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Hyperpigmentation After Fraxel Restore - Canada

It’s three months now since I had one...

It’s three months now since I had one session of Fraxel Restore. My skin is of olive oil type (or light borwn similar to middle eastern/Hispanic type). Shortly after the Fraxel session, I developed severe hyperpigmentation all over my face skin (described as earthy/sandy look or tanned appearance). My lasered skin shade is three or four higher shades than my neck and chest. I was very depressed.

Throughout these three months, I excessively used lightening and bleaching creams. My skin now started returning to normal and became very happy not to see the line of demarcation between the lasered and normal skin of my face. The acne scarring stayed the same but the texture of my skin appears better but I cannot tell whether this is because of Fraxel or the effect of lightening/bleaching creams I used.

My advices are:

- If your skin is of light brown or olive oil type (not Caucasian white type), please do not do Fraxel. You have high risk of hyperpigmentation because of high content of melanin in your skin. Some doctors on this forum discourage people with this type of skin to undergo Fraxel. Others recommend it provided they use hydroquinone prior to Fraxel to inhibit melanin production.

- Do not do Fraxel at spas. If you develop any complication, spa people won’t be able to help you. Please do it in a clinic with a licensed physician (dermatologist or plastic surgeon) so that you can follow up with them.

- Fraxel laser does not help in ice picks or deep acne scars. The only thing is excision/subcision. Recently, I underwent excision of some of my deep scars. I had the procedure done with an experienced plastic surgeon and I am happy with the initial results. I will post my experience with the excision once I reach the final results as I am now in progress.

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Comments (2)

Hi Sam,

Other community members with a darker complexion have mentioned this too about Fraxel. I'm glad you found a way to counter act it though. Please keep us updated. 



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Thank you Britt for your response. I am glad that I managed to get rid of the hyperpigmentation in a relatively short time.

I want everyone on the Fraxel forum to read the posting of Dr. Joel Schlessinger, MD (which also appears on the link I provided below). His posting says it all. The advice is do not use Fraxel for acne scars.


Here's the deal with acne scars: no laser is really going to do all that much for them. Sorry, but acne scars are very difficult to treat and you are never going to go back to where you want with any laser alone. Even with the best of treatments, you are going to have about 50% improvement and that is with fillers such as restylane and perlane, which will be doing the heavy lifting.
Prior to having Fraxel, Cool Touch, Fraxel Re:pair and every other laser that has promised to improve acne scars but didn't, I performed full face CO2 lasers on patients with acne scars. The results were not all that impressive, despite the fact that patients went through 2 weeks of sheer torture during the recovery phase. That, on top of the price in the $4000 range that made it *seem* like something ought to have happened. Due to this fact, I stopped doing the older, CO2 laser and haven't missed it one bit.
Now, unfortunately, we have a whole new generation of doctors and quasi cosmetic surgeons (family practitioners, nurse practitioners, Ob Gyns, etc) who have now purchased these lasers for their medispas and are trying to generate some cash, along with laser companies that are desperate to sell their machines. So, the old concept of treating acne scars with a laser such as Fraxel is once again being trotted out and desperate patients are being duped once more.
The truth is that it does precious little for acne scars and typically not enough to make someone spend the money and recovery time to do the treatment. What I tell patients is that if the money is something that you care about and it is anywhere near a stretch to do the procedure, you don't want to do it for acne scars. Wrinkles are a whole different situation because it does work for these. Acne scars not so much. And the recovery time, if the scars are done correctly with it, is going to be about a week or two along with major downtime and oozing. So, think twice before doing this procedure, despite what the laser companies and many doctors are telling you!
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