Can I Have Fraxel Restore After Using Tretinoin for Years?

I have been using Tretinoin (Retrieve Cream) for a couple of years. It has been beneficial but I feel that my skin is very thin now. My questions is how long should I wait (or should I not have it) before doing Fraxel Restore? I am concerned that my thin skin will cause the Fraxel Restore laser to penetrate too deeply and hence cause scarring because of it penetrating deeper than anticipated. Will the skin go back to its original thickness eventually? Any advice would be appreciated. thank you.

Doctor Answers 3

Discontinue Tretinoin Two Weeks Before Fraxel Re:Store

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To avoid irritation, discontinue your tretinoin at least two weeks before you have Fraxel Re:Store. The laser will not only resurface your skin, but stimulate the production of collagen. This should add some volume to your skin, making it look more youthful. Please consult with a board-certified dermatologist to have your skin evaluated for Fraxel.

Tretinoin should be discontinued for two weeks before the Fraxel

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I have many patients who have been using Tretinoin for years.  It is an excellent cream for treating sun damage and wrinkles.  You should discontinue it and any topical bleaching agents for two weeks before your procedure.  That should be enough time, depending on your skin type, to be able to have the Fraxel procedure.  Just remember to avoid all sun before and for at least one month after the Fraxel laser.

Use of Tretinoin and Fraxel

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Even if you wait a month after stopping Tretinoin, the lower eyelid skin is so thin that the fraxel restore might cause pinpoint bleeding but this is very very rare. You should be ok with the Fraxel but tell your doctor your concern and it is better for them to be conservative and increase the energies and densities slowly from treatment to treatment.  Fraxel REpair is more aggressive and normally patients are told to stop the Tretinoin only one to two weeks before the treatment.

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