Fraxel Laser

Consultations offered at our four convenient locations in La Jolla, San Diego, Newport Beach and Beverly Hills

The Fraxel re:store® DUAL laser is an extremely popular and effective technology that corrects sun damage, uneven skin coloring, fine wrinkles, and rough texture. Fraxel laser treatment involves applying fractional laser energy to the skin to initiate a healing reaction that can rejuvenate and refine your look without significant discomfort or downtime. 

Patients in the areas of La Jolla, San Diego, and Orange County trust La Jolla Plastic Surgery & Dermatology™ for treatments that get maximal results with minimal downtime. In the hands of Dr. Susan Stuart, our board-certified dermatologist and laser specialist, Fraxel treatments can bring you skin that looks radiant and feels like new. If you are interested in laser skin resurfacing and live in the greater San Diego area, request a complimentary consultation using our online form or call our office at (800) 373-4773.

Before and After Photos

About Fraxel Laser Treatment

Fraxel laser treatments can work on most areas of exposed skin, which commonly include the face, neck, chest, and hands. Fraxel safely and effectively treats a range of skin concerns including: (1)

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Age spots, freckles, sunspots
  • Superficial scars and stretch marks
  • Melasma
  • Actinic keratoses
  • Rough texture

How Does It Work?

While traditional lasers have a solid beam of laser energy that treats the entire surface of the skin, the Fraxel laser emits thousands of pinpoint columns of laser energy. This fractional approach means that a fine grid of skin is treated while surrounding pinpoint dots of skin remain untouched. Because the entire surface of the skin is not affected, there is less downtime for recovery, and the skin repairs and renews itself more quickly.

The Fraxel laser works by causing a healing response, utilizing the body’s own system of refinement to produce natural-looking results. The laser creates a controlled injury on the surface while heating the deeper layers of skin, stimulating the production of collagen. An important protein that supports skin structure and reinforces smooth texture, collagen is the key to rejuvenating the skin. Once collagen production has begun, it goes to work healing damaged skin cells and producing new and healthy ones. One perk of collagen is that when it starts being produced it will continue for some time, typically for several months after the initial laser treatment. This will prolong your results far beyond the direct effects of the procedure, making the Fraxel laser treatment highly efficient. 

The Fraxel DUAL is actually 2 lasers in one:

  • For radiant, uniform skin coloring: the 1927 wavelength treats the outermost layers of the skin to target excess pigment, fine lines, uneven texture, enlarged pores, and even precancerous skin cells (actinic keratosis).
  • For smooth, firmer, thicker skin: the 1550 wavelength penetrates deeper to renew collagen production, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and acne scars, smoothing the skin’s surface, and enhancing the skin’s thickness.

Because it is easy to switch between wavelengths, we can treat both the surface of the skin and deeper layers in a single session. In either mode, the Fraxel laser provides non-ablative fractional resurfacing, which means the surface of the skin is not removed.

Benefits of Fraxel Laser Treatment

There are several notable benefits to receiving Fraxel laser treatment at La Jolla Plastic Surgery and Dermatology. These include:

  • A dynamic treatment that can treat a wide array of skin conditions
  • Combating the effects of aging on the skin
  • Refining and smoothing the texture of the skin
  • Providing a radiant and youthful glow
  • Achieving noticeable aesthetic results without surgery or ablative treatment
  • Requiring less downtime for recovery and less risk of side effects than ablative rejuvenation treatments (2)
  • Instilling confidence in your appearance and boosting your self-esteem

Who is a Candidate for Fraxel Laser Treatment?

An ideal candidate for Fraxel laser treatment will be ready to improve the quality and appearance of their skin without the need for invasive surgery, complicated procedure plans, and an inconvenient recovery period. If you are bothered by the signs of aging on your face, or you have any number of particular conditions like melasma, acne scarring, or sun spots, this treatment could be right for you. It can also provide aesthetic relief for men and women with large pores. 

To be eligible for Fraxel treatment, you should be in relatively good health. It is important that you not have any pre-existing conditions that could make this procedure unsafe or complicate your ability to heal. These include sensitivities to light, skin infections, and being prone to seizures. Fraxel laser treatment works best as a preventative measure for patients who are just beginning to notice the signs of aging on their face. If you have significant wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, or jowls, you may need a more invasive treatment.

