Fraxel for Melasma - Treatment Results Do Not Last - Montclair, NJ

I had 3 fraxel treatments a year ago to treat...

I had 3 fraxel treatments a year ago to treat moderate/severe melasma. The inital results were very good and I was very happy, almost all of the melasma was gone. But here it is a year later and the melasma is back and actually looks worse. I use sunscreen and stay out of the sun as directed.

I feel like I flushed $3600 down the toilet. I was promised the results would be great and I would only have to go for a once a year "touch-up". No way dont believe it. I have full blown melasma again. Treatments are also pretty painful, although I tolerated it at the time.

Think about it, if fraxel is such a miracle treatment for melasma (which is such a difficult condition to treat) why aren't more derms endorsing it? Many who suffer from this condition are desperate and are willing to try anything. Unfortunately I was one of these people and now I feel like the derm that treated me was only in to make money.

I am now experimenting with chemical peels (Vitalize peel). Its too soon to tell if it will be beneficial but after one peel it has seemed to even out my complextion a bit, lets hope it will help with the melasma.

So my advice for anyone with melasma looking to try fraxel, dont waste your money.


I have what the doctor thinks is melasma but only on one cheek of my face. I just went for 5 IPL laser treatments and got no results at all. I had used Triluma for a year before the treatment. Now he wants to use the Q switch laser for 5 more treatments without a cost. I am so confused. Any opinions on what I should do? I never was aware that it could come back or even look worse. I am really upset!!
  • Reply
Thank you for your comment. I do understand now that melasma will never go away. When I went for the faxil I was made to think that I would only need a slight touch up possibly once a year. I didn't realize I would have a full blown case again in a year that actually looks worse than before. I am encouraged by the Vitalize peel - first one I had seems to have broken up the melasma a bit. Have you ever seen this? Do you have any other recommendations for treatment?
  • Reply
Melasma is a condition that will never go away. It is something that needs to keep being treated with bleaching creams, a high zinc/titanium SPF is used daily and reapplied even after the treatment, all of these treatments and creams help keep the "look" of melasma away, but you will never get rid of it. You should have been put on a strict routine of bleaching creams after the treatment and will probably need to be in for a Fraxel once every 6 months to maintain your results. The Vitalize Peel does not go deep enough to help melasma, but does thin the skin so that bleaching creams can go a little deeper. Heat is also known to restimulate Melasma. It is a very tricky condition that not everyone responds the same to. Sorry you did not have good luck with it, but is sounds like where you had it done did not explain things to you fully.
  • Reply
Dr. Downey

Procedure did not work to treat melasma

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
Was this review helpful? 8 others found this helpful