. Use the search feature on the American Academy of Dermatology website to look for board-certified dermatologists in your area, and filter the search results for doctors with a special interest in treating acne.
  2. Read online patient reviews of any dermatologists you are considering and ask people you know whether they have any experience with these dermatologists.
  3. Do your research and go to your first appointment with questions prepared.
  4. Listen to what your gut feeling tells you once you see a dermatologist in person. If you are not completely comfortable, try a different dermatologist.

Finding a Doctor

Only a select few plastic surgeons specialize in acne scar revision surgery. Be certain to find a provider who specializes in acne scar repair and who is passionate and experienced in this area.

Be sure to:

  • Look at before and after photos, the more the better, especially patients with similar scarring to your own.
  • Be realistic about results. Look for improvement, not a cure.

Questions to ask a potential scar revision specialist:

  • Are you board certified? Be certain that they are board certified.
  • How long have you been performing these procedures? Normally, the more experience the better, however, some younger surgeons may be more on top of the latest procedures.
  • Can I speak to some of your other patients? Ask for references for several patients who had similar scarring and speak to them about the process and their satisfaction with results.

Red flags:

  • Their story changes: As you discuss different treatment options, if they tend to change their mind easily, or agree with whatever you say, consider this a red flag. A confident, experienced surgeon will possess strong, unwavering opinions.
  • Your gut tells you "no": Trust your gut. If you just don't feel that the doctor is the right fit, trust that and move on. On the other hand, if you feel they are the perfect specialist for you, trust that feeling.