I had a large sunspot treated with fraxel 3 weeks ago.

My spot has grown darker/redder after Fraxel treatment 3 weeks ago.. Does this typically resolve itself? Typically in what amount of time. I am scheduled for another treatment in 10 days. Should I not go?

Doctor Answers 3

Fraxel treatment recovery

It is normal for brown spots to get darker or red after a Fraxel treatment.  On the face, it typically resolves itself in a week to ten days depending on the aggressiveness of treatment.  The body can take much longer, however, and in some cases can take up to 3 weeks.  You should still go back to your doctor and address your concerns, because there are many factors to consider here.  Your doctor will be able to assess your skins response properly based on your skin type, the aggressiveness of treatment, treatment area, initial cause of brown spot, recent sun exposure, etc.  If the area is still darker at the time of your visit, your doctor will likely push your next treatment out a few more weeks.


New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Healing time after Fraxel

Over the first few days you generally experience more redness and you may also notice that your skin appears bronzed or little dark dots will appear on the treated area. Your skin may feel dry, peel, or flake. This darkened dry skin is a normal result of laser treatment, and should start sloughing off 3 – 4 days after the treatment.

Most patients complete this process 5 – 7 days after a treatment on the face. (Off-face areas, such as hands/arms, where healing is slower, the process may take up to 2 weeks.)

Once the sloughing is complete, you may notice some pinkness over the next few weeks. Most redness resolves during the first week after treatment, but a rosy “glow” can remain for several weeks especially on body area.

I'd encourage you to follow up with your provider prior to your next treatment. 

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 220 reviews

Fraxel for sun spots

Healing times post resurfacing lasers depend on the site on the body treated. The face heals the fastest. The normal progression for a sun spot after Fraxel treatment on the face is redness for 3 days or so, followed by darkening for 3 or so days, followed by peeling, and then pinkness that resolves over a few weeks. 

I would keep your appointment and have your physician evaluate you prior to your next laser. 

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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.