Facelift vs. Fraxel® Laser Skin Resurfacing: Which Is Better for Facial Rejuvenation?

Woman smiling while placing a hand on her cheek

When it comes to facial rejuvenation procedures, both Fraxel laser skin resurfacing and facelift surgery are 2 options my San Jose and Palo Alto patients often ask about. Each approach offers a host of its own anti-aging benefits, and many people have questions about which is the better choice. In reality, neither of these options is definitively “better”—the question is really which procedure is better for you.

In this blog post, I’ll share a couple of questions you can ask yourself to determine whether Fraxel or a facelift is the solution for you and whether it’s worth combining both for the best possible result.

Which Concerns Are You Looking to Address?

The right approach for you mostly comes down to the improvements you are looking to make in your appearance.

Structural Concerns

Are you looking to offset the effects of gravity over time by lifting drooping facial tissue, reducing jowls, and smoothing out deep creases caused by sagging skin? If so, a facelift is likely your best approach. This procedure restructures the deeper tissues of your face and tightens excess skin to take up to a decade off your appearance.

Surface-Level Signs of Aging

Is your goal primarily to address fine lines, diminish pigmented spots, create a more elastic skin texture, and rejuvenate your skin’s surface overall? Fraxel laser skin resurfacing may be a better option for you, as it stimulates new collagen production in your skin.

If you would like to address both surface-level and structural aging concerns, you may benefit most from a combined approach to these procedures—more on that below.

How Much Recovery Time Are You OK With?

A facelift requires about a week or 2 of downtime, meaning time away from work, social activities, and exercise. However, this is a one-time investment for most people, as you typically only need a single procedure to enjoy results for as long as a decade.

Most people return to normal activities a few days after Fraxel treatment, though some redness and flaking may last a week or so. Unlike a facelift, however, most people need 3 to 5 treatments to see the best results.

When to Combine a Facelift With Fraxel

For those who want to both lift their facial tissue and rejuvenate their skin, combining both of these procedures is often very beneficial. Depending on your unique case, you may even be able to have Fraxel done as part of your facelift procedure, which studies have shown is safe and effective. Some people may have a better experience waiting a few weeks to recover from their facelift before returning for a Fraxel treatment.

Opting for Fraxel after a facelift offers the added benefit of scar revision. While facelift scars are designed to be well-hidden along the hairline and around the ears, Fraxel further minimizes these scars by stimulating collagen production on and around them.

As you explore the possibilities of surgical and nonsurgical facial rejuvenation, it’s ultimately best to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon about which approach is right for you. If you would like to learn more about anti-aging treatments from a board-certified plastic surgeon in Palo Alto or San Jose, please contact me online or call (650) 325-1118 (Palo Alto) or (408) 371-1118 (Campbell) to get in touch.

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