How Are the Outcomes Different for Caucasian and Asian Skin Types Using Fraxel for repairs?

Doctor Answers (3)

Caution

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The Fraxel re:pair is safe and effective in lighter Asian skin. However, caution should be exercised in treating darker aging skin as pigmentary changes can occur with darker skin following treatment.


New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Extra care needed in treating darker skin types with Fraxel

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Darker skin types including Asian skin are more vulnerable to pigmentary issues following Fraxel treatments.  Although Fraxel has been safely used in treating Asian skin, you should be pretreated with Retin-A and hydroquinone for at least four weeks to prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).  If you do get PIH, it is often temporary and will fade.  The pigment of darker skin types is simply more volatile and requires a little extra caution when treating with lasers. The end results should be similar to that of Caucasian skin, but may require more treatments because more conservative settings are often used to minimize risk.

Timothy Jochen, MD
Palm Springs Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Fraxel For Caucasian and Asian Skin Types

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The major difference between using Fraxel for Caucasian versus Asian skin types is not so much with the outcome. Outcomes really differ from patient to patient depending on the level of sun damage that the skin displays, among other factors.

So the difference really lies in the risk factor involved in performing a laser procedure on skin that has less melanin versus skin that has more melanin

As you probably know, melanin is a pigment in your skin that is responsible for its color. Most cosmetic lasers are quite easily absorbed by this pigment. And if you have a high concentration of it in your skin, you will be absorbing more of the light, which turns into heat energy. This can lead to overheating and subsequent scarring. Your skin creates scar tissue in response to an injury (like heat). This is how it attempts to heal itself.

Although Fraxel Re:pair would not be recommended for Asian skin due to this risk factor, Fraxel Dual is actually a wonderful choice for patients of an ethnic background. It uses the 1550nm wavelength. Attached is a case study video with an Asian patient.

Melanin does not easily absorb longer wavelengths of light. So this is why it is safer. Also the 1550 nm can reach into deeper layers of the skin. It stimulates the formation of new collagen by deliberately heating the dermis so that healthy new collagen forms and contributes to the overall tightness of your skin.

Keep in mind that ideal results are possible through customized recommendations for individual patient needs, instead of relying on a single system. So patients of any ethnicity can benefit significantly from the antiaging advancements that are currently available. 

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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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.