This Article Has Been Medically Approved By

Dr. George H. Sanders

Microneedling and Fraxel differences

Fraxel versus Microneedling: Which is better? Microneedling and the Fraxel laser are both popular treatments to improve the tone and texture of the skin. Though they are based on similar principles, they are performed differently and each has its own advantages and drawbacks. Here, Dr. George Sanders, a Los Angeles-area plastic surgeon, explains the similarities and differences between the two.

How Microneedling and Fraxel Work

Both microneedling and Fraxel work by injuring the skin just enough to trigger the body’s natural repair system. They use different mechanisms to create tiny injuries in the skin. As Dr. Sanders explained in his last blog post, microneedling uses a handheld device containing tiny needles to create small pricks on the surface of the skin. The Fraxel laser delivers controlled energy to the deeper layers of the skin, creating wounds in a special fractional pattern that leaves areas of skin untreated in between the wounds.

The body responds to microneedling and Fraxel-created wounds by kick-starting its skin repair processes. One of the results of this process is an increase in the production of collagen. With fresh collagen, the skin becomes thicker, smoother and more radiant.

Comparing the Two Treatments


Microneedling is the less invasive of the two treatments. It works at a very superficial level and does not cause significant discomfort. Laser skin resurfacing works on deeper levels of the skin. It isn’t painful, but it can be more uncomfortable than a microneedling treatment session.


Both treatments deliver noticeable improvement in skin tone and texture. However, because microneedling does not penetrate the deep layers of the skin, it is better suited to mild skin problems, and the results are typically less dramatic than Fraxel.


After microneedling, skin usually tingles a bit and looks mildly red — but in general, there is no recovery. On the other hand, Fraxel laser treatment usually leaves the skin red and swollen for up to 10 days. There may also be a few days of downtime with Fraxel treatment.


Microneedling is generally less expensive than Fraxel — largely because of the differences in technology. Lasers are a significantly higher investment than microneedling devices.

Learn More about Your Treatment Options

If you are self-conscious of wrinkles, scarring, pigmentation or textural problems with your skin, and would like to learn more about the available treatment options, please contact Dr. Sanders by calling (818) 981-3333 today.