Hydroquinone Absolutely Necessary Before Fraxel?

I never had the fraxel treatment before, and I was consulting my dermatologist if I should get some. He said, that before putting me under the procedure he would have to put me on some hydroquinone for at least a month. The problem is, I need the treatment done fast, and therefore I don't really have the time to pre-treat my face. Is it safe enough to get fraxel (probably re:store or re:pair) without applying hydroquinone? How bad does the chance of possible side effects increase? Thank-you.

Doctor Answers 4

Skin Brightening Products and Fraxel Treatments.

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Skin brightening products are recommended prior to treatments with Fraxel lasers but not absolutely necessary!  I would highly recommend at least getting on these products IMMEDIATELY after your laser treatment to help prevent any unnecessary hyperpigmentations that may appear post procedure.  The use of sunscreen in addition, is highly recommended after any Fraxel laser.

Hope this helps.


Dr. Grant Stevens        Marina Plastic Surgery Associates          Marina del Rey, CA         The Institute

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Fraxel laser is wonderful for different skin types

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Depending on the skin type you can pre-treat patients with a hydroquinone.  Most patients who are fair do not require hydroquinones and I ask patients to stop all of these  before Fraxel.  For darker complexions there are times we pre-treat both before and after with hydroquinones.  This process is tailored for each individual patient.

Hydroquinone before Fraxel

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The answer to this questions is it depends on what type of skin you have.  If you have lighter skin you can most likely have the Fraxel laser treatment without pretreatment with hydroquinone.  Darker skin types would need at least a month of pretreatment with hydroquinone.  The hydroquinone decreases the chance of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.   Dr. Halem


Monica Halem, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Every Fraxel doctor has their own protocol that works for them

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I personally never pretreat anyone with either Retin A or hydroquinone.  Postoperatively, total sun avoidance until the skin gets back to normal color and treatment if necessary with hydroquinone works very well for me even in some darker skin types.   We do hundreds of patients with Fitzpatrick skin types 1-IV.   If there is a strong history of pimples turning brown  and taking months to get back to normal color or minor injuries turning brown for months or years after healing,  then there is more chance of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.    Even in those patients, I treat for hyperpigmentation post op rather than pre op if necessary.  I recommend that you follow your doctor's instructions or change doctors if you want to get the treatment done sooner from a specialist who does not require a month of hydroquinone.   

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 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.