I have a hypopigmented scar on my face from acne, is Fraxel an option?
Does Fraxel on Hypopigmented Acne Scars?
Doctor Answers 3
Laser treatment of hypopigmentation
Repigmentation of hypopigmented scars is not consistently possible. I have not had success with Fraxel Re:store laser in improving this condition. I have not tried the fraxel Re:pair laser for this as I don't see why it would work on a theoretical basis (although in medicine it is not unusual to discover results we don't expect by trying different treatments). The excimer laser has been used to repigment vitiligo but I wonder about the wavelength of this light energy increasing the risk of skin cancer development many years after the treatment.
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Fraxel for scarring
Scars can be defined in terms of color as well as deformity. Hyperpigmentation (darkening) can be temporary and is usually reversible, hypopigmentation is generally permanent because it indicated that the cells responsible for pigmentation (melanocytes) have been destroyed in that area of the skin. There are some studies which suggest that wavelenghts in the ultraviolet spectrum can cause repigmentation. However, ultraviolet wavelengths can also harm the skin by causing neoplastic changes (skin cancer) making this an inviable treatment option.
Fraxel Repair improves the appearance of scars by smoothing the transition between the scar and normal skin. It also promotes collagen remodeling in the skin which significantly improves skin quality and can improve the appearance of scars. Because the Fraxel Repair is ablative, my recommendation would be the Fraxel Repair over the Fraxel Restore if scar improvement is the goal.
In terms of color, I don't think either Repair or Restore would change the white color of the scar although both lasers do improve brown and red pigmentary issues (dyschromia, melasma, or rosea).
Fraxel repair for Hypopigmented Scars?
I have seen some improvement in hypopigmented scars on the face with Fraxel repair, not with Fraxel restore. Patient responses vary, and the treatment is not guaranteed to improve hypopigmented scars. If the hypopigmented scar bothers you a great deal, then it is worth a try.
Good luck and be well.
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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.