Fraxel Restore Scarring: Is this Normal?

My girlfriends first treatment was 6 weeks ago today. From most reports online the recovery process seemed normal. Exactly 3 weeks later she had her 2nd treatment and the healing has been incredibly slow.

There's been no sign of infection and she hasn't been in sunlight at all. There was considerable browning and crusting (scabs?) on one side within 3 days of the second treatment and it took 14 days from then for all of it to shed -- the skin is now uneven around the edge. Scarring? Normal?

Doctor Answers 3

This doesn't sound like normal fraxel healing

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the beauty of fraxel restore is the quick recovery/lack of significant downtime. your description doesn't sound typical and clearly was different  from the first time. sounds like things are coming along now, but certainly should see the treating physician asap so they can evaluate what is going on....and before another treatment session.

Schenectady Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Fraxel and crusts

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There are many variables that can change the picture.  Without knowing the type of Fraxel (Repair, Restore, Dual, etc.) and without knowing the settings used, and without examining the skin's reaction, it is impossible answer specifically for your girlfriend's questions.  There can be brown peeling with the Dual but usually this heals by day seven.  Fraxel Repair can take up to two weeks.  Herpes flares can occur with any laser resurfacing and this could be an issue that could even lead to scarring.  Your girlfriend should see her doctor to evaluate her skin's condition right away.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Healing after Fraxel re:store

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Healing after Fraxel re:store is usually very predictable and consists of some redness, swelling and mildly rough texture of the skin - even when very high settings of the laser are used such as for acne scars. I would consult the treating physician and keep the area moist with vaseline or Elta moisturizer and consider mineral water spray like Avene thermal spring water. Crusts as you describe are unusual and I wonder about an allergic reaction to something. Good luck and stay on top of the healing process,

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.