Is Fraxel Safe for People with Auto Immune Disorders Who Scar Badly?

I am considering Fraxel repair to correct uneven skin tone, fine lines and to generally tighten the skin. I'm 45 and healthy except that I have an auto-immune disease (Hashimotos) and very high C-Reactive protien level related to systemic inflammation caused or resulting from immune disfunction. I have had a few surgeries and the scars, even years later, are still very raised and purple. Should people with overactive immune systems and tendency to scar badly avoid this procedure?

Doctor Answers 3

Best to do a 'test spot' with the laser

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If you or your doctor (an experienced dermatologist with laser experience) are not sure whether or not you would be a safe candidate for the laser treatment, a small 'test spot' can always be performed to see how you will heal before you have an entire area treated.  Ideally, photos would be taken pre- and post-treatment and together you could assess whether or not you would be a good candidate. 

Fraxel repair and history of poor scarring in your skin

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The autoimmune disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, may not be responsible for the history of poor scarring you have, but it is the latter, not former, that would make me concerned about you having an ablative, albeit fractional, carbon dioxide laser treatment with Fraxel Repair. Even Fraxel Restore which normally produces great results with minimal downtime could risk poor scarring if you tend to develop such scars. See an expert laser board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon and go cautiously, maybe a test spot first, although this won't guarantee a poor result couldn't occur from an actual treatment, if the test does not produce a hypertrophic scar.

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

Fraxel Treatment in Patients with Auto-Immune Disease

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In general patients who scar poorly should not have laser treatments.  That being said, some patients can tolerate fractionated treatments.  A test spot of treatment should be done prior to any full treatment.  Discuss this fully with both your rheumatologist-immunologist as well as your laser physician.  There an increased risk of PIH and that should be weighed in your decision. Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

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