Does Fraxel cause the skin to tan?
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Doctor Answers 5
Laser for Asian Skin - Likely side effects
Asian skin in general tends to experience post treatment hyper pigmentation - with lasers specifically - and heat-based treatments in general. Many physicians will pre-treat skin with a pigment suppressing agent to help prevent this...as well as using pigment suppressors afterward in conjunction with sun screen.
Alternatives to Fraxel and other lasers do exist - eMatrix, micro needling, chemical peels and the use of creams that contain ingredients to lessen pigment formation. Hydroquinone long term is not generally recommended as there can be unexpected discolorations from over-use; but it is used to pre-treat or post treat for short periods of time.
Fraxel and Hyperpigmentation
Fraxel is a great laser for fine lines and hyper pigmentation. However, I advise against Fraxel with Asian skin since it can lead to melasma and hyperpigmentation. For this reason, I often use the eMatrix in Asian skin. Melasma is not treated with Fraxel and last year the Fraxel company came out with a statement against trying to treat Melasma with Fraxel. Cosmelan is a much better treatment for Melasma. Best, Dr. Green
Fraxel laser treatments
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Tan After Fraxel
On a different note, although Fraxel is FDA approved to treat Melasma, it cannot cure the condition. Typically any benefits that come from a fractional resurfacing procedure for Melasma will disappear within 1-2 months. so even if you do get temporary results, you will revert back to where you have been previously with the Melasma and in some cases it can get worse.
The link below contains before and after photos of Los Angeles Orange County Melasma patients that use our high strength liquid form of hydroquinone to maintain lasting results for their condition.
Skin darkening after Fraxel
When treating dark spots such as freckles and even melasma, an immediate darkening can be noticed before healing is complete.
Also, there can even be post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation where tanning can be noticed after wound healing but will go away with time. Sun protection and bleaching agents such as hydroquinone can help shorten the course. Hope this helped.
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.