Fraxel Laser for Sun Spots & Sun Damage

Fraxel Laser for Sun Spots & Sun Damage

Westside Laser Dermatology is Brisbane’s only Specialist clinic that performs both 1927 and 1550 Fraxel laser treatments. Fraxel laser can be used to improve skin texture, decrease wrinkling, improve skin tone, and decrease skin pigmentation. In specialist’s hands Fraxel can be used as a treatment for sunspots and sun damage. The advantage of Fraxel laser over other treatments for sundamage is that downtime is minimal, with the added benefit of reversing skin ageing.


  • Solar keratosis or sunspots present as red-brown, rough, scaly and persistent patches on the face, chest and back of the hands
  • Sunspots have a potential to be cancerous, the risk of change varies from 2-5%
  • Sunspots –solar keratosis- actinic keratosis increase and worsen over time
  • There are numerous creams that can be used to treat sunspots, however creams are associated with significant downtime of up to 4 weeks
  • Fraxel Laser has been shown to improve solar keratosis by up to 85% with one treatment
  • Patients with extensive sun damage and solar keratosis may require additional treatments
  • Downtime following Fraxel for sunspots is only 4-7 days
  • Fraxel addresses pre-cancerous solar keratosis and also skin ageing by decreasing pigmentation and wrinkles
  • Fraxel laser can improve skin texture and tone on the face, neck, chest and arms

Sun damage can manifest as sun spots (solar keratoses) – rough, dry, red, often scaly areas on the face, hands and chest. These areas are pre-cancerous. The natural history of sunspots is to potentially worsen over time. Skin cancers can arise from solar keratoses. The risk of developing certain skin cancers can be proportional to the amount of solar keratoses.

The latest studies have shown that clearance rate of 60-85% can be expected after one Fraxel laser treatment, similar to the use of Efudix or photodynamic therapy.

Your dermatologist will guide you as to what is the most effective treatment for YOUR type of sun damage.

One treatment with Fraxel can be extremely successful in decreasing the number of sunspots. Treatment is very well tolerated, and on average takes only 30 minutes to perform. It is relatively painless. Healing occurs within seven days of treatment.  Another positive effect is skin rejuvenation (decrease in pigmentation, liver spots, and fine wrinkles).

There may be some very mild discomfort associated with this treatment.  However, this is very successfully minimised by various means of pain-relief including numbing creams.

Fraxel 1927 treatments are effective; however, as with all other treatments for sun damage and sunspots this procedure may need to be repeated every 3-10 years.

For mild to moderate sun damage: one treatment to improve solar damage by 60-85%

For moderate to severe sun damage: two treatments to improve solar damage by 60-85%

*Your dermatologist will guide you as to the number of treatments you may require.

The positive effects (decrease in sun damage) of Fraxel is variable, and is dependent on genetic factors, your previous sun exposure, and your future sun exposure. Most patients will have lasting results for 3-10 years. This procedure can be repeated if needed.

Fraxel laser treatment, if performed correctly is comfortable. Pain is minimal as we use a special aneasthetic cream before treatment. Fraxel takes approximately 20-40 minutes to perform, depending on the areas treated.

4-7 days. Your skin will be swollen from day 2-3, and then peeling from day 3-6. Most patients are comfortable to perform daily duties from day 3. You must refrain from exercise for 5 days after Fraxel 1927 treatment.

Fraxel 1927 treatment will give you excellent improvement of sunspots, with the minimal downtime; further benefit includes skin rejuvenation. Patients should take note of other treatments available, and their pros and cons:

Treatment Downtime Cost   Limitations Advantages Comment
Fraxel 1927 4-7 days price list Cost; may need two procedures if severe sun damage One off treatment, very quick recovery time – less than 7 d. Helps with skin rejuvenation
Efudix 25-28 days price list Downtime, follow up visit mid treatment Cost effective, works very well Best option if downtime is not an issue and tolerable skin type
PDT –photodynamic therapy 7-8 days price list Cost Short downtime, very effective, one off application Good treatment for smaller areas of sundamage. Eg upper lip
Picato Gel 5-7 days price list Cost; variable levels of inflammation. Shorter downtime Variable inflammation; needs physician monitoring.
Aldara 4-8 weeks price list Long treatment regime Possibly less skin reactions, good clearance rate Limited use in our practice

* NOTE: Prices are subject to change without warning. Please see our full price list for the most up to date costs.

# If cost is a rate limiting factor, Specialists recommend the use of 5FU or Efudix. This treatment is just as good as Fraxel for treating SOLAR KERATOSIS and is only a fraction of the cost. Efudix is associated with a downtime of 4 weeks, and will not address cosmetic issues such as pigmentation, texture, wrinkles and skin tone.

The ideal treatment will depend on your down-time, severity of your sunspots, desire for skin rejuvenation, convenience and budget constraints. We do not suggest Fraxel as the ONLY treatment for solar keratoses; however it has significant advantages over other treatments. A discussion with your dermatologist will provide a solution for your situation.

Fraxel laser has an excellent clearance rate for solar keratosis and sunspots. In most cases patients will only require one 1927 Fraxel treatment. Severe cases of sundamage may require 2-3 laser sessions.

The advantages of Fraxel over creams and or Photodynamic Therapy are-

  • Downtime of less than a week
  • Painless treatment. PDT can be painful, Efudix associated with marked itch
  • Most cases only one treatment of Fraxel laser needed. Creams are self applied for upto 12 weeks
  • Healing begins straight after laser. Creams takes days to weeks to work

Cosmetic benefits of Fraxel are undeniable- patients will have a significant reduction in brown marks, facial pigmentation, fine wrinkling. With additional treatments, skin tone, and deep wrinkles can be markedly diminished

Full face Fraxel Please contact us for pricing. 
Face and scalp Fraxel Please contact us for pricing.
Face and chest Fraxel Please contact us for pricing.
Fraxel Package Please contact us for pricing.


*** Fraxel is not covered by Medicare nor Private Health Insurance, even as a treatment for sun spots. PDT maybe partially covered by Private Health insurance and fully covered under DVA.

No. Private insurance and Medicare will not cover any procedural treatment of sunspots and solar damage. The Department of Veterans Affairs is the only institution that will cover procedural management of sun damage with PDT or photodynamic therapy.

  • Fraxel provides an excellent method of treating sunspots at a reasonable price point
  • Down-time is limited to 7 days maximum
  • Skin rejuvenation can also be seen following FRAXEL 1927 treatment
  • Side-effects are generally minimal when done in a specialist setting with the appropriate follow-up.
  • Patients can expect a reduction of 60-80% of sunspots after one treatment
  • Fraxel can be used on the face, scalp, chest, and hands
  • If cost is an issue, Efudix is a very effective and cost-effective method of treating sunspots
  • For smaller, more focal areas of sun damage, photodynamic therapy may be a suitable therapeutic option.

Fraxel laser has be an evolution over the past 7 years. The newest wavelength, known as 1927 has been shown to be an excellent method of treating sunspots or solar keratosis. Clearance rates of up to 85% can be expected with one treatment. The advantage of Fraxel in the treatment of solar keratosis is that downtime is kept to a minimum, and skin ageing; namely brown spots, freckles, pigmentation, wrinkling and skin dullness will also be addressed.

In patients with mild sundamage, then only one treatment is required, however patients with moderate to severe solar damage and keratosis may require additional treatments. An assessment and discussion with your Specialist will guide you as to what are the best solutions for your skin.