I was recently asked about the strength of CO2 lasers vs. Fraxel.
CO2 lasers have always been the best choice for fine lines, deeper wrinkles and acne scars. They remove tissue (ablate) resulting in some tightening as well.
Fraxel is a brand of erbium laser that is also very nice for acne scars and texture. Fraxel was one of the first fractionated lasers, hence the choice of the brand name “fraxel.”
Fractionated lasers leave areas of tissue sparing therefore there is quicker healing and less chance of side effects.
My CO2 laser is also fractionated, allowing for quicker healing and less side effects such as hypopigmentation (light or white spots).
CO2 lasers can be adjusted in power (depth of penetration) and type of beam. The Cool Peel technique removes tissue — slender columns with less thermal injury than traditional fraxel.
Healing can be very fast depending on the amount of energy and spacing of energy beams. I can customize this for each patient, depending on whether they want a light, medium or heavy treatment.
The more energy and closer the spacing (fractionation) the “stronger” the treatment, and hence more down time.
For me there is nothing like CO2 laser! That’s why I have it.
We also have a Clear+Brilliant laser at my office. It’s made by the same manufacturer as Fraxel. It has less power so the recovery is quicker. It’s a mini Fraxel.
Of course, the choice depends on your skin type and expectations.
The question, which is stronger, is a good one, but they are different devices.
It’s like comparing a BMW to a Porsche.
Both are amazing!