Can Fraxel Cause an Allergic Reaction, Like Swelling ?

I did fraxel on my face in November 2010, I was really swollen, I went back to the doctor an he gave me an antiallergic injection, I had fraxel 2 days ago,and I am taking anti-allergic pills (benadryl) for the swelling, and I wonder if it could be any allergic reation and that's why I get really swollen after the fraxel procedure. Thanks in advance for your answer.

Doctor Answers 7

Fraxel and swelling

It is normal to have swelling after a Fraxel treatment.  The more aggressive the treatment, the more swelling you will have, but the better the result.  You can use cold compresses, an antihistamine and sleep with your head elevated.  If you truly have an allergic reaction, it would be caused by the anesthetic cream or a product you used after the treatment.  You should see your doctor for assessment.

Toronto Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Swelling after Fraxel

After your Fraxel treatment it is normal to have some swelling.  You will have the most swelling around your eyes and it may look like you had an allergic reaction but this is not an allergy. How swollen you are will depend on how strong your treatment is and also how sensitive your skin is.   

To minimize the swelling, 1) take an anti-histamine like Benadryl, Zyrtec or Claritin, 2) apply very cold compresses or ice packs for the first 24 hours after the treatment, and 3) should sleep elevated on several pillows. 

For most people the swelling lasts 2-3 days.  The redness, however, may last 3-6 days.

Jordana S. Gilman, MD
Washington Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Swelling is normal after a Fraxel treatment

Swelling post Fraxel treatments is normal.  Intensity of the treatment usually correlates with the downtime and  inflammation.  Keeping the head or area treated elevated and Icing  the first 24 hours can help reduce the swelling as well as antihistamines (Claritin, Benadryl,Zyrtec) and anti-inflammatories (Aleve, Motrin, Advil). 

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Fraxel swelling is not allergy

It is normal to be swollen after Fraxel. The more aggressive the settings, the longer it lasts (1-3 days typical). Allergic reactions would only be seen from the topical anesthetic, and that would more likely present with a rash that is pink, bumpy and very itchy with possible oozing and blisters.

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

Fraxel Reactions

After Fraxel you may experience some redness and swelling and even some itching during the healing phase.  It is possible to develop a rash and significant itching, even hiving when "allergenic" products are applied soon after the procedure. I generally recommend avoiding natural products such as aloe vera or topical anesthetics such as benadryl creams after any laser procedure to avoid the risk of allergic reaction. Check with your doctor to ensure that you are seeing the normal amount of reaction expected with your particular treatment. More about Fraxel in the video.

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Swelling After Fraxel Treatment

Hi Madame Botox,

Fraxel laser, like all lasers, traumatizes the skin resulting in swelling.  In addition, some patients may be sensitive to the skin care products used after the laser treatment.  The use of cold compresses and antihistamines such as Claritin and Benedryl usually help patients to get through those first few days of swell ling. Bromolene also is helpful.  Hope that you love your treatment.  Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Swelling after Fraxel, allergic or physical reaction

Swelling usually after Fraxel is normal but its amount is variable depending on which Fraxel is used, the Restore or Repair, what area(s) of the face are treated and the surface area.  Treatment around the eyes or forehead tends to create more swelling than treatment of the midcheeks and lower face.  If there is excessive itching after the procedure then there may be a contact dermatitis if there was a numbing cream applied or possibly a reaction to some topical product you are applying to the skin or is applied immediately after by the provider. The Fraxel energy and treatment itself would not cause an allergic reaction in general. Physical urticaria (hives) is very rare and can be seen in some individuals related to pressure or cold and you might react to the cold Zimmer air blown on the skin if that is used with the Fraxel, but again, this type of cold urticaria is extremely rare.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 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.