Permanent Hyperpigmentation Due to Fraxel! - St. Louis, MO

I had Fraxel on both my face and chest a year and...

I had Fraxel on both my face and chest a year and a half ago. I wanted to lighten melasma on my face and to smooth scars on my chest. Worst decision I could have made.

After Fraxel I appeared to age significantly. My face looked dehydrated, pigmented and porous. My nasolabial folds were a lot worse. My chest looked awful too. Between my breasts I had "grooving" which was not there before, and my scars looked worse. The grooving appeared red and felt bumpy to the touch.

I finally did my research and flew out of state to see a well known dermatologist who is finally helping me get my skin back on track! He says it is indeed post procedural hyper-pigmentation, skin dehydration and texture shifts. I am on a strict skin care regime and some topical prescriptions. As a result my hyper-pigmentation is significantly better, my pores are smaller and my face has a little of its volume back. Although I still have pretty significant nasolabial folds, and my chest is still awful.

I have to go back to the doctor for this, but I don't have a lot of hope for my chest at this point. I contacted the manufacturers of Fraxel, the FDA, and even Erin Brockovich. I am that upset. Fraxel needs to be forced to be a little more forthcoming about potential complications. I think there are probably better laser alternatives out there. If you chose Fraxel understand the risks!!


I am glad to see you found someone to help you.  What improvements are you seeing?  Would you be more specific on your regime?  Thanks!!  Also, please keep us updated on your progress. 
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Sorry...I just read your complete updated review. I just read an update from Sadgirl, 3 years out, that her hyperpigmention has improved. I know Miamigirl and Mcast have seen improvement with their hyperpigmentation around the same time period....2.5 - 3 years. I hope you will have the same experience. My hyperpigmentation is not as bad this year as it was last so I feel it will get better over time. Basically, I am resolved to spend 8 months repairing the damage over 4 months. I hate my hyperpigmention and would love to know what you are using to see improvement. How long have you been using them?
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I am almost 32 years old. I was 30 when I had the treatments. After my first treatment I felt that my skin may have become worse, but I wasn't sure. The doctor wanted to do a 2nd stronger erbium treatment on my skin. My gut instinct told me not to go through with it. I had a 2nd opinion from a different doctor. As a result I followed through with the treatment. My face almost immediately looked horrible. I saw noticeable sagging of the skin and felt I looked like I aged 10 years. I was told by the doctors office it couldn't be from the treatment. I'm calling their bluff on this. I googled these specific side effects and while none of the doctors or Solta seem to acknowledge these type of side effects exist, I have no doubt they do! I'm not them only one who has had the problems and others have noticed the change in my skin. I am absolutely miserable still, although I have seen some improvement with help from a top derm. By the way, when I mentioned to my original doctor's office that I found other people online who had these side effects and that people noticed the changes in my face, I was pretty much told I was imposing these thoughts of my bad skin onto my self because of what I read and heard. It's all in my mind! Really?!! I still have bad skin. Unfortunately, bad skin is not the only thing bothering me. The structure of my face seems to have changed...I have never smoked, rarely drink, religiously stay out of the sun. The new doctor put me on 15% glycolic cream, a retinoid, some kind of hydration drops and his skin care line. I'm suppose to stay on a strict, cleaning diet, which is very hard. I'm guessing this keeps the inflammation down, which helps counter aging and breakouts etc...I also have to apply sunscreen every 2 hours, even while indoors, since I am prone to hyperpigmentation... One thing to note is that my doctor didn't keep compounding more laser treatments or stronger chemical peels to correct some of my problems. He didn't it with less evasive treatments.
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Permanent but treatable hyperpigmentation...

Permanent but treatable hyperpigmentation diagnosis... I was doing great until I went outside for Mother's Day. Even though I was slathering on the sun screen every hour, and ducking into buildings on and off all day, my efforts didn't help. My hyperpigmentation came back full force and continued getting worse. I went back to the doctor this week and was told that I have photosensitivity dermatitis. There is a more technical name for it if you google. Unfortunately, I was told that this skin condition is permanent. Once the melanocytes are "excited" that's it, and thanks to Fraxel I have lots of "excited" melanocytes! Joy!! So now the only way to fix it is to move into a cave and become a coal miner. ANY indoor light as well as out door light will aggravate the skin. I'm suppose to stay in doors from 9am to 6pm in the summer and 9am to 4pm in the winter. I love the outdoors, so this news was absolutely devastating. I have to make a complete lifestyle change to look "normal" or I can look "abnormal" and try to live my normal life ...and cake on the makeup. I haven't decided what to do yet. In the meantime, I'm on the more "cost effective" yet still expensive approach of flying out of state to see a top doctor, following a 7 step skin care regime, and praying by butt off. There are other things that may help out there, but they are extremely expensive and may not work at all.

As far as Fraxel goes....I kind of wonder if there isn't a certain amount of "risk" that companies like Solta are allowed to take. If most people are having "good" results, and only a few end up with bad results like me (or some off the other bloggers on the internet), than it's worth the risk right?... Like any kind of treatment out there for anything...The problem is when there are lot's of people with the bad experiences. So hopefully everyone who's like me turns their story over to Solta and/or the FDA. As of now I see no way of finding any recourse from the damage being done by Fraxel.
Same exact thing happened to me--know this: even getting hot will cause your skin to pigment!--just heat!--so I cannot go outside, cannot work out--ridiculous! I have been outside maybe 3 times (which all resulted in horrible hyperpigmentation that takes months to years to disappear) since I received the "treatment" 4 years ago. Even this has not stopped the continuously worsening pigmentation. Sunscreen does nothing! I wash my face with cold water and Cerave--if I get hot I dunk my face in ice water. I am in the process of moving up north in the hopes of being able to go outdoors again.
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Oh my goodness gadget358, that would be devastating news to receive. I'm so sorry to hear the choices you are faced with. Since I'm not very familiar with the condition you are dealing with, what would happen if you decided to go out in the sun?

Sending you a big hug & positive thoughts.

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