Will bronzing from fractional laser/fraxel ever go away? I have these dots from the laser grid on my face for 3 mths now.(photo)

I'm wondering when the grid/track marks on my face will ever go away. I recently saw the dermatologist who did the procedure and he said that it's pigmented marks and that they will fade. However, I also had an increase in breakouts after he treated the area, and hyperpigmentation from scarring as a result. Is there a way that either of these issues can be resolved, or is the hyperpigmentation and bronzing/grid marks/dots/tracks permanent? If so, what are some available treatments to resolve it?

Doctor Answers 3

Pigmentation after Fraxel treatment

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Usually after Fraxel pigmentation spots get darker before they get better. Still, since your last treatment was 3 months ago, this should have seen some improvements. I advise you to make a follow up appointment with another provider to rule out pigmentation. You may need to use some creams to speed up healing process. Good luck!

Summit Emergency Medicine Physician

Dark spots after laser

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From the photos it looks as if you have something called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). I don't see any textural irregularities in the photos. This is indeed a temporary phenomenon resulting from any injury to the skin (ex: laser, acne, scrapes/cuts, etc). The good news is that it will fade with time but rarely can take a year or even more in the darkest skin types. Daily sun protection of 50 spf + is key to help the spots fade. Often times getting exposure to sunlight during the laser healing process can make PIH more likely. In addition to sun protection having your dermatologist prescribe you a retinoid (ex: tretinoin, Retin-A) could help the spots fade more quickly. Bleaching creams such as hydroquinone don't work very well on PIH but certainly shouldn't hurt things. Hope this helps and take heart that these spots are not permanent.

Kathryn Kent, MD
Saint Helena Dermatologist

Fraxel and Hyperpigmentation

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The best course of action is to use Hydroquinone, Retin-A, and combine with Vitamin C and sun screen.  You may also need chemical peels to help this process.  Best, Dr. Green

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