Fraxel vs. Fraxel Dual: What Sets Them Apart

October 10, 2023

By Matthew Pruitt

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is to explain the distinction between Fraxel and Fraxel Dual. Many of our first-time clients in New York City report that they’ve had “Fraxel” treatments elsewhere. However, the question that often follows is, “Was it Fraxel or Fraxel Dual?” The most common response is, “I’m not sure.” The simple answer is that Fraxel is a single-wavelength laser, while Fraxel Dual is a dual-wavelength laser. But what does that really mean? In this post, I’ll delve into the details to ensure that as you explore these treatments, you’ll be well-informed and better prepared to determine which laser aligns with your skincare needs.

A Brief History of Fraxel

Fraxel, often referred to as the OG (original) among erbium lasers, made its debut in 2004 as a non-surgical solution for fine lines, wrinkles, and scars. It quickly gained widespread trust and popularity among medical professionals worldwide. After decades of successful treatments, it has solidified its position as the gold standard for skin resurfacing.

At Skin Bar NYC, we embraced Fraxel in 2012, and the results were nothing short of remarkable. Clients undergoing a series of 3-4 treatments witnessed incredible transformations. Fine lines disappeared, deep wrinkles visibly softened, and individuals with acne scars enjoyed significantly smoother skin with 4-6 treatments. Clients appeared to have turned back the hands of time, and those struggling with acne scars finally found a treatment that exceeded their expectations. Since then, our commitment to Fraxel has remained unwavering.

What Does Fraxel Do?

Fraxel is an erbium laser operating at a wavelength of 1550. Put simply, this wavelength enables the laser energy to penetrate deep into the skin, much like uprooting a weed from its source for a lasting solution. Fraxel reaches beneath wrinkles and scars, addressing issues at their core, outperforming other treatments in the market.

During each treatment session (comprising 8 passes), Fraxel creates a uniform layer of tiny thermal wounds, surrounded by untreated skin. The thermal heat triggers the body’s natural healing process, resulting in the regeneration of collagen and elastin—essential components for anti-aging. Moreover, Fraxel offers precision, allowing experienced operators to precisely control the depth of penetration, a crucial consideration when treating scars. Striking the right depth achieves transformative results without the risk of burns or harm to deeper tissues.

Fraxel Dual: Expanding Possibilities

While Fraxel excels at addressing lines, wrinkles, and acne scars, it had limitations when it came to treating discoloration issues like brown spots, sun damage, uneven skin tone, and enlarged pores. We often had to resort to alternative treatments like IPL, Laser Genesis, and chemical peels.

However, Fraxel Dual, introduced several years after our initial adoption of Fraxel, marked a significant leap forward. Equipped with two lasers in one, it became possible to effectively address a broader range of skincare concerns. Presently, Skin Bar NYC exclusively employs Fraxel Dual—a trend mirrored by most skincare clinics in NYC. Why? Because approximately ninety percent of our clients seeking anti-aging treatments for lines and wrinkles also contend with sun damage. This holds true for our acne scar clients, who frequently grapple with both textural issues (pockmarks) and pigmentation concerns. For most professionals, the versatility of Fraxel Dual simply makes sense.

Which is Better: Fraxel or Fraxel Dual?

The choice hinges on the specific issues you seek to address. As mentioned earlier, most clients present a combination of aging symptoms, making Fraxel Dual the preferred choice. However, if your primary concern revolves around wrinkles or deep acne scars affecting skin texture, Fraxel alone can be a suitable option. If you’re dealing with pigmentation, texture, and wrinkles, Fraxel Dual emerges as the clear answer. Rest assured, your skincare expert will determine the most suitable option for your unique needs.

Best for Anti-Aging Maintenance

For clients aged 35 and above embarking on their skincare journey, a series of treatments is typically recommended. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution capable of reversing decades of aging in a single visit. Typically, we advise 3-4 treatments to achieve optimal results. Once you’ve reached your peak, these results can last several years but will naturally fade over time as the aging process persists.

To sustain your youthful appearance and safeguard your investment, we recommend an annual treatment. Here’s where Fraxel Dual offers a clear advantage from a cost perspective. The treatment can encompass both lasers in a single session—half with the deeper wavelength (1550) to combat wrinkles and half with the surface wavelength (1927) to address any emerging or existing sun damage.

An exciting feature of this laser is its ability to utilize both wavelengths in a single treatment, providing our clients with remarkable added value.

Choosing Your Path to Radiant Skin

It’s clear that both lasers offer remarkable possibilities for achieving radiant, youthful skin. Whether you’re grappling with fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, pigmentation issues, or a combination of these concerns, there’s a Fraxel treatment that can address your unique needs.

Fraxel, with its single-wavelength precision, excels at rejuvenating skin affected by wrinkles and textural imperfections. On the other hand, Fraxel Dual, armed with two distinct wavelengths, opens up a world of opportunities to tackle a broader range of skincare concerns, making it the preferred choice for many.

When it comes to maintaining your skin’s youthful glow, remember that consistency is key. A series of treatments can work wonders, and an annual visit with Fraxel Dual can help keep your skin looking its best year after year.

Ultimately, the choice between Fraxel and Fraxel Dual depends on your individual skincare journey and goals. Your trusted skincare expert will guide you toward the ideal solution for your specific needs.

At Skin Bar NYC, we’re committed to helping you achieve the glowing, confident skin you deserve. Whether you choose Fraxel or Fraxel Dual, you’re in capable hands, and your path to radiant skin awaits. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or to embark on your skincare transformation. Here’s to your journey toward healthier, more beautiful skin!

Your skin, your choice. Unleash your beauty potential.



Matthew Pruitt

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