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Can Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing Cause New Wrinkles?

i see new wrinkles under my eye. i'm on day 4. from sunday i saw new vertical/diagonal wrinkles under my eyes that i didn't have. i had almost no wrinkles around the eyes, only on forehead and above lips. now eyes look worse. i called the doctor, but she says it's the dry skin that gives that effect. i'm doubtful. it looks like it's staying. of course she's going to say that it's not a problem to try to convince me that all is normal. is it normal for laser treatments and laser resurfacing to cause new wrinkles?

Doctor Answers (16)

Laser Skin Resurfacing


Due to dryness and skin tightening this can cause what might look like new wrinkles or slight folds but actually it is the way your new skin looks from swelling and conforming to the body. Give it time, 4 days out is way too early to jump to any conclusions, you still have the tightening to look forward to yet this early

Clermont Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Can Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing Cause New Wrinkles?

This is a very common question, and we do hear this from time to time. Fractional lasers will improve the skin and they will reverse the clock in terms of skin for many people. But they are not permanent fixes, and we are learning that in many, we have seen really nice results at 2 and 3 years following the procedures. A recent report from China has shown that some patients are maintaining their results 5 years after the procedure which is very impressive. After the procedure, good skin care and sun protection is required and this needs to continue forever. And eventually, another fractional laser treatment may be needed, and this will be determined by you and your provider.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Fractional laser skin resurfacing and wrinkles


Fraxel Laser removes wrinkles in a very safe, effective, and elegant manner.  If you seeing new wrinkles it sounds like you are just getting some dryness which appears as wrinkles from the procedure.  Use a lot of Epiceram and the dryness should dissipate in a week to 10 days.  It sounds like you actually had an expected side effect and I hope your outcome is good.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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Healing Phase of Fractional Laser Can Cause Temporary "dryness" wrinkling


You can relax. Fractional laser won't give you new wrinkles. We all see more wrinkles with dry skin and any laser treatment uses high heat which tends to dry out the skin for a short time. Your  body will equalize the cell hydration shortly.

In the meantime, using a simple moisture cream will help - either one provided by your physician or approved -  something without fragrance or any irritating ingredients. Many physicians suggest aquaphor - but get your own doctor's advice.

Fractional CO2 laser takes longer to heal than the non CO2 lasers. But within a week with the erbium fractional lasers most everyone feels their skin is normally hydrated.

(Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine to help restore that hydration you're missing!)


Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologist
4.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Fractional Laser - Wrinkles


Depending on what type of fractional laser was performed, you will likely have a lot of swelling 4 days after the procedure.  Swelling can make thin skin such as that of the eyelids have deep appearing folds. This is not permanent and resolves as the swelling comes down.  Be patient with any laser procedure before evaluating the final results. Remember, sometimes the swelling looks quite good, eliminating many wrinkles. So bottom line is you must wait months before evaluating the final results from a fractional CO2 laser procedure.

Jacob D. Steiger, MD
Boca Raton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Lasers don't cause wrinkles


Four days after laser is well within the healing phase of the treatment.  Newly lasered skin is often very dry and fragile in the first week or so depending on which laser was used.  I have my Active Fx patients back in the office at a week and my aesthetician does a hydrating facial that refreshes the new skin.  It makes a remarkable improvement.  Remember, collagen is stimulated by resurfacing but it takes weeks for the collagen to grow.  I think that you will be very happy in a month or so, in the meantime try a moisturizing eye cream.

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

New Wrinkles Unlikely After Laser Resurfacing


It is highly unlikely that any type of laser resurfacing procedure will create new wrinkles. These may be due to dryness (and if so, moisturize) or some kind of swelling after the procedure. As Dr. Kulick points out, don't evaluate your results so early, wait for the procedure to heal before you evalute your results.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Laser resurfacing does not cause wrinkles


This is likely post treatment changes that are temporary in nature until the skin has fully healed. Let mother nature kick in and see what everything looks like after you have healed.

Purvisha Patel, MD
Germantown Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Wrinkling and laser resurfacing


Laser resurfacing can not cause new wrinkles.  After only 4 days you are seeing temporary skin wrinkling that will disappear with proper skin care.

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Wrinkles and Laser Resurfacing


No, fractionated laser resurfacing does not cause new wrinkles. In response to your question, it has only been four days since your procedure and it is too early to judge. What you see may be slight skin irritation but you will not see and appreciate your results until a couple of weeks later.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

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.