I'm doing Fraxel next week. I'm a brown or tan color Asian and wanted to know if I become hyperpigmented, how long will it last or will it be there for ever? Does anyone out there have any experience? Please help before I make a big mistake.
Will Hyperpigmentation on Asian Skin Go Away?
Doctor Answers 4
Fraxel and Melarase creams
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Pre-treatment is essential
I would not recommend a Fraxel until you are pre-treated with a skin care regime to inhibit pigmentation for several weeks. This would include a retinoid, hydroquinone, perhaps an antioxidant, and of course, sunscreen. I then reommend that you restart the regime when your docotr tells you to do so. If your doctor has NOT had you pre-treated, I'd question their experience in treating ethnic skin.
Fraxel and hyperpigmentation in Asian patients
You have pointed out primary the danger of skin resurfacing treatments on individuals with darker complexions. Namely, that of hyperpigmentation. This can be permanent so I would take Dr. Shelton's excellent suggestion to heart even if it seems inconvenient to you.
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Hyperpigmentation of Asian skin
As you know there are rules and exceptions. Typically, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation of the face can be temporary, but last many many months before it improves considerably, and may need a combination of chemical peels or lighter Fraxel energies, AND lightening creams. Many physicians would recommend using a lightening cream for a few weeks prior to the Fraxel for some Asian skin, to decrease the chance of deveoping the hyperpigmentation. A wise plan would be to have a test spot done behind the ear and repeated one or two more times at slightly higher doses on the same area a few weeks apart and wait for a couple of months to see if the hyperpigmentation develops. If it does, you would be happy you would have waited. Then you can see if it goes away with treatment and time. Unfortunately if you pass the test, and darkness doesn't develop on the tested area ( you do have to wait for several weeks to two months to see if it does) it doesn't guarantee that it won't develop on the treated facial area. You would still have to assume that risk.
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