Personal Consultation

At your personal consultation, Dr. Stuart will provide all of the necessary information about Fraxel laser treatment. She will answer any questions that you may have about the procedure, as well. We want our patients to make informed decisions about the services that we offer. We will ask you some questions about your medical history to rule out any potential risks of complications. You can tell us all about your beauty goals, and we will tell you how Fraxel laser treatment can bring you closer to them. Using the information that we collect, we will create a personalized treatment plan for you. At the end of your consultation, we can give you an accurate cost estimate and arrange your first procedure appointment. 

To schedule your personal consultation at La Jolla Plastic Surgery & Dermatology, call (800) 373-4773 or contact us online.


There are some helpful ways to prepare for Fraxel and increase its efficacy:

  • Avoid skin care products that contain glycolic acid, retinoids, and other harsh substances for three weeks prior to avoid sensitivity.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure. This treatment will work best if you do not have a tan or a sunburn.
  • Cleanse your face with a low-impact facial cleanser milk for a week prior.
  • Do not apply makeup on your treatment area before coming in for your procedure.

Fraxel Laser Procedure

We perform Fraxel laser treatments in our office. The entire process takes about an hour and a half to complete. First, Dr. Stuart will cleanse and dry your skin, and then apply a topical numbing cream. Once your skin is numb, she will glide the Fraxel handpiece over your skin until all target areas are covered. As the laser energy is emitted, you may feel heat or tingling on your skin, but you shouldn’t feel pain. When the procedure is complete, you can go about your day. 

Many patients choose to complement their Fraxel results with other cosmetic dermatology treatments such as BOTOX or dermal fillers. During your complimentary consultation, Dr. Stuart will create a specific treatment plan with you to give you the improvements you want.


After this treatment, your skin will feel warm to the touch and may look pink or red, similar to a sunburn. Some patients return to their daily activities immediately; others choose to go home and rest for the remainder of the day. Tips for the first week or two after treatment include:

  • Apply cool compresses or ice packs as directed, especially on the first day.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Use a non-comedogenic moisturizer with sunscreen; apply liberally.
  • Resist squeezing or picking any bumps or pimples that may form.
  • Do not pull off peeling skin.

You may apply concealer to reduce redness on the first day after treatment. Your skin will gradually turn a bronze color and then begin to flake. Expect your skin to feel tight, dry, and itchy as it heals. The treated skin will peel off and your fresh and new skin will gradually reveal itself. Avoid direct sun exposure for at least three months after your treatments, and consistently apply sunscreen of at least 30 SPF, as your skin will be highly sensitive.


It is likely that you will notice improvement after your first Fraxel treatment; as collagen rebuilds in the skin, you will begin to look and feel even better. However, most patients require more than one treatment session to get the most out of their Fraxel laser treatment. We recommend a series of four to eight sessions spaced two to four weeks apart for optimal results. Because of the self-renewing cycle of collagen production, your results will last and continue to improve for up to six months. It is possible to receive additional Fraxel laser treatment to maintain your results for a longer period.

How Much Does Fraxel Laser Treatment Cost in La Jolla?

Fraxel laser treatment involves many procedural variables, including the number of sessions that you will need. The exact cost of your treatment will depend on these factors. To learn more about how much Fraxel laser treatment costs at La Jolla Plastic Surgery and Dermatology, call (800) 373-4773 or inquire using our form


What are the risks of Fraxel laser treatments?

It is essential that you have a medical expert like Dr. Stuart to perform your Fraxel sessions. Inexperienced providers could cause burns, scars, or pigmentation issues that result from aggressive Fraxel treatments.

Is Fraxel safe for all skin tones?

Fraxel laser treatments work best to treat sun-damaged skin, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. However, patients with medium to deep skin tones may develop melasma or hyperpigmentation issues. Discuss your skin concerns with Dr. Stuart to develop your optimal skin care treatment plan.

How many Fraxel sessions will I need to see results?

Depending on your aesthetic goals, Fraxel has shown skin improvement with as little as one session. However, many patients need a second or third treatment to achieve optimal results.

Does Fraxel laser treatment hurt?

Providers like Dr. Stuart apply a numbing cream on the skin before they apply the laser energy from the Fraxel device. This is typically enough to prevent discomfort during treatment. If you have concerns about this issue, you can discuss taking further preventative measures at your personal consultation.


  1. Preissig J, Hamilton K, Markus R. Current Laser Resurfacing Technologies: A Review that Delves Beneath the Surface. Seminars in Plastic Surgery. 2012;26(03):109-116. doi: 
  2. TANZI E, WANITPHAKDEEDECHA R, ALSTER T. Fraxel Laser Indications and Long-Term Follow-Up. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2008;28(6):675-678. doi: