If you have a history of skin cancer is it not recommended to get Fraxel treatments? (photo)

I just had my first Fraxel treatment at 43. I did it to get rid of dark spots and fine lines. I have a family history of skin cancer, was this a mistake? Should I not continue? It didn't come up at my consultation and a family member made a comment after I had the treatment. Also, I want to know if you can suggest a skin care product line I can purchase from the pharmacy. La Roche-Posay? What type of products should I purchase other than sunscreen?

Doctor Answers 3

Laser resurfacing is ideal for preventing skin cancer.

Laser resurfacing treatments shouldn’t be avoided due to a
history of skin cancer in the family. If anything, the opposite is true.
Fraxel® physically removes the surface skin cells that are most exposed to
accumulated sun damage, and therefore more likely to become cancerous over
time. Laser resurfacing physically removes these damaged cells, resulting in
more even skin pigmentation, fewer wrinkles and increased collagen production for
skin that not only looks better, but is actually healthier.

Skin Exam

You should have a complete skin exam performed in order to evaluate if you may have a skin cancer. With a family history of skin cancer you are at higher risk for developing a skin cancer although this does not mean it was a mistake to have fraxel laser performed. I would recommend that you make an appointment for a consultation with your dermatologist for further evaluation and treatment.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Fraxel with history of skin cancer

Fraxel has been studied for treatment of actinic keratosis which is a pre-cancerous skin growth.  It is fantastic that you have done Fraxel and interested in skincare and sunscreen.  I am a big proponent of SkinMedica products, in particular their retinol product at night and TNS Essential Serum in the morning along with a sunscreen that has zinc oxide in it.  I have a link to a sunscreen sheet on my website that may be helpful.  Oil Olay probably my favorite over the counter line but you will not get the benefit of a physician strength line.  Heliocare pills can also help prevent sunburns as an adjunct to sunscreen use.  I have some information about this as well.  Good luck!

Angela Bowers, MD
Southlake Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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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.