Will PIH Come Back on the Same Areas Post-Fraxel Treatment?

I have a fair complexion and I tan nicely. I have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) on some areas of my face as a result of Fraxel treatment. It seems to be slowly resolving with the help of 4% Hydroquinone; but I am concerned that it will be a recurring problem every summer regardless of stringent SPF use.

Doctor Answers 4

PIH unlikely but you will have age spots

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Though post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a diagnosis specific to the treatment you had, it is possible that you will have increase pigment when you have sun exposure. Sunscreens will decrease the pigment irregularities you may encounter but remember to use at least an SPF 30 and reapply often for maximal effect.

Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Continue to use sunscreen

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You have a susceptibility for PIH, so Fraxel might have been one trigger, but other factors, including sun exposure, may cause the pigmentation to be more evident in the future. It is recommended to use sunscreen, regardless of history of PIH, when exposed to the sun. You’ll decrease your risk of skin cancer and appear younger than your friends who don’t protect themselves.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

PIH after Fraxel will usually fade over time

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Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) will usually fade over time. It is important to wear a physical sun block, hats, and avoid over exposure to the sun. If you are like me, you like being outdoors, but need to remember to reapply your sun block frequently especially during the summer.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Fraxel and pigmentation

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Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation is not the same as melasma.  Once it clears using hydroquinone and sun protection, it should not recur.  You should however always use sun protection.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist

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.