Enlarged Pores Became Bigger After Fraxel Repair

I just had Fraxel Re:pair done on Feb. 11th, and 6 days later, I went back to work (my first day at work since the procedure). I am wearing a good cover-up makeup from the doctor, but I noticed that my enlarged pores look even bigger and worse. That was my primary reason for having this procedure done. Can anyone tell me if this is normal? It looks really, really bad.

Doctor Answers 1

Did Fraxel Repair enlarge pores?

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Fraxel Repair, or any laser for that matter, won't increase the size of your pores. But there may be some temporary visual perception that this is the case.

Fraxel Repair is an ablative laser. This means there are actual columns of tissue which have been vaporized. There are millions of pores in the skin, and there is always the possibility that some of the columns of tissue removal were adjacent to, or even within a pore. But - these microscopic "holes" close very quickly and if one were actually within or immediate to the pore, you would ultimately have a smaller pore, not a larger one.

Because the epidermal cells are so efficient in closing the tiny wound, you won't be aware of what is going on underneath in the deeper layers. This is where the Fraxel Repair does it's work...very deep in the skin.

New collagen formation occurs over a period of months - actually up to around 6 months. So the texture of your skin will improve because of this new collagen. Firmer skin will "push" the pore walls a little closer together.

At 6 days out most patients won't have had enough of a chance to heal completely to be able to assess the true results. Your skin at that early stage is recovering from a controlled wounding, so this is far from the final results. You also need to be very mindful of the healing going on deeper in the skin and treat your skin carefully. It is important for anyone who has had Fraxel laser or other CO2 laser to follow post procedure instructions carefully. Laser patients should NEVER pick off the small crusts that form as this could cause scarring, Hyperpigmentation or even Hypo pigmentation.

Since you say you had enlarged pores before your laser treatment, they may be either genetic or a result of increased sebum production over a period of time that stretched them. Many patients find that a change in skin care products will help keep the pores free of excess oil, which will further minimize appearance. For some people diet will make a difference too. Staying well-hydrated improves the skin's appearance and will also help with your skin's ability to keep pore appearance minimized.

Discuss with your dermatologist the use of products with either salicylic acid if your skin is oily or alpha hydroxy acids which will help keep your skin functions regulated. Retinoic acid (Renova, RetinA or others) is a superb catalyst for skin cell turnover and helps keep the pores clear. These are not be used following resurfacing lasers until your doctor says so.

Some makeups are too heavy and collect in the pores, so you may want to explore something with a lighter texture. Cover-up makeup sometimes require a much more thorough removal process. I don't like to pitch products, but the Clarisonic Facial cleansing brush is an exceptional addition to skin cleanliness, and when used regularly, has some great impact on how the skin looks and feels.

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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.