How long should it take for my skin to return to its normal texture after Fraxel? (photos)

I had a second round of Fraxel for my acne scars and after 9 days my cheeks have a rough, bumpy very unsightly texture to them. I hadn't had this problem the first time I had Fraxel. This rough texture is only on my cheeks (the doctor did turn the laser up for this area since scarring was the worst here). I have a few breakouts on my jawline (a side effect I also had after the first treatment) but the texture is more concerning to me. Is this normal? Will my skin ever return to normal?!

Doctor Answers 4

Give It 2 Weeks for Recovery

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I'm sorry to read about your concern. Uneven skin texture is expected following a Fraxel treatment, but the expected duration is sometimes difficult to estimate. You mentioned the intensity of the treatment for the cheeks was higher, and that may contribute to a longer recovery period. If you've followed your physician's post-treatment instructions and the texture of your skin isn't improving after 2 weeks, I suggest contacting his or her office to schedule an appointment. Best of luck to you.

San Diego Dermatologist

Results from Fraxel take some time to become visible.

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While Fraxel results can be apparent immediately after your procedure, your final results may not become visible for a month or two. You mentioned that you had your most recent treatment 9 days ago—it’s common to have some uneven skin texture after this amount of time, particularly since your surgeon used a higher intensity treatment on your cheeks. Have you been moisturizing regularly with the lotions your doctor recommended? It’s also possible that the unevenness is simply due to the remaining scarring present on your cheeks. Some patients may need 4 to 6 Fraxel treatments before their issues are fully resolved.

Recovery after Fraxel

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The timeline of your recovery after Fraxel treatment will vary depending on the settings your Dermatologist used.  In general, swelling peaks within a few days and will gradually subside thereafter.  Most patients are satisfactorily recovered by week 2, but mild redness or irritation may be noted for several weeks.

It is very important to follow your Dermatologist's post-Fraxel protocol to make sure you get the best results.  Also note that, for some patients, 3-4 sessions may be required.

As always, If you have concerns about your treatment, I recommend you contact your Dermatologist.

Jill C. Fichtel, MD
Columbus Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Fraxel and Treating Acne Scars and Post op Period

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Depending on the settings used it can take up to two weeks for the skin's texture to return to normal.  If you have any concerns I would return to your treating physician for examination.

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.