Does Fraxel Work for Hyperpigmented African American Skin?

When I was a teen I squeezed every pimple that I had. The results of that was dark spots on my chin and forehead. Will Fraxel help these acne scar spots fade?

Doctor Answers 4

See a laser specialist before proceeding

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There is a chance that the pigmentation can improve with the Fraxel, but unfortunately, there is a chance that the pigment of your skin can be stimulated by the healing phase after laser and you might get darker. It would be important to do several tests with the Fraxel on less noticeable facial areas before treating the affected dark spots.

Keep in mind that if the test shows that you responded well, there still is a chance you may heal with darker pigment once the dark spots are treated. Several treatments will be needed. Be sure to consult with a laser specialist that has worked significantly on skin of color.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation for African American skin

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It is hard to tell from the photograph, but it looks like you only have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. While Fraxel can be used on darker skin, it must be done with caution and several precautions for best results. I'd likely try you on a skin care program first to fade the spots. Practicing in New Orleans, I see this condition frequently, and have great success with more conservative and less costly therapies than Fraxel.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Proceed with caution

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Fraxel is supposed to be safe for all skin types. I would, however, proceed with caution and have a test patch first to see if affects the skin pigment. Another option that works well with the type of acne scarring you describe, is the Obagi system. It's less expessive and can have dramatic results. I would consult with a Physician who has access to both types of treatment.

Robert M. Jensen, MD
Medford Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Does Fraxel Work for Hyperpigmented African American Skin?

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Before you spend $$ on peels or IPL, try these topicals.

This is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). 

I recommend Melarase AM and Melarase PM creams from Kare Skin as well as a broad spectrum sunblock like Spectrase. Bothe are from Kare Skin. Scler-x post inflammatory hyperigmentation relief complex is a great supplement to take as well. See link below. 

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.