Is Skin Darkening and Scaling Normal After Fraxel?

I am a 20 year old Indian male who had a Fraxel treatment done 3 days ago, to resolve a minor acne scar and additional scarrings due to shaving and tweezing out beard hair. But 24 hours after undergoing the Fraxel treatment, my skin looks darker and very scaly. The heavily treated area looks much worse. My lone acne scar looks deeper—much like an ice pick scar. Is this to be expected? Also from your personal experience, does age play a factor in the efficacy of fraxel?

Doctor Answers 3

Fraxel treatment is a fractionated deep resurfacing treatment

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Fractionated laser is an effective modality to resurface the deep skin while minimizing postprocedural complications. In patients with darker skin, some physicians believe in pretreatment with retinoids and hydroquinone based products.

Early in the post-treatment phase, edema and pigmentation may develop but will generally subside with time depending on the depth of treatment.

Consult with your physician who will advise you on whether to begin post-procedural retinoids and hydroquinone.

Fraxel restore dose cause "bronzing"

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Especially in darker skin, Fraxel causes a darkening effect that lasts for 4-7 days. The final effect on scars is not evident until 3-6 treatments are done, and several months have past. The use of Triluma is always a good idea before during treatment of darker skin, as is the use of sunscreen daily. But, of course, your dermatologist would explain this at consult. Good luck!

Give it some time

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Any laser treatment has the potential to create skin pigment irregularities. 24 hours after a laser treatment of any kind is too early to determine what the final results might be.

My suggestion would be to continue the post treatment regimen prescribed by your physician and follow up with him/her in a week to get their opinion.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 14 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.