Complications from Bacterial Infection Post-Fraxel Repair

Unfortunately, I got a bacterial skin infection three days after Fraxel Repair. I was on the antibiotic, Keflex, but it was resistant to the type of bacteria I encountered. After 10 days on CIPRO, the infection is cleared but the skin is bumpy, red, and very rough where the infection was. Any suggestions that will help heal this? Also, since it happened post-procedure, will I have long-term negative effects on my skin from the infection?

Doctor Answers 2

Local wound care

Bacterial infection after Fraxel re:pair is a rare occurrence. The choice of antibiotic was appropriate, unfortunately the bacteria was resistant to the medication. The best thing to do at this point is to keep the skin surface moist with an ointment such as Aquaphor and to protect the facial skin from sun exposure. Moist wounds heal more quickly than dry ones (contrary to what your grandmother may have told you). Protecting it from sun exposure will reduce the chances of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation of that area and the rest of your face that was treated. If in the end the area looks pigmented or uneven, you can use a series of Fraxel re:store treatments to smooth out the texture and color.

Best of luck,

Dr. Ahn

Westborough Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Bacterial and other infections can and do occur after re:pair - go to a dermatologist for treatment

This type of infection and many others can be seen after re:pair. You need to keep working with the surgeon and make sure that you go to any and all appointments and take heed to their instructions. If they aren't a dermatologist, you may want to consider seeing one as dermatologists are uniquely qualified to manage these sorts of concerns.

While I would encourage everyone to have Fraxel re:pair and any other invasive laser performed by a dermatologist, this is a clear example of just one such challenge after having had this done. This is also the reason why it is absolutely crazy to go to anyone other than a very experienced surgeon who has done hundreds of these cases to get yours done.

Having done hundreds of these types of procedures, I can say that each one poses its difficulties and no one scenario is the same. As a dermatologist, I tend to feel that the best type of surgeon for these is a dermatologist, but experience and experiences can vary so it is just important to go to someone who has done a great deal of these and is good at hand holding, because that is exactly what this type of procedure requires.

If you start to feel that the 'assistant, PA/Nurse Practitioner' or less will be intimately involved in this procedure, RUN, don't walk away. That doesn't mean that they can't have some role, but the main role should be the surgeon and if he/she isn't willing to do that, you need another doctor.

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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.