Fraxel Repair Leaves GRID-Like Marks on my hands. Is this normal?

I had my hand treated with Fraxel repair in Feb 2014 to rejuvenate my hands.My hands have improved but now have "grid-like" demarcation on my hands. My doctor tells me some people skin just get "grid-like marks from Fraxel Repair. The doctor did not indicate that these grid like marks will go away with time nor did the doctor offer another treatment to improve these marks. Can anything be done to improve these grid marks. It has been over 7 months since my treatment and there no improvement.

Doctor Answers 6

Grid Marks after Fraxel

Hi Wendy.  Yes, it is somewhat common for fractional laser resurfacing procedures to leave this pattern.  Because in most cases, the procedures are done on the face, the pattern goes away fairly quickly.  This is because the skin on the face tends to have a very fast cell turnover compared to other areas which means the healing process is faster.

We have found the hands to be an area that heals very slowly from laser treatments.  As for options to speed up the recovery, it depends on what you are seeing.  If you are dark skinned and the grid is "dark spots", then we may suggest a hydroquinone formulation.  Rather if the grid is red or textured or something other than dark, then exfoliation with Retin A, glycolic acid or even another laser treatment may be advisable.  A picture would help us make a clearer recommendation.


Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Grid Marks

Thank you for your question. Grid-like marks have been reported and may be related to the aggressiveness of treatment or post-procedure sun exposure. There are treatment options available and I would consult with a physician who specializes in laser treatments. I hope this helps!

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

This is Normal and Can Be Seen From Time to Time

Fractional marks remaining on the skin is not normal but has been reported from time to time. If your doctor has no advice for you, I would recommend finding a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon in your area well skilled in laser therapy so that one can determine what appropriate skin care and potential other treatments can be done to minimize what you are seeing.

Part of every consult is that all the risks as well as the benefits are gone over with you – this is a risk and you should have known about this before the procedure and it should have been dealt with in the post-operative period – which I am not sure was done here but should be dealt with now.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Fraxel treatment

Since Fraxel is a fractional laser, only small areas are treated at one time so grid marks can be seen, especially if there are brown sun spots on the skin or if you had sun exposure after your treatment.  Additional laser treatments, fading creams or chemical peels may help.  Please see your doctor again for advice or consult another physician who specializes in laser treatments.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Side Effects from Fraxel

Fraxel is a fabulous laser for skin rejuvenation of the hands, neck, chest, face, and legs.  I have never seen grid marks 7 months after the Fraxel.  Please post photos of your hands.  Are you certain that you had Fraxel laser and not some other fractionated laser.  I would suggest you consult with a board certified dermatologist with experience with Fraxel laser to see how this can be corrected. Please keep us informed.

Gridlike Marks After Fraxel

This may be permanent at this point, but without photos it is very hard to tell.  My suggestion is to post photos or to see a laser expert for a second opinion.  These types of complications are common but there are many treatment options for them.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 168 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.