Laser Resurfacing (Fraxel® DUAL 1550/1927, Ablative or Nonablative Skin Resurfacing) - San Diego, CA*

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The Fraxel laser system smoothes wrinkled and weathered skin through a series of treatments that spurs the growth of collagen, which helps give skin a tighter, more youthful look. Triple board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Richard Chaffoo offers these comfortable laser treatments to ensure you get excellent results. It typically takes 4 – 8 sessions spaced about a month apart for optimal results. San Diego residents trust La Jolla Plastic Surgery for treatments that get maximum results with minimum downtime. The Fraxel DUAL laser is an extremely popular and effective technology that corrects sun damage, uneven skin coloring, fine wrinkles, and rough texture — without significant discomfort or downtime. Fraxel treatments can help you to have skin that looks radiant and feels like new.

Before the Procedure

The Fraxel DUAL is actually a 2-in-1 laser:

  • 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 pre-cancerous skin cells (actinic keratosis).
  • For smoother, firmer, and 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.

Procedure Technique

Dr. Chaffoo and his team perform Fraxel treatments at our La Jolla and San Diego, CA offices. The entire process takes about 1 – 2 hours to complete. First, your skin will be cleansed and dried, followed by a topical numbing cream. Once the skin is numb, which usually takes an hour, the Fraxel handpiece is glided over the 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. 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 are untreated. Because the entire surface of the skin is not ablated, downtime is reduced since the skin repairs and renews itself more quickly.


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

  • Apply cool compresses or ice packs as directed, especially for the first day
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Use a non-cosmogenic moisturizer
  • Resist squeezing or picking any bumps or pimples that form
  • Do not pull off peeling skin
  • You may apply concealer to reduce redness beginning the day after treatment if desired. Your skin will gradually turn a bronze color and then peel and flake (like a sunburn). Expect your skin to feel tight, dry, and itchy as it heals. Gradually the treated skin will peel off and your fresh, new skin will be revealed.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure for at least 3 months after your treatments, and consistently apply sunscreen of at least 30 SPF, as the new skin is highly sensitive.


It is likely you will notice improvement after your first Fraxel treatment. As collagen rebuilds in the skin, you will look and feel even better. We recommend a series of 4 – 8 sessions spaced 2 – 4 weeks apart for optimal results.

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Plan Your Procedure

Recovery Time  
1 - 2 Days
Average Procedure Time  
1 - 2 Hours
Post-op Follow-up  
2 - 4 Weeks
Procedure Recovery Location  
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Laser Skin Resurfacing FAQs

Conditions Treated?

Fraxel treatments may be used 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:

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

Combining Treatments?

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

Potential Risks?

Most of the side effects caused by a Fraxel treatment, including redness, itching, dryness, peeling, and flaking, are temporary and will only last for 1 – 2 days after your treatment. Rare complications include infection, scarring, and hyperpigmentation, which is why it's important to be honest with Dr. Chaffoo during your consultation, so he can minimize your risks.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.